Started in 2003, Meatless Monday has been helping people eat less meat and reduce their impact on the environment- one Monday at a time! Research shows that eating less meat is not only good for the planet, but good for you as well. Most North American diets consist of an abundance of animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs which increases the incidence of chronic preventable diseases (John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, 2015). The meatless Monday encourages people to eat more fruits and vegetables while also getting creative with plant-based proteins! Implementing a Meatless Monday in your household can lead to healthier choices throughout the week and other positive lifestyle changes.
So how do you implement a Meatless Monday for those picky eaters? This article features some of GreenLearning’s tried and true plant-based alternatives to kid favourites!
Healthy ‘Cheesy’ Mac
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes, Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
This delicious recipe is a plant-based twist on the classic mac and cheese. It is completely vegan and can be made gluten-free depending on the type of pasta you choose. Despite being completely dairy-free, the cheese sauce is incredibly creamy, easy to make, and is packed with veggies! Feel free to try this cheese sauce recipe on your favourite vegetables or on nachos.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 medium-sized yellow potatoes
- 2 large-sized carrots
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (try oat milk for a sustainable and creamy option)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- ½ cup of nutritional yeast (sprinkle the leftover nutritional yeast on some popcorn later for a delicious treat!)
- 1 package of elbow-shaped pasta noodles
- 2 cups of broccoli cut into florets (optional)
- Peel your carrots and potatoes and boil together until soft.
- Once soft, drain the vegetables and mash together.
- Add your olive oil, lemon juice, dairy-free milk, and minced garlic to the mixture and mix well.
- Add your dry ingredients to the mixture and then blend until you have a smooth and creamy texture.
- Once completely blended, let your sauce simmer on low for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Steam your broccoli florets.
- Boil your pasta in salted water until it is an al dente texture.
- Set aside ½ cup of pasta water while draining your pasta noodles.
- Combine your pasta water, pasta, steamed broccoli, and ‘cheese’ sauce- mix well.
- Serve your delicious and healthy ‘cheesy’ mac with your favourite salad or garlic bread and enjoy this delicious meatless Monday!
Super Easy Sloppy Lentil Joes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: Approximately 35 Minutes
This recipe turns a beefy classic into a delicious and super easy meatless sandwich that is sure to satisfy! Lentils are a simple and affordable way to incorporate a plant-based protein into your meals. Depending on how much time you have you can either use canned or regular lentils for this recipe. For regular orange lentils, make sure you rinse them and then cook them in a saucepan and add twice as much water as you have lentils (i.e 1 cup of lentils = 2 cups of water). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low to simmer for 20 minutes and then strain and rinse. For canned lentils simply strain and rinse and they’re ready to go!
What You’ll Need:
- 4 cups of lentils (any colour of lentil you want!)
- 1 cup of ketchup
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- ½ cap of diced tomatoes
- ½ cup of diced celery
- ¼ cup of diced yellow onion
- ½ cup of diced carrot
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 hamburger buns or buns of your choice
- Combine your olive oil, diced carrots, celery, onion, and minced garlic and cook on low heat until fragrant.
- To make your sloppy Joe sauce combine your ketchup, tomato sauce, mustard, and chili powder in a separate bowl. Mix well.
- Add your diced tomatoes, lentils, and prepared sauce to your diced carrots, celery, and onion pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Spoon as much lentil mixture as you would like onto your bun and you’ve got yourself a delicious plant-based sloppy Joe!
Looking for more Meatless Monday inspiration? Check out the official Meatless Monday website for more tips and tricks!
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