Meatless Monday

My weekend has left me exhausted and food is the last thing on my mind but I made a commitment to try Meatless Monday’s…and I’m going to keep my commitment. So today I had my normal breakfast of apple cinnamon oatmeal. I have promoted my co-worker to Meatless Monday menu coordinator…so I’ll see what she has in store for lunch. Not so sure that she wants the responsibility but she graciously accepted the position!

When I thought about how hard it was to make a lifestyle change I wanted to get some tips on how to have a successful transition to meat reduction. I don’t know that I will ever be a vegetarian but I would like to permanently reduce my meat consumption. I found these helpful tips on the Vegetarian’s Society website.

 SEVEN SIMPLE STEPS TO GOING – AND STAYING – VEGETARIAN

 1. If it suits you to do things gradually – take your time. Some people give up red meat first, then poultry, then fish. Others eat vegetarian food one day a week, then two or three days and eventually every day. The important thing is to work out what will suit you and stick with it.

 2. Don’t be put off by a bit of teasing or ill-informed scare stories. Vegetarians are sometimes the brunt of jokes and prejudices – usually from people who know very little about their own health and dietary needs.

 3. Try something new. Take a fresh look around the shelves of your local supermarket and health food shop and get to know as many different vegetarian foods as possible, including meat alternatives like mince and sausages made from soya or Quorn™, tofu, pulses, cous cous and all sorts of vegetables

 4. Buy a vegetarian cookbook (or borrow one from your local library). Whether you need simple step by step instructions or gourmet dishes to impress your friends, there are literally hundreds of vegetarian cookbooks.

 5. Learn a little about nutrition. A healthy vegetarian diet isn’t difficult, but if you’ve grown up eating meat, you will have to change some of your habits and the easiest way to stay healthy is to understand what your body needs.

 6. As you get more confident about vegetarian food, take the next step by making sure you always buy free-range eggs and vegetarian cheese. You can also start being careful about hidden non-veggie ingredients

 7. Don’t go it alone. Make sure you tell any vegetarian friends that you are going veggie and ask for their support and advice. And, to avoid any embarrassment when friends are cooking for you, remember to let them know in advance that you are vegetarian.

Recipe of the Day:  20 Minute Vegetarian Chili

I have always been intrigued by Chili. My family doesn’t cook chili so I have never had it. (Well I have had a chili-dog but I don’t think that’s the same thing). This seemed like an easy introduction. Maybe some chili enthusiasts can tell me if this recipe sounds like something to try.

 20 Minute Vegetarian Chili

 Ingredients:

 1 large green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, diced

11/2 cups (about 4 oz.) fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (14-16 oz.) package firm tofu, cubed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 (14 oz.) can diced seasoned tomatoes, undrained

1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained

1/2 cup canned or frozen corn

1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1 envelope reduced-sodium chili seasoning

 Preparation:

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add garlic and onion; sauté for a minute or two, then add peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and tofu. Sauté for a few more minutes, then add tomatoes, beans, corn, and seasoning. Stir until combined, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Top with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

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