Does the whole Meatless Monday thing intrigue you, but you’re not sure where to start or what to cook? The whole meatless meal craze is really catching on, I’m happy to say. Eating meat impacts not only the health of our bodies, but it attributes to global warming, polluting water, etc. But that’s a whole other topic.
In the meantime, here’s how you can eat meals without the meat and still feel satisfied. There are so many wonderful ways to skip the meat! Plus, it seems like every week a new meatless product pops up on the market.
Here are 3 steps to going meatless:
1. WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS. Decide which meat you’re going to miss the most. Do you feel like it’d be hard to give up chicken? How about steak? Decide what it is and go from there. If it’s pork or chicken you’ll miss, try “fake” meat products like Gardein’s chik’n crispy tenders. Use it the same way you would chicken, only keep in mind the cooking time will be significantly less. If you feel like you just can’t give up those juicy burgers, try my family’s new favorite product, Beast Burger. It’s made from peas (no soy in these) and the texture is freakishly similar to that of a real burger. They fry up similarly to a burger and can be topped with whatever you like. I was shocked by how filling these babies were!
2. PLAN. Now that you know which meals you’d like to try meatless, make a quick plan of when you’ll be eating these meals. I like to just do a quick meal plan of only 3-5 meals at a time, then hit the store. Otherwise, I get overwhelmed and we end up wasting food. For example, maybe your meal plan will look something like this:
3. COOK. Give yourself some grace in cooking meatless meals. There will be some trial and error, so be kind to yourself and know that it takes time to create new habits. Here are some basics I must share with you to succeed in your meatless meal journey.
–Quinoa is one of the rare complete plant-based proteins that can be transformed in so many ways. Honestly, it took me some time to get used to quinoa. Now I love it and so do my boys. Quinoa cooks up similarly to rice, but in half the time. It matters what spices, herbs and flavors you add to quinoa to make it taste good. The price can differ at various grocers as well, so do a little research. I’ve found Trader Joe’s and Walmart have the best prices. Try this Quinoa Salsa, or Quinoa Tacos.
-Fake meats are something fun to try when you’re first going meatless, but I wouldn’t recommend eating them regularly because it’s still a processed food. Some fantastic brands to try are: Gardein (they have faux fish and crabless cakes!), Beyond Meat (I mentioned their Beast Burger above-must try!), Trader Joe’s, Morning Star and so many more. Whether you’re looking for a meatless crumble to replace ground beef/chicken/turkey or grilled meat strips, you can find a meatless version. Experiment and have fun deciding what your favorites are!
-Beans and rice together make a complete protein and can be used to create so many dishes from sushi-style bowls to burritos to casseroles. Not only are beans (and rice!) inexpensive, but you can buy them in bulk and store them for a long time. The key is the spices that you add to make your meal appealing.
To further help your meatless journey, be sure to grab your free Vegan Starter Guide here, as well as this Vegan Q & A Guide. Or try the 14-Day Makeover Meals Challenge-it has two weeks worth of meatless meals already planned out for you. And yes, it’s 100% free!