Meatless Monday Challenge

by inspiredrd on February 15, 2011

World War II poster

With Oprah going vegan for a week and the popularity of Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food, you have probably heard the term “Meatless Monday”.  Meatless Monday actually originated in World War I when the US government encouraged citizens to decrease their consumption of the food staples meat and wheat to aid in the war effort.  They proclaimed “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” and over 10 million families took the pledge.  In 2003, the movement was recreated as a public health awareness program with the goal to help Americans cut back on their intake of saturated fat.

Our family has practiced Meatless Mondays off and on for the past year. Lately, we have been eating meatless at least one night a week if not two or three.  At first, Jeff was a little leery of the whole idea.  Could he really feel full without any meat on his plate?  Would he be eating weird things like tofu and soy “chicken” patties?  Well don’t worry.  My main squeeze is well-fed and hasn’t been forced to eat any “weird” meat substitutes.  In fact, we don’t cook with any meat substitutes at all because there really is no need.  We cook things like vegetarian chili, veggie stir-fry and black bean sweet potato enchiladas.

Going meatless one night a week can be a big first step towards a healthier lifestyle.  You can read about some of the benefits here.  But remember, meatless doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.  Choose fresh ingredients, and try cooking at home.  No time?  Make a vegetarian crockpot meal.  Fill up on veggies, beans and whole grains.  Intimidated?  For the first week, why not try a simple bean burrito with a side of sauteed veggies and fruit salad?  It doesn’t have to be complicated.

So, are you up to the challenge?  If your family never goes a night without meat, will you dare to go meatless on Mondays?  If so, leave a comment below telling us that you are taking the pledge.  You can also visit the Meatless Monday site and sign their pledge.

Recipe inspiration: I asked fellow food bloggers to send me their favorite meatless recipes to get you started.  A few of these are from my recipe archives.  Please share your favorite vegetarian recipes with us in the comment section!

Bird’s Nest for Dinner
Aunt Laurie’s Vegetarian Chili
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Chickpea Potato Curry
Spicy Refried Bean Soup
Lavash Pizza with a Salad of Greens, Gorgonzola and Toasted Almonds
Tomato and White Bean Soup
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas (would be so good on Ezekiel tortillas)
Quick Tortellini Soup
CrockPot Falafal
Curried Lentil, Potato, Cauliflower & Spinach Soup

So, who’s with me?  Let everyone know that you are in by signing up in the comment section below!




  • Jessica & Tracie

    I pulled a tray of sweet potato enchiladas out of the freezer last night. Not even thinking about meatless Monday's. But they were delicious and Bobby was leary but he said it was good and he was full!

  • Jessica & Tracie

    I pulled a tray of sweet potato enchiladas out of the freezer last night. Not even thinking about meatless Monday's. But they were delicious and Bobby was leary but he said it was good and he was full!

  • Jessica & Tracie

    Oh haha I'm in! We usually do at least one night meatless.

  • Jessica & Tracie

    Oh haha I'm in! We usually do at least one night meatless.

  • Chelsea

    I'm in! We aren't huge meat eaters, but this will be fun to think specifically about Monday's as "no meat" days!

  • Gina

    We've made an effort to eat less meat as a family and although it's not always Monday, we usually have a few meatless days each week.

    This week we have veggie pizza, scrambled eggs + roasted veggies, vegetarian jambalaya, and veggie stir fry on our meal plan. We tend to go out to eat on the weekend so I leave those for our meat meals. We save a bunch of money on our grocery bill, eat lots of veggies, and are kinder on the planet.

  • Alysa

    Gina, thanks for the comment. I forgot to add your Bird's Nest Dinner, so I made the correction above!

  • Lauren

    Love that you called out meat substitutes. I find them way grosser than meat. We go for a soba noodle dish or quinoa or veggie tacos when going meatless. We also do smaller meat portions (and non feedlot meat) when we aren't meatless.

  • Heather @ Dietitian on the Run

    I go meatless every day, so this list of recipes is definitely being bookmarked! :) Great post!

  • Carter Family

    We are going for Meatless Mondays… But shhhh don't tell my husband we will just let him figure it out :) thanks for the list of recipes aswell to help out on Meatless Mondays

  • Medifast Coupons

    We actually have had such success with meatless Mondays we are now doing a second day, it changes weekly but so far so good. There is so many great recipes available and they are very satisfying that no one is complaining.

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    Great post! My favorite veg recipe is Curried Sweet Potato & Black Bean tacos- yummmmmmmm. I'm not a fan of meat subs either.

  • Dana @ Budget Dietitian

    We try to do a meatless meal every week. Definately a great way to save money! :)

  • Alysa

    So glad you all are on board! Does your family enjoy Meatless Mondays too?

  • Alysa

    Lauren, glad you agree with me about meat substitutes. Where do you find your high-quality meat?

  • Jen H

    Hi! Thanks so much for linking to my Tomato & White Bean Soup!

    Jen @ Piccante Dolce

  • Alysa

    Lindsay, those tacos sound amazing!

  • Alysa

    Jen, no problem, the recipe looks delish!

  • lafngirl

    First time comment: Thanks for your nudges via twitter. We will be trying meatless Mondays in our attempt to eat a little better here in the meat & potatoes midwest. I'll have to look through your recipe ideas.

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