Thinking about going meatless once a week? Here are some tips and meatless meal ideas:
Recipes featured on Meatless Monday
Thinking about going meatless once a week? Here are some tips and meatless meal ideas:
Recipes featured on Meatless Monday
Happy Monday! If you’ve been following TTB, you’re probably aware that every Monday I dish out a vegetarian recipe as part of the Meatless Monday movement. Today, I’m going to share with you five reasons I go meatless:
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT — A vegetarian diet is usually low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fiber. Fiber makes you feel full, which means you’ll be less prone to overeating. When I go through periods with lots of opportunity for volume eating (especially around holidays), a day of meatless eating helps me get back on track and reset my normal eating habits. Also, meat packs more calories than vegetables or fruits, volume for volume. For example, one cup of cooked kale contains 35 calories while one cup of cooked ground turkey contains 296 calories! More food for fewer calories? Sign me up!
GOOD FOR YOUR BODY — Reducing the intake of meat products even just once a week may reduce the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Your body will thank you for it!
IT’S EASY TO DO — Even though I’d never be able to give up meat entirely (I love a good piece of steak from time to time!) I still want to achieve the health benefits that vegetarians enjoy. Eating meatless one day a week is an easy thing to do, and it’s a “diet” that can easily develop into a habit. It doesn’t have to be Monday, either. If I’m dining out with friends at a barbecue joint, I’m not going to insist on going meatless. Just pick one day each week that works for you.
EXPAND YOUR TASTE BUDS — Vegetarian meals can be diverse, colorful, and flavorful! By eliminating meat, I’ve learned to become more creative when cooking with vegetables. I recently tried adding turnip to my mashed potatoes and was surprised by how much I enjoyed the texture and flavors.
GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT — Producing meat uses a lot more natural resources – water, fossil fuel, land — than growing vegetables. While giving up meat for just a day won’t change the world, every vegetarian meal that you have saves a bit of the environment. We have to start somewhere, right?
Are you thinking about going meatless once a week? I say give it a try! For those who are vegetarians or doing Meatless Monday, what do you think is the biggest challenge? For me, going meatless in winter is a huge obstacle. I tend to crave hearty, meat-centric comfort dishes like chicken pot pie and beef chili, and find it really difficult to resort to lighter fares like salads and soups. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!
Happy Monday! Hope you had a fantastic weekend. My cousin Fiona and her friend Chloe were in town, so we took them around the city for some sightseeing. We started off in Brooklyn Heights (my old neighborhood!) where we took a stroll down the promenade to Brooklyn Bridge Park and DUMBO.
As a native New Yorker, there are many “the-best-(fill in a food)-in-New-York” places I still haven’t been, and Grimaldi’s was one of them, well, until we tried it this weekend. And it was delicious — not the best but still pretty high up on the list! By the way, if you want to avoid the long lines, go to Grimaldi’s at noon when they just open. After our pizza lunch, we stopped by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for an ice cream break, naturally ;)
Up next was the mandatory walk across Brooklyn Bridge (to walk off the pizzas and ice cream)! Once we got to the Manhattan side, we walked around City Hall for a bit and then over to South Street Seaport. Pier 17 was closed because of some major renovation this summer, but there were many pop-up shops, food trucks, and beer garden to keep things interesting. We chose to relax on the lounge chairs with our cold drinks :)
On Sunday, we went to Alstede Farm for their annual Strawberry Harvest Festival. We made a brief stop to visit the farm animals, and then it was time to hit the strawberry fields in search for the plumpest, juiciest berries.
The rewards of our hard work: red, juicy strawberries (and ice cream)! Some are odd-looking, too.
Anyway, the recipe I have for you today is inspired by a recent discovery of mine. There are few things I love about Whole Foods.
First: the fresh seafood. They sell fresh oysters which they will gladly shuck at the store and pack in ice, which means I can bring them home and greedily eat a dozen by myself in hiding, or make fried oysters, without having to risk cutting my fingers off.
Second: the fact that the On Tap bar (do you have one of those in your nearest WF?) near me serves doughnuts from Doughnut Plant. Yum!
Third: the Guac-Kale-Mole! I tried that for the first time last week when I picked up a container out of curiosity, and I loved every bite.
I can never get enough of guacamole or avocado for that matter (who’s with me?) and will eat anything tossed into the mix. The addition of kale is not just trendy, but actually a great idea. It adds extra oomph to the guacamole – giving you something to chew on – without taking away from the simple goodness and creaminess of the plain old guacamole.
I went home and decided to come up with my own version. Like I mentioned before in my kale salad post, kale can be tough and chewy, but if you take the time to massage the leaves until they soften, and then chop them up finely, you won’t have that problem. By the way, this is a great way to sneak some kale into your reluctant family member/child/significant other’s diet.
Guac-kale-mole is packed with ingredients that can’t possibly be bad for you. In fact, avocados and kale are considered superfoods. Go make a batch and enjoy it as a guilt-free midday snack!
Last month, a majority of you commented that you enjoy posts on Meatless Monday, so here it is, I’m starting a new series! The first post of this series features one of my favorite side dishes lately.
My favorite way to enjoy green beans is the simple way – blanching them and then tossing them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I’m always looking for other preparation methods so as to not get bored with a vegetable (like zucchini, which I had them oven roasted every week for months and sadly can no longer stand to eat them again). If I’m in the mood for something different, I make this popular steakhouse side dish: Green Beans Amandine.
I love vegetable sides that are chock full of delicious add-ins, and this one is no exception. Caramelized shallots and toasted almonds give the green beans lots of flavors and textures. It doesn’t take much encouragement for me to eat my vegetables. And for a dish that’s almost entirely made up of vegetables, I’d say that’s a pretty amazing feat.
In case you’ve just tuned in, every Wednesday I share some of the foods I eat in a day. Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayon for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!
Since I have a Meatless Monday series on TTB, some of you have asked me how I go meatless for a day. Is it difficult? What do I eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner? Well today, I’m going to use this WIAW post as an opportunity to show you what a meatless day looks like for me.
For breakfast today, I needed all the energy I could get because I had three meetings on my agenda before noon. Phew. A hot breakfast of Almond Butter and Banana Oatmeal kept me full and helped me stave off mid-morning hunger. That’s old-fashioned oats simmered in fat-free milk for a few minutes until the oatmeal is nice and creamy, and then topped with banana slices, a drizzle of honey, and a big spoonful of roasted almond butter. Why, this is a breakfast I’ll be seeing more of in the near future. :)
I worked through the morning before it was time for a breather: carrot slices and celery – James calls them my rabbit food :) – with white bean dip. I make it the same way I do with hummus using cannelini beans and adding in a teaspoon or so of chopped fresh rosemary.
The rest of “lunch” consisted of few more things to snack on. I’ve got cheddar cheese and multigrain crackers.
And a handful of dried apricots and pumpkin seeds
After work, I headed to the gym and cranked out 4.5 miles on the treadmill, then finished off with the Yoga for Runner: Cool Down Sequence with Adriene. I have been doing this routine for two weeks now and can totally feel the difference between the days when I do stretch afterwards and the days when I don’t.
Dinner was quick, easy, and delicious. Earlier this week, I managed to pry myself away from the second…and third helpings of Pasta Alla Norma and reheated some of the leftover for dinner. It’s basically pan roasted eggplants simmered in a quick tomato sauce with capers, then tossed with cooked whole wheat pasta. Recipe will be up soon!
So that’s what a meatless day looks like for me. Have a delicious meatless recipe you love? Please share in the comments!
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Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta is a quick, easy, and wholesome pasta dish perfect for your next holiday party or potluck dinner.
Today I’m back with another Meatless Monday recipe, and this one is a really simple and delicious dish you can easily whip up for your family and dinner guests in under 20 minutes – Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta! With only a handful of ingredients and steps, this vegetarian dish comes together quickly making it perfect for weeknight meals, yet elegant enough for holiday dinner parties. Basically you boil the pasta, cook the kale with garlic, onions, and red pepper flakes, then toss everything together – pasta, cheese, and kale. And then dinner is served!
When the temperatures start to drop, I love pairing whole grain pasta with hearty greens like kale for dinner — this is the type of satisfying, nourishing, and comforting meal you want to dig into on cold evenings. It’s also a great side dish to bring to a holiday potluck, since it incorporates both vegetables and pasta, and is versatile enough to pair with meat dishes like ham and turkey. If you prefer a meat option, feel free to incorporate some crumbled Italian sausages or cooked shrimp. I’m sure it would be quite tasty too. Another great thing about this dish is that you can toss in additional veggies you have on hand. Mushrooms and red bell peppers would be great here.
I added a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, but I wouldn’t even say this was super spicy though. If you don’t like a lot of heat, just feel free to scale back the amount of red pepper flakes to your liking.
This healthy, creamy Greek yogurt ranch dip is just as delicious as the original.
Happy Meatless Monday! With warm weather coming up, I am swapping chips and cookies for healthier snack alternatives. I like to snack on fresh, crunchy veggies with tangy ranch dip and this recipe I am sharing is a lightened up version.
It’s a smarter choice since it uses Greek yogurt — it gives you that classic ranch flavor and creamy texture, and packs in a whole lot more protein without the calories from sour cream or mayonnaise found in many other ranch dips. Just mix it up and serve it right away or let it sit in the fridge for the flavors to fully develop.
Baked tofu cubes coated with a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce – serve with brown rice and veggies for a healthy complete meal!
January is in full-force! Last week on Meatless Monday I introduced a Citrus Sunrise Juice featuring fresh oranges, lemons, carrots, and ginger. I thought we could all kick-off the New Year with more meatless options. Are you on board?
Lately I’ve been training for distance running (my first half-marathon is in March!) so I have been paying more attention to my protein intake after my runs. On days when I don’t want to eat meat or fish, I turn to other sources like eggs and tofu. Tofu doesn’t have to be boring, especially when it’s coated with a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce!
Parmesan Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms is an essential side dish and a great accompaniment to pot roasts, steaks or other grilled meats.
Sometimes the best things are created from what you have on hand and that was the case when I made these mushrooms. With butter, garlic, and cheese! These mushrooms are so good and go with just about any dinner entree.
With just a short list of ingredients, you have a delicious and easy side dish or appetizer.
If you’re looking for another great use for garlic butter, try my Easy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread.
This Asian noodle salad with vegetables and tofu is tossed with a delicious sesame soy dressing, making it a protein-packed vegetarian meal with diverse flavors and textures.
Are you a fan of tofu? I love how it’s a light, healthy way to get my protein in, and how versatile it is as it has a way of soaking up spices and flavors. James is not the biggest fan of tofu (he only eats the silken type) but for the most part, he stays away from it. So this dish today is mine all mine. And now, yours too!
The perfectly simple and healthy side dish to pair with any meal!
Now that James is working in Texas, I have all the freedom in the world to cook anything for dinner. And so far that has included all kinds of fish, vegetables, and grains he normally would not to eat like couscous, wild rice, and farro ;) This quick and easy vegetable side dish also made it to my menu!
This is a clean-the-fridge kind of recipe where you can use up whatever veggies you have. It is perfect as a side dish, or add some pasta or whole grains once cooled to turn it into a colorful pasta salad.
I served them with my Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken for a simple, nutrient-packed meal. Just so healthy and flavorful!
Greek chickpea salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion is on the menu today! This salad makes a great side dish to grilled meats.
Today I am sharing a salad that’s just as colorful as it is healthy. Fresh tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and chickpeas are tossed in a light lemon dressing. Add some fresh parsley and you’ve got yourself a refreshing, simple side dish for Greek nights!