A year of Meatless Monday

June 7th, 2010

Photo via Flickr: Masahiro Ihara

Photo via Flickr: Masahiro Ihara

Time flies when you’re having fun in the kitchen. It just occurred to me that it’s now been well over a year since I first took the Meatless Monday pledge; vegetarian eating has become such a part of my daily life that I barely even notice I’m doing it. Though I can’t vouch for any positive changes in my physique as a result of eating less meat (being seven months pregnant kind of disguises any cumulative weight loss that may have occurred), I will say that my health has been stellar. I had been concerned that eating vegetarian more often would make it difficult to control my blood sugar (I tend toward hypoglycemia), but a few weeks back I passed my glucose tolerance test (ick) with flying colors.

And of course, it feels pretty great that my decision to eat less meat — not just on Mondays, but throughout the week — has been the single most important change I’ve made this year on behalf of the environment.

So in honor of this anniversary, I thought I’d share a few vegetarian nuggets of wisdom I learned over this past year’s foray into meat-free meals. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to take the Meatless Monday pledge, too.

Easiest Meatless Monday dinner: Fried tofu. When I first started MM, I thought I’d have to make all sorts of elaborate dinners to convince my husband to get on board, but it turns out that his favorite meal is this simple pairing of fried tofu and rice with a little furikake sprinkled on top. Fine with me — it takes about 20 minutes to make, and it sets us back about 3 bucks.

Best dish for a vegetarian dinner party: Homemade gourmet pizza. Everyone loves pizza, and if you make the dough from scratch and cook up a few vegetarian varieties with a really top-notch mozzarella, believe me — no one will ever complain. Round out the meal with a big chopped salad and an appetizer of white bean crostini.

Favorite Meatless Monday resource: Love Food Hate Waste. Think you’ve got to have loads of farmers market goodies to whip up a healthy and delicious vegetarian meal? Then you’ve never visited the Love Food Hate Waste website, which offers up fabulous recipe ideas for even the most scantily stocked refrigerators. A recent winner: Lentil, Aubergine, and Tomato Moussaka, made from nothing more than the couple shriveled eggplants I had left in my fridge and a few meager pantry staples.

Here’s to another year of MM!

–Jennifer Grayson

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