Monday, January 5, 2015

Meatless Monday

If you're a complete and total newbie when it comes to vegan food and you're thinking about making the transition but you're not quite ready yet or you just don't want to go whole hog (or "whole tofu" as we say in the veg world), then why not give Meatless Mondays a try? Not everyone is ready to make the leap in one day from meat at every meal to zero animal products whatsoever. That's okay. Use this one day a week to give it a test drive. Once you've got a month of Meatless Mondays under your belt, try adding another day per week. Maybe Veggie Taco Tuesdays or Spaghetti Saturdays? It's up to you.

Try to focus on the progress you're making toward a completely plant-based diet and not worry about every single day being perfect. If you really can't let go of that struggle for perfection, then make the same meal every Meatless Monday, but work on changing it each week until it's just the way you like it. Then start perfecting another recipe.

Which recipe should you choose for your first Meatless Monday? Choose one that you make all the time or one that is your favorite go-to recipe when you're in a rush. Now, think about how you can adapt that recipe to get rid of its meat components. For instance, if you love making BLTs, then you can easily substitute the bacon for tofu bacon or tempeh bacon. There are lots of veggie burger options, too. Tacos are as easy as using beans instead of meat filling. Here are more recipes to help you get started. But, please, do get started! Even if it is just one day per week.

Another great use for Meatless Mondays is when you've already made the switch, but the rest of your family hasn't. Or maybe you have roommates that you'd like to introduce to going vegan or even just to getting more veggies into their diets, period. Take this day to show them how easy it can be to eat their favorite meals without using meat at all. Volunteer to cook that day and whip up one of their favorite meals except sub in beans or a meat replacement.

Lots of restaurants participate in Meatless Mondays and college campuses do it, too. So, it's possible that you will have a better time on Mondays if you're trying to find vegetarian or vegan fare at places that might not normally serve these items.

Wondering what I'm having today for my Meatless Monday? I started the day off with some Vegan French Toast. I'm having a peanut butter and fruit smoothie in just a few minutes and I'll finish it off with some lentil and quinoa filled tacos (will post a recipe for this tomorrow).

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