Why you should go Meatless on Monday
Make a big change to your diet and reduce your carbon footprint by going meatless on Monday. It sounds like much more of a challenge than it is; once you weigh the benefits, you’ll be excited to join the movement. Below you’ll find some great reasons why you should be going meatless plus some recipes you’ll be excited to try out.
Meatless Monday has some great health benefits. Red and processed meats are associated with colon Cancer while eating fruits and vegetables can reduce the Cancer risk. A study by Harvard University found that diets high in polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, reduce the risk of heart disease by 19%. Apart from reducing heart disease and Cancer, reducing your meat intake helps curb obesity, increases mortality leaving you to walk around our Earth longer and improves your overall diet.
Apart from the awesome health benefits of meatless Monday, don’t forget about the earth friendly benefits. Reduce your overall carbon footprint by cutting out all meat for one day a week. Meatlessmonday.com quotes, “The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide”. This is more than transportation while the world’s demand for meat just continues to grow. Going meatless on Monday lessens the demand on water. Think of livestock’s demand for water. To create a single pound of beef it takes over 2,000 gallons of water but only 220 gallons to produce a single pound of Soy tofu. That is a pretty crazy fact and means that by cutting out meat one day a week you could be saving water, energy and fossil fuels. The infographic below shows the animal product from farm to your plate and just how much they rely on our fossil fuels, water and energy.
Going meat free one day a week does not mean you’re eating grass and rice cakes for supper. There are so many great alternative options and in many countries populations frequently go meat free. India, Japan, South Korea and others have many going through their day to day activities without meat but still making amazingly delicious cuisine that would have the biggest meat eaters dishing for more. Below are two great recipes of some traditional western cuisine with a Meatless Monday twist.
Veggie Lentil Burgers
- 1 1/2 Cups cooked lentils
- 6 Cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 red chilli, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
- 2 slices of wholegrain bread, roughly diced
- Pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1-2 tablespoons wholegrain flour
- Sliced Tomatoes
- Your favorite burger bun, Ciabatta bread perhaps
- Alfalfa sprouts
- 1 Avocado, cut into slices
- Ketchup, mustard or relish, try some pesto
- Your favorite cheesy choicel Cheddar, Feta or American are all great choices
To make the lentil burger patties:
Combine chili, red onion, thyme and breadcrumbs and lentils into a large bowl and stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper.
Add your eggs and stir until thoroughly combined. While stirring ass flour to bring mixture together.
Form palm size patties with your hands and set aside.
To complete the lentil burgers:
Heat a large frying pan and lightly coat it with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
Cook the lentil burger patties for 4-5 minutes each side or until both sides are golden and cooked through.
Build your burger by spreading the bun with your chosen topping, add your burger then layer on the toppings. Close the burger with the top bun and repeat the process with the remaining burgers.
Recipe serves about 8 people.
Paleo Eggplant Lasagne
- 1 large globe eggplant, cut lengthwise into 8 1/4-inch slices
- Olive oil
- 1 lb Morningstar Beef Crumbles [A1] or any alternative to ground beef, perhaps try lentils
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 10 oz whole baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil and bake until eggplant slices are tender and beginning to brown. Place eggplant pieces on prepared baking sheets in single layer and brush them on both sides. This should take around 5 minutes preside. Once cooked allow eggplant to cool while you prepare the sauce.
In a large sauce pan on medium heat, add olive oil then onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir frequently, allow onions and mushrooms to brown and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add in your ground beef alternative and heat all the way through. Add your diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and parsley. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
Spread 1/3 of the ‘meat’ sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch glass pan. Layer slices of eggplant on top of the sauce. Spread another third of sauce on top of the eggplant slices. Stack a second layer of eggplant slices directly on top of the first layer. Add remaining sauce on top.
Bake eggplant lasagna until heated through, about 20 to 30 minutes if freshly made. Serve hot topped with fresh parsley or basil.
Recipe serves about 8 people.
Nutritional Information per serving: 209 calories, 15 g carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 15 grams protein
|Calories from Fat||99|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 11 g||17%|
|Carbohydrates 15 g||5%|
|Protein 15 g||30%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry
- 1/2 cup water, divided
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 4 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
Whisk ¼ cup water, soy sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, crushed red pepper with the 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Set this aside. Cut tofu into equally sized cubes and pat dry. Toss the tofu in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch and mix to coat evenly.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or a large skillet over a medium to high heat. Add the tofu and let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Gently turn and stir, then continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crispy. This should take about 3 minutes then transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add green beans, garlic and ginger; let cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup water, cover and cook until the beans are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture over the green beans. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, until heated through.
Nutritional Information per serving: 218 calories; 11 g fat ( 1 g sat , 6 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 2 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 5 g fiber; 672 mg sodium; 364 mg potassium.
Recipe serves about 8 people.