October is Vegetarian Awareness Month!
One of the goals I set coming into 2016 was to participate in Meatless Monday every Monday. What that means for me is going vegan – no dairy, no eggs, no animal meat, no seafood.
I’ve done vegan days in the past, just not with as much dedication and structure. So, what made me decide to go vegan weekly in 2016?
Honesty, the biggest reason I decided to do it was to challenge myself. I also knew it would force me to get creative in the kitchen and it has accomplished that.
Other reasons I am doing Meatless Monday include:
- I believe there is too much emphasis on animal protein when it comes to protein with your meal. Most people automatically think of animal protein and don’t consider all the vegan protein sources.
- I also chose to do this for my health. As I’ve stated before, I am not vegan. I believe some people are better off eating vegan while other people are not. I do think everyone could benefit from just one vegan day each week.
Here are some ideas on vegan meals:
- Non-dairy milk or yogurt in place of cow’s milk/yogurt with your cereal or granola
- Tofu instead of eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner
- A smoothie is a great addition to breakfast or lunch or can be a meal on its own
- Veggie sandwich with hummus as a spread; Go raw with cucumber, tomato, artichokes, and spinach or sauté some mushrooms and zucchini to add to the raw veggies
- Veggies and dip – hummus, bean dip, guacamole
- Stuff some mini bell peppers with a nut butter or nut pate
- Your good ol’ PB&J sandwich (or almond butter or cashew butter)
- Make a three “bean” salad with black beans, edamame, and kidney beans (along with some chopped onion, bell pepper, tomatoes or salsa)
- Veggie wraps – raw or sautéed veggies wrapped with a collard green leaf
- Chili – beans, onion, bell peppers, zucchini, quinoa, eggplant
- Vegan muffins – use ground ¼ cup ground flaxseed in place of an egg
- Of course, a salad filled with leafy greens, spinach, and/or kale; Put raw chopped veggies on top, sautéed veggies on top, or go for a sweeter salad with some strawberries or raspberries and chopped nuts
So, how have I done on my Meatless Monday goal? Pretty well; not perfect. I’m good with that. I’ve included some pictures of my Meatless Monday meals, as well as some infographics with vegan protein sources.
In case you are interested – A Brief History
While I have known about Meatless Mondays for several years, I didn’t know the history behind it, so I decided to look into it.
The concept originated with World War I, although it was actually meatless Tuesdays at that time. President Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover (at that time he was the head of the US Food Administration) started a meatless [Tuesdays] and wheatless [Wednesdays] initiative to avoid forced food rationing and to provide food for the troops overseas.
Meatless Mondays was revived in 2003 by Sid Lerner, working with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It is best-known in the United States; however, it is gaining popularity worldwide.