Meatless Mondays

Meatless Monday

Go ahead, jump onto the Meatless Monday bandwagon! More and more people are embracing this movement, which promotes the simple idea that you can benefit your health by going meatless on Mondays. In fact, about half of the population are enjoying vegetarian meals a significant amount of the time, according to the Vegetarian Resources Group. It’s no wonder, since eating more plant-based meals has been linked with a slew of benefits, such as lower risks of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and obesity.

So, what are you waiting for? Make your Mondays meatless, with my 5 top tips:

1. Start your Day with Plants.

Who needs meat when there are so many amazing veggie breakfast options, such as bean and vegetable filled burritos, whole grain pancakes or waffles, or steel cut oats with fruit and nuts?

2. Salad It Up for Lunch.

Create a powerful salad with greens (kale, spinach, romaine, chard), legumes (beans, lentils, soybeans), vegetables (broccoli, carrots, peppers, beets), fruit (dried berries, apples, pears, pomegranate seeds), nuts or seeds (sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds), and healthy vinaigrette. Make it even easier with Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits.

3. Vegify your Favorite Meals.

Do you have a favorite lasagna or a long standing Tuesday taco night tradition? Great! Just use these classic meals to inspire a veggie version. Swap meat in your lasagna for kale, mushrooms and broccoli, and skip the taco meat in favor of refried black beans and an array of vegetable toppings, such as cilantro, salad greens, green onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes, and avocados.

4. Gain Ethnic Inspiration.

Some of the best plant-based meals on the planet come from cultures around the globe—think Central American rice and beans, Indian curries, and Asian stir-frys. Take your plant-based cooking style on a trip around the world to pile on the flavor.

5. Make it Quick & Easy.

You may think preparing meatless meals is too difficult, what with all of that chopping. But it doesn’t have to be that hard! Try simple, easy meal fixes, such as meatless chili with slaw and cornbread or pita with hummus and veggies. Rely on a few easy products, such as Eat Smart fresh cut vegetables and salad kits to get plant-based dinners on the table in no time!

Try one of my favorite plant-based recipes featuring Brussels sprouts.

Thai Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

brusselsBrussels sprouts are hot, hot, hot right now! One of my favorite ways to serve them is raw in a salad. I combine shaved Brussels sprouts with exotic Thai flavors, including red chili, cilantro, coconut, and mango, into this creamy plant-based salad. It’s healthy, delicious, and you can whip it up quickly!

1 bag of Eat Smart Brussels sprouts
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 green onions, sliced
¼ cup sliced, unsweetened coconut
½ cup chopped, dried mango
1/3 cup mayonnaise (may use plant-based if desired)
½ lemon (juice and zest)
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ teaspoon smoked red paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon agave nectar
Sea salt

1. To shave Brussels sprouts, slice them vertically in very thin slices.
2. Place shaved Brussels sprouts, cilantro, green onions, coconut, and mango in a large salad bowl.
3. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, the juice and zest of ½ lemon, red chili flakes, smoked red paprika, cumin, and agave nectar until smooth.
4. Toss dressing into the salad and combine well. Adjust seasonings as needed with a pinch of sea salt. May add more red chili flakes and smoked red paprika, according to your own taste preference.

Makes 6 servings

Recipe and image by Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian.