Munchie Monday – Meatless Monday
By Assistant Editor Shayna Spiker
For a little over 2 years, I was vegetarian. I ate eggs, dairy products, and fish but no meat. At first, I ate very unhealthy. I was young, barely a freshman in college, and my friends and I would go out all the time and there wasn’t much for me to eat besides breakfast foods, mozzarella sticks, and french fries. Plus, I wasn’t exactly taking care of myself at that time, so for the first 6 months or so, I ate some of the best tasting and worst-for-you foods.
Eventually, I got out of my little food box and expanded my palette and tried foods from other cultures, ate new kinds of fish, and tried vegetables in ways I’d never thought of before. And though I’m no longer practicing vegetarianism, I don’t regret doing it at all. I definitely learned to appreciate fruits, vegetables, fish and legumes and that’s something that has continued to help me make healthy dietary choices even today.
But just so you know, you don’t have to go full-veg in order to gain this appreciation for good-for-you foods. You can dip your toes in the water, just get them wet one day each week. Many people around the country have adopted this practice, using Mondays as their go-to day and calling it, “Meatless Monday“. The goal, for some, is to slowly sneak into eating healthier. For some others, the goal is to eat less animal products to save these animals from harsh farming practices. Whatever the reason, Meatless Mondays are a great way to help you incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and legumes into your diet.
To help you do that, I’ve compiled a list of easy and delicious recipes for you to try from VegWeb, one of my favorite vegetarian recipe forums:
Super Easy Kale Chips – I have always hated kale. I mean HATED it…until I tried this recipe. To lighten up the recipe a bit, instead of tossing with olive oil, I lay the torn kale pieces out on a baking sheet and lightly coat the leaves with olive oil spray and then salt and bake.
Easy Black Beans Recipe – Black beans are great for you, they have tons of protein and fiber to keep you full for hours.
Grilled Avocado and Tomato Sandwich – Avocado might be a strange fruit (yep, it’s a fruit!) to some of you, but it’s really tasty and is a great alternative to mayonnaise and other fattening condiments. Avocado is loaded with heart-healthy fats, just be careful how much you eat because it’s still fat! This sandwich is a great alternative to a grilled cheese and it’s packed with yummy good-for-you stuff.
Yummy Vegan Cheesecake – I can’t let you guys off into the world of Meatless Mondays without a delicious dessert recipe, now can I? Please remember that this particular recipe is vegan, which means there are absolutely no dairy or egg products in it. If you wish to use dairy or egg products, you are of course welcome to substitute regular cream cheese and eggs for the vegan cream cheese and egg substitute.
And a couple kid-friendly recipes so the whole family can participate:
Dippin Sticks – Tofu tends to scare people, but I’m not quite sure why. It’s a great source of protein and it tastes like whatever flavors you add to it, kind of like mushrooms or avocado.
Spinach Nuggets – Great way to get the kids to eat spinach without them even noticing it! And it tastes good, too.