Meatless Monday is a global campaign with the goal of reducing meat consumption by 15% to decrease stress on our bodies and the planet.
I like Meatless Mondays for a variety of reasons. For one, I am reminded to include beans and other legumes into my weekly menu. I especially like leveraging organic canned beans on Mondays because it's a stress-free way of easing back into the work week. If you are not regularly including legumes in your meal planning, you are missing out!
Plant-based sources of protein, like beans, have my family eating more fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium. In addition, when we're consuming plant-based sources of protein we are NOT consuming proteins high in trans and/or saturated fats (e.g., steaks).
One other huge benefit of Meatless Monday is that my family learns to "deal" with not having their favorite meals every night. We all try new things together. This doesn't mean that we all like the new things we try. In fact, my husband is on the same learning trajectory as my toddler in terms of green vegetables. They are learning to broaden their tastes together...how sweet.
Here are a few of my favorite Meatless Monday recipes:
1. Meatless Monday. "Why Meatless?" Retrieved from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/why-meatless
2. Meatless Monday. "About Us". Retrievefd from http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/
One challenge I hear from fellow moms is that they repeatedly find themselves throwing out produce.
First, acknowledging food preferences is okay. This doesn't mean you don't ask your family to try new things, but if they all hate asparagus there are plenty of equally healthy alternatives.
Second, storage is a big deal! Check out a produce storage guide if you need a refresher. Besides proper storage techniques, there are other preparation tricks that can increase consumption.
If you still find yourself with items that are just about past their prime, below is one example of how I make sure they don't go to waste.
I had leftover asparagus from dinner last night. I also had a ton of tomato, onion and red pepper from a past weekend's BBQ.
Step 1: Spray the bottom of the foil pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Step 2: Dice leftover veggies and throw directly into bottom of pan.
Step 3: I had extra cheese from a HelloFresh box I had received. I topped the veggies with that.
Step 4: I whisked together five eggs and 1/4 cup milk together. I usually keep a carton of organic egg whites on hand for times like these. A 50/50 mixture of regular eggs to egg whites producing an exceptionally great result.
Step 5: I poured the egg right over the top of the veggies and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6: Cover first with cling wrap, then with foil.
Step 7: I add a directions label and freeze as is! You can cook it either frozen or thawed. I like to thaw the day before in the refrigerator.
(Cooking instructions on the label read: 350 degrees for 40 min. covered with foil only.)
Registered Dietitian, Austinite, Mom with a 2-yr old, Dog lover