Eco Challenge – Meatless Monday

I grew up eating meat and I’ve never been Vegetarian or Vegan; however, over the years I’ve been slowly filtering out certain types of meat. I almost never eat red meat anymore, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I do eat chicken, turkey, fish and some pork/bacon; however, I would love to filter that down even more.  I haven’t found any great resources for organic/responsibly raised meat options near my new house, but I’m looking.  In the meantime I’m trying new recipes and trying to make more meals that are meatless.

I was pleased with what I ate today and didn’t miss the meat at all; however, I would need to educate myself on protein sources if I chose to go Vegetarian long term. Growing up eating meat means that I automatically gravitate toward some type of meat course, especially at dinner. I haven’t been a fan of the faux meat products so far, and I just can’t do tofu, it’s a texture thing.

 

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Walnuts & Dried Fruit

I need to start eating Oatmeal more often, it’s so versatile. My favorite is a basic oatmeal (unsweetened) with a nut and a fruit. Today I paired it with a glass of a V8 Fusion Tea. I’m lost on why they call it Tea, there is nothing remotely ‘Tea’ about it; although it was good.

Walnut Fruit Oatmeal

 

Lunch: Green Smoothie

This meal put me in the worst mood, and it’s not because it looks like some sort of atomic sludge. I agree, it looks absolutely disgusting, but it’s a delicious mix of banana, cocoa, cherries, and spinach. However, I’ve determined that my Bullet Blender is a piece of ::ahem:: crap. I never had any problems with my last one, but this one is a joke. It leaks down into the motor constantly and takes a ridiculous amount of time to blend anything. I need a Vita Mix…STAT!

Green Smoothie

Dinner: Butternut Squash Risotto & Dinner Roll

A little bland, I need to work on the seasonings a bit, but delicious. Bulking up on the veggies means I didn’t miss the meat at all. I paired this with an (unpictured) dinner roll (or two). Ok, I actually ate the dinner rolls while I was cooking dinner but I’m sure they would have been great with the meal too.

Butternut Squash & Pea Risotto

 

Vegetarians/Vegans..any recommended meat alternatives? I’m willing to try things like Tofu again, but I need some help finding the best way to cook it.

3 responses

  1. You totally got me hooked on the green smoothie. Every morning when I wake up and prepare my smoothie, I think of you🙂 I switch between Amazing Meal and Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer (I only use half a serving of Vega which has the same amount of calories, nutrition, and all the good stuff AM has in one serving). The thing is, I was looking at the top of the Vega container and it explains that by consuming Vega rather than eating eggs or any other type of protein, I’m helping the planet. I’ll take a pic and send it over. Ever since, I’ve felt a little better about being a little “greener”.

  2. Not a big fan of tofu straight up, but have incorporated it into several things our family eats. Anything yummy and Italian that you might make with ricotta cheese I substitute tofu in and forgo the meat – like lasagna and some noodle-tomato/spaghetti sauce-cheese type casseroles. I just drain, rinse, and mash the tofu (use a soft type tofu), then add some parmesan cheese and herbs and use like ricotta. I generally add mushrooms and extra veggies to the sauce to replace missing ground beef or sausage. No one has ever noticed the swap.
    Another painless veggie meal is to just make chili using extra beans (I use both black and red beans), and forgo the meat. We like to make it thick – use some diced tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and a diced avocado.
    Final suggestion is an Italian vegetable soup. Saute onion and some garlic and chopped veggies (potato, carrots, a pepper, zuchinni, yellow squash, etc), then add a couple cans of veggie broth, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of beans – current favorite is a can of cannellini (white beans) or garbonzos, some herbs (oregano, basil, marjoram) and simmer until veggies are tender. About 5 minutes before serving add a handful or two of chopped spinach. Check seasonings – probably add a little salt and pepper here. If I have some leftover pasta (shells, small noodles, macaroni) I’ll put that in too. Be sure it’s all hot. Serve with any type of delicious bread – warm and crusty. Leftovers are freezable. Always better on day 2. Sometimes I make it in the morning, put it in the fridge and just reheat for dinner. Hope this helps get you started. We try to eat meat free several times a week and really never miss it when it’s not on the table. Good luck with your green month. Interested to see what else you’ll be trying!

    • Debbie,

      Thank you for the recipes and the great ideas on how to incorporate tofu into a meal. In all the research I’ve done, I’ve never heard of using the tofu like ricotta and it’s genius! I plan on trying the lasagna and your chili idea soon.

      Thanks!
      Addison

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