Have a Meatless Monday with these restaurants and recipes
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 16:02
If you're reading this week then I have succeeded keeping your little hungry mind interested. Just in case you were worrying, you're not the only one internally debating whether or not to give up the meat and dairy. Believe it or not, local restaurants are actually starting to catch on! Bravo to the food industry.
Also, thanks to what is currently being recognized as a movement. Say hello to "Meatless Monday." Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The movement promotes environmentally friendly meatless alternatives. The sole purpose of Meatless Monday is to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent. In the end, you will improve your personal health and reduce your carbon footprint.
Additionally, experimenting once a week with plant proteins rather than animal proteins, such as lentils, tofu or beans will significantly reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, fight diabetes and even curb obesity.
People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have lower body weights. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain. I don't know about you but I'm down with that.
If you're into experimenting, you also might want to try a new whole grain such as brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Once you begin to find alternatives that you enjoy, try to cut animal products. Slowly but surely, you will appreciate these suggestions.
Of course preparing your own food at home is always the best choice, however, we're college students. Who has time to cook with studying, homework, work and all of the other time-consuming stuff we do.
If you need a study break (because of course we‘re being studious on Monday nights, right?) Lime Fresh Mexican Grill off of Sandlake Road offers 20 percent off of all veggie options when purchased on Meatless Mondays. Good thing you can turn anything on the menu into a vegetarian option.
Not only will you receive a great discount, but you will also be consuming fresh vegetables delivered daily as well as daily home made salsas and guacamole. Their refried and black beans are organic and 100 percent vegan, no lard! Nothing gets kept overnight, so it is guaranteed fresh.
If you don't feel like taking the trip (although it's worth it, trust me.) Then give your taste buds the opportunity to dine at Hummus House on University Boulevard. Their colorful "Go Vegan" stickers are hard to ignore. Their homemade falafel is packed with protein and fiber—substitute it for your usual pita stuffers. Their tabouleh, tahini dressing and several unique varieties of hummus are all made in house as well.
Moe's Southwest Grill also supports Meatless Monday. Six meatless options were finally added to the menu. These new items include grilled marinated organic tofu and a vegetarian burrito. Their meats and veggies are even cooked on separate grills. Finally, someone who gets our vegan lifestyles!
If you don't feel like going out, consider adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet at home. Enjoy them raw in salads. When enjoying your meatless creation, try to cut as much refined white sugar, white flour and white rice from your diet. Keep an eye on ingredient labels for these devilish white monsters.
When sautéing vegetables or baking your favorite treats, try using sunflower oil as a healthier alternative. Remember to avoid pre-packaged and processed foods to eliminate fat from your meals at home. You'll thank me.
Try it out, maybe you'll realize this whole vegetarian thing is for you after all. Maybe you're even considering the vegan lifestyle. Either way, even if you try it once a week, you are one step closer to bettering yourself and the planet. To make it easy for you, I took it upon myself to include a full day's worth of meatless recipes for you to enjoy.
Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie
1 cup soy or almond milk
A few ice cubes (crushed if possible.)
1 medium banana (try fresh fruits rather than frozen).
Throw in whatever other fruits you like (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, mangos, you catch my drift, anything.)
Directions: Blend. Told you it was easy.
Lunch: Tofurky Sandwich
2 slices of Ezekiel bread (found in the frozen food section at Publix. Place it in your fridge when you get home from the grocery to let it thaw.)
Tofurky (variety of brands found in Publix and Whole Food stores.)
1 small mango
1 small avocado
1 medium tomato
Lettuce (spinach or romaine)
Salad dressing of your choice (Also try ketchup, hummus or Vegenaise to substitute for mayo.)
Toast bread. Spread condiment of choice on either one or both slices of bread. Place three slices of Tofurky on one of the slices of bread. Slice fruit. Use a few slices of each and layer on top of the Tofurky. Top with lettuce and cover with other slice of bread. Cut into triangles or rectangles, whatever you prefer and enjoy!
Dinner: Asian Tofu Wraps
1 package extra firm tofu, cubed (found in produce section of Publix or Wal-Mart.)
Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce
Fresh garlic cloves
Edamame (pick up a large bag from the frozen food section so you can store it in your freezer)
5 ounce can water chestnuts, sliced in half