Meatless Mondays – I’m on board!

I finally joined the Meatless Monday movement. I know a lot of you are already on board, but I was hesitant. You see, over the past year I’ve significantly increased the number of vegetarian meals in my diet (and by default – my husband’s). It was driven by a conscious decision to purchase mostly organic poultry and meats as well as grass-fed beef, which of course we can’t afford for every meal. Instead of filling in the rest of the meals with antibiotics filled, inhumanely raised meat, we decided to go meatless more often!

Everyone has their own reasons to “go meatless.” I believe that one can maintain a healthy body on a carnivore diet (with lean meats, omega 3 rich fish and of course portion control and a balance with veggies, fruit and whole grains) but I strongly believe in incorporating more meatless dishes into our weekly repertoire because of the impact this has on the environment.

From the Meatless Monday site… Why Meatless?

  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation.[3] And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
  • MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.[4] Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.[5]
  • HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S.[6] Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein.[7] Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.

Every single person can help reduce the demand for meat (especially inhumanely raised meat) by going meatless more often. I knew I was already doing my part (I know I could always do more by becoming a vegetarian but it’s just not realistic for my lifestyle – we can only do our personal best) but committing myself to a Monday seemed limiting. Well, I’m taking on the challenge!! I like that I can plan a whole day of meatless eats (not just a random meal here and there). I think it happens by mistake once in a while but being more conscious about it made it fun. And you know what? I had some kick-ass eats today. Let’s review them! :mrgreen:

BREAKFAST

Breakfast pizza + coffee

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Ww tortilla, Barney Butter, nonfat yogurt, mango, Kashi golean cereal, shredded coconut + choc chips

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So yummy! :grin:

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MID-MORNING SNACK

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LUNCH

Star ingredient #1: Ellie Krieger edamame “hummus” (recipe can be found here)

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It was super galicky and very delicious. I used my vitamix so it was super creamy too. Love it!!

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Star #2: grill… well a grill pan for now ;)

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Whole wheat Tuscan pane with edamame hummus, heirloom grape tomatoes, grilled zucchini and goat cheese – all pressed together

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OMG – seriously I couldn’t get over this deliciousness. Goat cheese + grilled veggies is seriously the best combo on earth. Love <3

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MID-AFTERNOON/PRE-WORKOUT SNACK

Clif mojo mountain trek mix bar

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WORKOUT

I’m still getting over (or into?) a mild cold so an intense cardio workout was just not in the books. I attended a Body Pump-type class and it was tough. I sweated like crazy and loved every minute of it. What else is new? ;)

DINNER

A little snack while prepping dinner: Doctor Kracker “flatbread” with edamame “hummus”

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+ a meatless dinner – ma po tofu with steamed broccolini (recipe can be found here)

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I used light tofu, omitted the beef and rice and added broccoli to the broccolini to bulk it up. This made 3 good servings with these lighter substitutions.

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I LOVED this meal. It was quite spicy (I used 1T of sriracha) and tasted super authentic. I could see myself ordering it at a Chinese restaurant and being a very happy camper. Some brown rice would have been great to soak up some of the sauce but I thought we’ve been eating too much rice lately so that’s why I omitted it this time. I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again… and you shouldn’t either! :lol:

A lovely super charge me cookie to end a lovely day of meatless eats :D

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What do you think of the Meatless Monday movement? If you’re interested, you can pledge to go meatless on Mondays here.

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39 comments to Meatless Mondays – I’m on board!

  • I like the idea- I almost always (barring a chance to eat out somewhere really good but meaty, or the presence of tasty leftovers from dinner) eat a vegetarian breakfast (easy) and lunch- but tend to eat meat at dinner.
    My fiance and I live together and since I prepare our meals, I tend to make dinner with meat in it because he prefers it. (He lifts weights and really does need the protein- I feel like my protein needs are significantly lower and are pretty much covered by all the greek yogurt, beans, and cheese I eat.)
    However, he’s doing an away rotation for 6 weeks so I’ll have weeknights to myself and I’m planning to use the time as an experiment to see how I like eating meatless dinners on the weeknights. I don’t think I would ever identify as a vegetarian because I want the option to eat whatever I want when I got out to eat, but I’m not opposed to eating less meat than I already do. We currently only eat white meat but frankly, I get super sick of boneless skinless chicken breasts (aka hokey pucks) and ground turkey, which are the two things we eat the most of. I would often much rather go without and rarely finish my portion of meat (I’ve been serving myself smaller portions as a result.)
    I’m just not sure how to get my fiance on board the meatless meal wagon. Part of the problem is that I would easily have an egg for dinner but he eats eggs for breakfast and doesn’t want to eat them twice in one day. (Maybe I’ll just make him chicken and an egg for myself!)

  • p.s. have you read the blog 101 cookbooks? I found it yesterday and am obsessed! So many good vegetarian recipes! :)

  • hey gir! :) your panini looks incredible!!! and your breakfast pizza is making me drool!

  • I love the idea of meatless mondays. I’ve been making efforts to reduce my meat intake and think I’ll be jumping on this bandwagon and joining the movement.

  • I love meatless mondays, although I will admit my meatless meals are not always on that day of the week. :-) I usually make an effort to have at least one meatless meal a week for the same reasons as you. I also am just not a huge meat person to begin with so it often works out that way.

  • Elina

    Shelly – I’ve been a fan of 101 cookbooks for a while – she definitely has amazing vegetarian recipes! :)

  • I eat meatless probably 90% of the time, it’s definitely easier on the pocketbook when you will only buy organic and grass fed meat!

  • i did this awhile ago and i love it.. but i find i need to be more consistent with the days.. today is more like meatless monday… lol. love the post lovie <3 xoxo

  • I think it is a great idea, but why does it have to be Monday? Why not go meatless on Tuesday? I think incorporating meatless days into the week is a great idea though.

  • I like the variety of foods you’re eating in place of meat. Everything looks delicious!

  • Most of my days are meatless because I’m poor so it works out well. I have been enjoying chicken a lot lately because it was on sale. That’s the only time we buy meat (and we buy grass fed).

  • I love meatless Mondays! Also, that breakfast pizza looks ah-mazing! I just ate but I am thinking a second breakfast may be in order ;)

  • I absolutely love the idea of Meatless Mondays! I also am loving that breakfast pizza – so clever! :)

  • Love it! I too go on spurts where I “accidentally” have meatless days and I do love when that happens! I think I may join you on this venture!

  • That hummus looks fantastic! As does your sandwich – it looks something you’d get in a restaurant!

  • I haven’t been eating much meat lately, so I could definitely join in on the meatless monday, just gotta remember.
    Oh, and that sandwich, ummmm ya…want to fix me one?

  • Good for you for joining meatless mondays. Lots of delicious food here!

  • sister inna

    maybe i can get a panini press for my new kitchen and make delicious paninis just like my big sister? mmmmm :)
    most of my days are meatless these days ;)

  • mal

    meatless mondays all the way!!
    congrats on joining : )

  • Elina

    Matt – I think their idea is that it sets the right “tone” for the week. Any day of the week is great, though! :)

    Innz – We threw away our panini press after the kitchen remodel. It’s really easy to just press these on the grill pan or any skillet. Just put something heavy over it (I actually have a little presser that came with my grill pan).

  • sister inna

    you’ll just have to show me :D i’m soo exciiiited

  • I love love love the concept of Meatless Monday’s for non vegetarians. Anyone joining the cause for our environment!

  • Husband Adam

    I think its Meatless Monday because Monday begins with M :P

  • That sandwich looks amazing! :)
    I don’t participate, but I have plenty meatless days even without trying!

  • OMG, I love this post! I want to eat every single thing!

  • Liz

    I was a vegetarian all through HS and until I was in my very early 20s, but I was not eating healthy at all! Over the past several years, that I’ve been eating meat again, I have become too meat-dependent. I think it started because Ryan was a VERY picky eater, and it was hard to cook for both of us. Now that he is a veggie eater, I have been trying to cut back how much meat we consider a serving and incorporating meatless meals in our menu. I don’t know that I could go vegetarian again, but I do like trying to make the conscious choice to lower our meat consumption.

  • First off – I’m so glad you posted on my blog so I could find yours! I’m meatless everyday so I’m totally on board for Meatless Monday ;-) Actually, I think it’s a great idea and wish that more people would just give it a try. There still seems to be such a weird stigma associated with vegan and vegetarian. Anyway, LOVE edamame hummus. I started making that a few weeks ago. All of your eats look great. Loving the breakfast pizza. MMMM..

  • mmm, edamame hummus :) and that panini? A-MAZING. are you going to make me one for lunch tomorrow? haha!

  • I think that the Meatless Monday movement is a fantastic idea! Although I don’t eat meat I think it’s great that those who DO eat it, will try not to have it every day. Plus this means that one just needs to gets to broaden their cooking horizons. :p

  • Yay! Meatless all the way!

    I have been vegan for awhile except for the past few months because of my pregnancy since I didn’t feel I was getting enough B-12 and zinc and wanted to add in eggs and fish and some dairy.

    I don’t really like meat and never have so going meatless was effortless for me. Kudos to anyone who loves it and eliminates it. I know it can’t be easy.

  • I was a Vegetarian. For quite some time, a period of 8 months. It was a mixed experience. I say “mixed” because I found it SO difficult to eat out. I told the waiters that I was a Vegetarian (having to spell it out that I don’t eat meat) and they’d just look at me with some puzzled look like “oh so you eat just vegetables?”. Being a Vegetarian for me was a health choice, one that I think I’ll eventually/gradually return to, because I felt like I was eating so “clean” really being so conscious of the planet and providing my body with the most nutritious foods possible, but I really struggle getting in enough protein Vegetarian or not.

    PS: How did you make your breakfast tortilla?

  • Elina

    Cristina – I toasted a tortilla in a toaster oven, then topped it with all the goodies. It’s delicious! :D

  • That sandwich looks AMAZING. I actually have never eaten meat on Wednesdays and Fridays (and during Lent, and many many other times!) for religious reasons. I guess my religion is just ahead of the environmentalism curve!

  • No way! Breakfast pizza?! That looks like the tastiest breakfast I’ve ever seen, for real! Thanks so much for the idea, did I mention it looks fabulous? Delicious? Crazy good?

    Have a good one!!

  • I think all days should be meatless, but that’s just my biased vegetarian opinion… =)

  • looks like a great day of eating. I love the goat cheese roasted veggie combo too. Always fun to find another MA blogger’s site!

  • Love the sound of that edamame spread (sorry, I just can’t call it hummus without the use of tahini and chickpeas!) I am in such a lunch rut this week that I think I might have to whip some up tonight, along with roasted veggies of course…

  • I think Meatless Mondays are great! The problem is I always forget ;) I think bloggers should bring more publicity to it so we all remember. I’ll try to remember this Monday….maybe I’ll make that tofu :)

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