With Meatless Mondays becoming a growing trend, many of us are looking for ways to include vegetarian meals in our diets on a regular basis. We discovered more about this growing movement and found some delicious ways to be vegetarian just one day a week!
While Meatless Monday may seem like a recent movement it, in fact, started during World War I. The U.S. Food Administration encouraged families to forgo meat on Monday and wheat on Wednesdays in order to save supplies for our troops with the slogan, “Food will Win the War.” The response was a success. New York City hotels alone saved over 116 tons of meat after just one week of Meatless Mondays.
In 2003 Meatless Monday was revived as a public awareness campaign when health advocate Sid Lerner noted the issues associated with America’s over-indulgence in eating meat. The movement is now supported by over 30 schools of public health, celebrity chefs, nationally recognized restaurants, and local establishments.
Going meatless one day a week or more has been linked to many health advantages including: limiting risks associated with cancer, reducing heart disease, helping to fight type 2 diabetes, and curbing obesity. After trying Meatless Mondays many are finding ways to incorporate vegetarian meals into the rest of their weekly menus. And as a bonus many are finding it easier on their wallets too!
Eating vegetarian is beyond salads, fruit, and dried out veggie burgers. Vegetarian meals can be exciting and fun! Follow the foods of the season and take cues from there. In the fall, the winter squashes, apples, grapes, sweet potatoes, kale, brussels sprouts, and figs are just some of the season’s highlights. Use seasonal produce to make a lasagna, soup, top a pizza, make a veggie patty, or pie. Many vegetables such as broccoli and potatoes have protein. Tofu may get a bad rap, but its bland flavor can be an asset when preparing flavorful meals, as it will easily take on most flavors and, give vegetarian meals a protein boost. Beans or grains such as quinoa or farro are also good alternatives to meat. Explore new fruits and vegetables you haven’t tried before and experiment with recipes that favor vegetables. Who knows, you may find that going meatless occasionally is easier and better than you expected!