June 22, 2009

Meatless Monday

I just pledged to go meatless on Mondays! Check out the Meatless Monday website, where you can find out why going without meat on Mondays can improve our health, help the environment, and bring us together as a nation. It takes just a few seconds to take the pledge, and you can sign up to receive delicious vegetarian recipes via email every Monday.

According to the website, going meatless just once a week can reduce your risk of chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

My husband and I go without meat several nights a week already, so this won't be difficult for us. What will also make it easier is getting our CSA delivery of amazing produce every other Monday. I'm excited to be part of the "Meatless Monday movement" and encourage you to check it out.

Producing meat uses so much water and energy, we can all make a big difference just by pledging to get our protein from eggs, beans, or soy one day of the week. And it's an extra bonus that your health will probably improve.

Here's just one amazing statistic: If everyone went vegetarian for just ONE DAY, the United States would save 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months.

Have you heard about this? Maybe you're already doing it. What are some of your favorite meatless meals? What will you be eating tonight? We'll be enjoying eggplant lasagna. Let me know your thoughts and questions in a Comment.


hiptobeme said...

I love this idea. I would gladly do it, if I thought it would fly. Right now, I am feeling pretty non confident in my frugality. I have a hit a pretty big bump in the road. If you are mostly vegetarian you will be horrified by my latest post. I know I was! If you have compassion for a fellow frugale female though, please offer some encouragement or advice. Thanks, hiptobeme.

Angela said...

Hey Hiptobeme- I just read your latest post. I think you're being too hard on yourself. A LOT of people eat KFC. I personally hate it, but I have a few other fast food guilty pleasures.
So- my suggestion would be- if your husband has an occasional fast food lapse, let him. Even IF you've just made healthy chicken- they're sort of two different food groups. And as far as the menu plan, maybe allow 1 or 2 "off" nights a week- for grazing, or leftovers, or a fast food splurge. You know how when you diet, when you don't allow yourself anything, you end up bingeing? Same idea.
thanks for commenting! And good luck! Remember- it's not a 100percent thing. Even the meatless monday is just one day a week.

Betsy Talbot said...

Hmm, I read your post as I was eating a leftover hamburger patty from the weekend cookout. So meatless Monday is out at least until next week!

But I do love the idea of a vegetarian night (or nights) every week. I sleep better when my evening meal does not have meat in it, and once you start cooking with legumes and other protein sources you'd be surprised at how delicious it can be.

I have a great Mediterranean stew recipe that you can add chicken to if you want, or put it in pot pies, or serve it over rice/pasta. It is very versatile for a one-pot dish! I'll send you the recipe.

So, I will join you on this crusade, though I won't be able to start until next week.

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

We have a meatless Sunday! lol Most every Sunday night we have a breakfast meal which doesn't include meat.

I'd go veg more often than that, but the husband would be unhappy. So, I just make meals that don't use a lot of meat(like a chicken and pasta salad instead of just serving grilled chicken). It's just too expensive to eat a bunch of meat!

Zen Cucina said...

Tonight's meatless Monday: couscous with italian-spiced tofu with tomatoes and olives...

calimama @ compactbydesign said...

I was just commenting on how much more meat I buy now that I'm cooking all of our meals and mostly from scratch. In fact, up until this year I probably never had more than a small amount of hamburger in the freezer. At the same time we eat no meat at least 2-3 days a week.

I'm also really paying attention to portion control and the comparison to a deck of cards for meat portions. Often a single large chicken breast will get split between my husband and myself. It helps that freezer stock last a LONG time!

I don't think I'll sign up for another weekly "commitment" but if it helps people think about what they're eating and its impact I'm all for it. Thanks for sharing.

Kate said...

I'm mostly meatless and I'd heard about Meatless Mondays, but hadn't checked it out. Just did now, and signed up. Thanks Angela.

Angela said...

Betsy- I'm so glad you'll be joining me next week. And I would LOVE the recipe- we love Mediterranean and it sounds very versatile.

Kristen- Yes, I know you use very little meat for a family of six. That's the whole point- for everyone to use less, and what a big difference that makes.

Zen Cucina- That sounds delicious. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

Calimama- Thanks for mentioning portion size. It's another way to eat less meat. I think we eat kind of unconsciously a lot of the time, and the portions we're served are obscene.

Kate- Glad you signed up!

WilderMiss said...

Almost everything I cook tends to be meatless! And it's mostly just b/c I think that buying and preparing meat is too much work. I love when being lazy leads to being thrifty, healthy, and eco friendly all at the same time!

For you I will share my grandma's meatless tomato sauce. This comes direct from my Italian grandmother (or "Nonna") so you KNOW it's good. It’s easy as can be and trust me, no one will miss the meat.

All ingredients are estimates. You can modify as you like.

-Butter (1/2 cup?)
-Olive oil (1/2 cup)
-Stewed tomatoes (2 reg sized cans)
-Tomato paste (1/2 can)
-Garlic (4 cloves)
-Onion (1 large)
-Celery (2 stalks)
-Carrots (1 large)
-fresh Sage (several leaves, preferably still on stalk)
-fresh rosemary (a nice big sprig. Remove leaves from stalk and chop as fine as you can)
-White wine (a good splash. Try to use a decent wine)
-Salt and pepper
-Chicken bullion (if you're actually vegetarian you could use vegetable bullion or just omit this and use a little extra salt)

-Heat oil and butter in a pan over med heat
-chop onion/carrot/celery/garlic in food processor. Ifi you don't have a food processor just chop it up. Add to oil and cook until nice and soft.
-Food process the tomatoes and tomato paste. No food processor? Use a blender.
-Add the tomatoes to the pot. Add rosemary and sage. By keeping the sage on the stalk you can easily remove the whole thing after the flavours have been cooked in.
-Bring mixture to a gentle simmer. If you have the heat too high it’ll make a mess on your stove and we don’t need that aggravation. Add a good splash of wine, salt and pepper, and bullion to taste.
-Let simmer as long as you like. I like my sauce thicker so I usually let it go for 30 minutes. But it’s already delicious, so you could serve it right now.

Serve over pasta with some good quality parmesan cheese on top.

This recipe has become a favourite of many friends and I hope you’ll love it too! It’s very flexible so you can substitute at will. Mountain Man made a version last weekend with lots of mushrooms and peppers that turned out almost like an Italian flavoured chilli. We were pretty much licking our bowls.

Angela said...

Wildermiss- Thanks for the delicious recipe- it's right up our alley! I'll let you know when we make it- and it will be a good one for my husband to cook. he loves to make pasta and he loves tomato sauce. he's also very creative about the "additions."

The Frugal Engineer said...

My husband used to be the kind of person who absolutely MUST have meat at dinner. I converted him :-)

Our meatless meals:
- Black bean burritos with plain yogurt, salsa, and sometimes homemade guac
- Black bean quesadillas (with the same)
- Homemade mac and cheese with onions
- Homemade veggie pizza
- Beans and rice (black beans cooked with onion, garlic, spices, served over brown rice with cheese on top)
- Black bean soup with bread and cheese
- Frittatas with veggies and cheese

The Frugal Engineer said...

Oh, and why all the black beans - they're they only bean, other than garbanzos, that don't give me serious tummy issues.

Cate said...

I'm definitely a fan of Meatless Monday, though I haven't registered on their site for some reason. The only thing I've seen on the website that I don't really agree with is that fish doesn't seem to be considered meat, but other than that, I think it's great! My husband and I go without meat several times a week anyway.

Also, WilderMiss, that pasta sauce looks DELICIOUS! I'm eager to try it.

Angela said...

Frugal Engineer- Great ideas for meatless meals! We love black beans, and anything mexican, so I'll be trying some of those. And mac and cheese is always a favorite. My husband makes the pizza. And we love quesadillas. We do eat these meals all but twice a week or so, and it's so easy. It's just something you get used to. By the way- do you have a good recipe for black bean soup?

Cate- Thanks for coming by. I'll check that out on the website- I definitely consider fish a meat. At the same time, a lot of times I think it's healthier and I feel better about my ability to check how it's been caught or raised. But I have a minor pet peeve about people who call themselves vegetarians when they really mean they don't eat red meat. The word itself tells what it means- a "vegetarian" eats vegetables.

Amanda said...

Frugal Engineer-how did you convert your husband? Mine is very meat and potatoes. About the only meals I can get him to eat that are meatless are mac and cheese (he insists it comes from the blue box :() or breakfast (but usually he wants bacon). Personally, I could eat meatless 3-5 days a week, but I'm not a huge fan of making separate meals. It also doesn't help that we bought a 1/4 of a cow from a local farmer this year....HELP?!?! :)

Angela said...

Amanda- I think the main thing is not to make it a point that you're trying to "convert" him- just try to give him delicious meatless options. My husband used to love hamburgers, so we started having turkey burgers and veggie burgers and he loves them now. Part of it is the "fixins" but now he likes them better than beef burgers. There are also the "substitute" type of veggie meals- Morningstar farms type of stuff. I never liked the idea much, but I think it can be good for real meat lovers. The other thing is to use food that's sort of strong or "meat-like"- suggestions are portobello mushrooms or avocados- they tend to satisfy a meat craving. Good luck! Maybe start with one night a week, or even just a morning with an avocado and cheese omelette and turkey bacon. Good luck!!

S. B. said...

Believe it or not, according to the New York Times, eating meat one day less per week is the same reduction in energy usage and environmental impact as switching from a Camry to a Prius.