Greetings greenies! It is day 5 of our February challenge, and so far so good. Going meatless has been pretty easy because we don’t really miss or crave the taste. However, the challenge has been making sure that we are eating well-balanced meals that are giving us enough protein. Saturday’s post definitely opened up our eyes. Going vegetarian takes some research – but once you get the hang of it, your body adjusts. We are going to save you some time and post our meal plan for each week this month. Here we go…
Our Weekly Meal Plan (2/5-2/11)
Sunday: Greek Nachos (GREAT meal for Super Bowl Sunday – our final product is displayed in the featured image above)
Monday: Vegan Chili (Oh She Glows has TONS of easy vegan and vegetarian recipes)
Tuesday: Sesame Kale Glow Bowl (we opted to skip some of the more expensive ingredients)
Wednesday: Ricotta/Chard Pizza with Onions (we substituted kale instead of chard)
Friday: Gluten-free Pasta with Homemade Sauce
Saturday: Mushroom/Onion Panini – saute onions and shallots together; add the mixture to two pieces of crusty bread; sprinkle some pecorino Romano cheese on top; brush some olive oil on the outside of your sandwich; use a panini press or a hot skillet with a heavy pan on top until the ingredients get melty and delicious
For more vegetarian recipes, visit our Pinterest Board: Vegetarian Recipes for Newbies
These recipes are easy and pleasing to the taste buds. To those of you who aren’t expert chefs, do not fear. If Mrs. GGC can follow the recipes listed here without setting the kitchen on fire, then ANYONE can. All of these meal options also make excellent leftovers. Mr. GGC works full-time and attends law school part-time, and Mrs. GGC works full-time and attends graduate school part-time. We are extremely busy, so we only choose recipes that are going to be relatively quick and easy to put together. Try ’em out for yourself and let us know which ones are your favorites.
Now that we have some meal ideas on how to give up meat, let’s talk a bit about the environmental side of this challenge. Some of you may still need some convincing on this whole “vegetarian” thing. Thus, we pose the question: How has the meat industry impacted our land?
A beef dependency
First, let us make one thing very clear. We fully support our farming communities and those who responsibly and respectfully raise livestock. Living in Delaware, we are surrounded by farmland and it is a truly beautiful thing. The problem is with the amount of resources and land that are being utilized to raise and process livestock on factory farms. We as Americans have developed a dependency on meat, and it is up to us to cut back on our consumption to protect our farms, our animals and our environment.
The U.S meat industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. According to the North American Meat Institute, in 2013 alone, meat companies produced 379 billion (BILLION) pounds of beef, pork, chicken, poultry, turkey, veal, lamb and mutton combined. Now, we need the meat industry. It helps boost our economy and is responsible for feeding approximately 318 million Americans. So what can we do to make sure that we are on the right side of the global warming debate?
- Poultry over beef: if you have to fulfill your meat desires, replace your ground beef with ground chicken or turkey and go for the turkey burger when you are dining out. In fact, according to BBC news, both chicken and pork products are more eco-friendly options.
- Support local farms: sign-up for a weekly CSA pick-up (Community Supported Agriculture). The CSA in our area offers organic fruits, vegetables and meat. These products are fresh and can actually save you money! Local Harvest has a great CSA search tool to help you find a CSA in your neighborhood.
- Educate yourself: read a blog (like this one!), watch a documentary, listen to a podcast, buy a new cookbook — the more you know about the issue, the more inspired you will become to make small changes in your life to help the greater cause.
- Vote!: Vote for local and national legislatures who support local and sustainable agriculture and oppose GMOs and hormone/antibiotics often used in animal agriculture.
Thanks as always for reading! Please let us know which recipes you have tried and enjoyed, and which ones perhaps didn’t work out so well for you. We want to help you on your journey to healthy living.
-Mr. & Mrs. GGC