Tips for a successful meat-free Monday
Meat-free Monday is a movement to eliminate meat from your diet for one a week. Eliminating has many benefits for your health, wallet and the environment. When you replace meat with veggies, you save quite a bit on grocery items, and Meat-free Mondays reduce your carbon footprint.
Even if you typically eat animal products, going meat-free just one day every week can have a positive impact on your health, wellbeing and the environment.
Let me show you how easily it can be done.
Plan your meat-free Monday ahead of time
Find some recipes that look good to you; go ahead and plan away. For detailed and scrumptious vegetarian and vegan meals, I’ve got you covered with my Plant-Based Meal Plan Guide.
Be sure to stock your pantry – have vegetarian-friendly items on hand like veggie stock or broth, organic canned beans, whole grains, and nuts and seeds.
Another great tip is to take a trip to your local farmers market. It’s virtually impossible to walk through a farmers market and not feel inspired to whip up some veggie-based dishes.
Do some simple protein swops
You’re probably worried that the texture of vegetables just wouldn’t stand up to that of meat. Don’t be too quick to judge. Mushrooms are wonderfully meaty, and lentils mimic minced meat almost identically. There are lots of other vegetables that can take the place of meat and still satisfy your taste buds, such as lentils, beans, and brinjal. Learning how to use these veggies can help you attain that meaty texture you crave.
If you’re eating a dish that incorporates vegetables, be sure to use a variety of different kinds, so you don’t even realize that the meat is missing. For example, rather than making a chicken pot pie, make a veggie pot pie with squash, potatoes, beans, carrots, celery and any other ingredient you desire. All of these veggies have different textures when they’re cooked, so you won’t feel as if you’re just eating spoonfuls of vegetables.
Use lots of seasonings
To bump up the flavour, you can use the same spice mixes on vegetables that you would usually use on meat. Poultry and meat seasonings are marketed for use on chicken and meat, but guess what? Many of them are actually vegan. There is generally no actual poultry in poultry seasoning or any steak in steak seasoning. However, check the labels just to be sure.
Some homemade spice mix ideas: Combine sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, celery seed, allspice, and black pepper to make your own ‘poultry’ seasoning. Blend chilli powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander, mustard powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to create your own ‘steak’ seasoning.
Use flavourful veggie or vegan broths
A good broth, or stock, is the foundation of so many tasty vegan recipes. For example, using broth as the base for soups, rice, and quinoa dishes really improves the flavour.
You can make your own simple broth at home with celery, onion, carrot, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. If you’re looking for a shortcut, the grocery shop has plenty of vegetable and vegan stocks for you to choose from.
The best advice I have is to not over-complicate your dishes. Stick with something simple you already know and build your meal from there.
Recipe ideas for meat-free Monday
You can find some of these delicious recipes and more in my Plant-based with Meal Plan Guide. If you’re looking for fresh new plant-based recipes, then this guide is perfect for you.
The meal plan includes a guided weekly dinner meal plan for a month as well as nutritional information, useful kitchen hacks and 4 Bonus Recipes! Check it out here.