Many people want to reduce their meat consumption and eat more healthy vegetarian foods. However, when you are in the habit of including meat with every evening meal, you may not know what to cook. Going completely vegetarian can be tough, but giving up meat one day per week is achievable for many people. Reap the health benefits of eating more vegetables and beans by adopting meat-free Mondays as a habit. Meat-free meals can be delicious. Learn how to combine vegetables, beans and other healthy foods to create a quick and tasty meal.
Why Go Meat-Free on Mondays?
According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, meat is high in saturated fat, cholesterol and compounds that can increase the risk of cancer. The main benefit of meat is its high protein content, but most Americans eat at least 50 percent more protein than they need.
Replacing some of your meat consumption with plant proteins could help you increase the nutrient density of your diet. Plant protein sources such as beans are high in fiber, which can protect digestive health.
For some people, environmental and social benefits of meat-free Mondays are also important. Antibiotics used in meat farming contribute to antibiotic resistance, an important public health problem. Animal farming also requires more land than growing crops and produces more greenhouse gases. Eating more plants could reduce the environmental impact of your diet.
Kale and Coconut Milk Curry
For a delicious introduction to vegetarian meals, try this rich kale and coconut milk curry from Meatless Monday:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium green chili pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
- 4 small carrots
- 2 cups peeled and diced potato
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil. Add the ground spices, onion, chili, garlic and ginger and stir frequently for a couple of minutes. Add the carrot, kale and potatoes and cook for 6 to 7 minutes to wilt the kale. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and pepper and bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer the curry for roughly 30 minutes, until the potato is soft. Serve with brown rice.
Asian Noodle Salad
Alternatively, spice up your Monday with this Asian noodle salad, also from Meatless Monday:
- 8 ounces buckwheat or rice noodles
- 8 ounces tofu
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
- 1/3 cup diced scallions
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Cook noodles in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and set noodles aside to cool. Add the tofu, carrot, pepper, almonds, scallions and cilantro. Make a delicious dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.
Meat-free Mondays are a great opportunity to try new foods and eat more nutritious plants. Try these recipes to spice up your Monday and reduce your meat consumption.
CATEGORIES: Diet, Recipes, Vegetarian, Health Food, Nutrition, Meat-free Mondays, Meatless Monday