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Will you be joining the Meatless Monday Campaign this year? While we are by no means vegetarian, we do many meatless meals during the week. Reducing your consumption of meat can be healthy for both you and the environment. However, it can take a bit of getting used to at first.
What is the Meatless Monday Campaign
Going meatless, even for one day, may challenge what you have learned about assembling a meal. I grew up with the idea that dinner included a meat and two sides. What happens when you take away the meat? Without changing a few ideas you have about meal preparation and ingredients, your Meatless Monday Campaign may not be a big hit in your house.
In it’s original form, the Meatless Monday definition is “an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.” More generally, it encourages people to pick one day of the week where they eat no meat at all. Just one day. That isn’t too hard, right?
Why Should You Limit Meat Consumption?
If your family is full of hard core carnivores, you may have a challenge on your hands. Sit them down and discuss your upcoming changes to their regularly scheduled dinner recipes. They need to know exactly why you are choosing to cut back on meat.
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Get the kids involved in your new project by looking for Meatless Monday recipes together. Let your husband know how you will be cutting your grocery bill by reducing how much meat you are eating. Without the whole family on board, you may struggle with going meatless one day a week.
Making Your Meatless Monday Campaign a Success
There are lots of reasons to go meatless once a week. Find the one that gets your family on board and jump into the Meatless Monday Campaign with both feet! Here are a few tips for success:
- Choose a day that works for you: You don’t have to go meatless only on Monday. If you have more free time for cooking on the weekend, go meatless on Saturday. Also, use that day to prep lots of fruits and vegetables for eating the rest of the week.
- Learn new cooking techniques: You may need to get a few vegetarian cookbooks to really have good luck with your new meatless goals. Learn to steam, saute, broil, and grill your vegetarian recipes. I love The Fresh Egg Cookbook for egg recipes.
- Don’t panic over protein: Americans eat way more protein than they really need. A meal without tons of protein is not a big deal. If you are really concerned, try meatless sources of protein like eggs, nuts, tofu, quinoa, and beans. Check out my Asian quinoa recipe with broccoli and tofu or my vegetarian crockpot chili.
- Transform favorite recipes: Instead of introducing completely new recipes to your family, take their favorites and make them meatless. Use veggie crumbles and black beans instead of ground beef in a taco. Try cooking with mushrooms instead of ground beef. Or, just skip the pepperoni on your homemade pizza.
- Host a vegetarian recipe exchange: Need inspiration? Invite friends over for a vegetarian potluck dinner. Ask everyone to bring their favorite meal, along with a recipe card for sharing!
Meatless Monday Recipes:
If you are looking for Meatless Monday recipes, I thought I would share a few from my own blog and from some of my favorite bloggers. Try these vegetarian recipes and start off the new year by joining the Meatless Monday campaign!
- Broccoli Cheese Soup: Loads of fresh broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese. Pair with corn muffins for a filling meal.
- Vegetarian Burrito Bowl: Choose your family’s favorite toppings and have a top your own burrito bowl night.
- Mediterranean Spaghetti: Who needs sausage and ground beef when you have olives and Feta cheese, right?
- Rainbow Pasta Salad: If you are looking for good Meatless Monday recipes for your next cookout, try this vegetarian pasta salad.
- Vegan Sliders: Try replacing your standard beef burger with a meatless alternative.
- Kale and Black Bean Quesadillas: Dark, leafy greens and black beans tucked into tortillas with melted cheese. Yum!
Joining the Meatless Monday campaign shouldn’t be scary. Experiment with new recipes and save the ones your family really loves to repeat as the month goes on. Who knows, maybe you will find enough vegetarian recipes that you can easily drop the meat two or three times a week! While we love a juicy burger occasionally, we also have learned to love meatless meals just as much! Will you join the Meatless Monday campaign this year?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.