Meatless Monday – The Blogger List

Regardless of whether you go meat-free only on Mondays or every day of the week, there comes those times when all of us stand in the kitchen staring into the cabinets and the fridge with wide eyes, wondering what to make for the family (or ourselves). I love pinning meals that are already vegetarian and vegan, or can easily be made so, onto my meal boards on Pinterest (check some of them out HERE). But during a recent search to find a few vegetarian or vegan blogs, I stumbled upon a great page with a master list of bloggers that are all about Meatless Mondays. I HAD to share it.

CLICK HERE for An Awesome

Meatless Monday BlogGER List

Cutting back on meat is healthy for everyone, so hopefully you’ll find one of these blogs helpful the next time you need some Meatless Monday ideas! And remember – you don’t need a fancy recipe to make a dish meat-free. Vegetables, fruits, grains, etc…all those yummy sides you fill your plate with have infinite meal possibilities.

Click on the Pinterest images below to link back to their original source for some yummy Meatless Monday meals!





Happy Meatless Monday, Everyone!

Meatless Monday – Eat the Rainbow!

image

One easy way to a healthier diet is eating lots and lots of different colors. But, why? Phytochemicals are naturally found in plants and help make the blueberry so blue, the spinach super green, and cherries that deep, dark red. These suckers can help stave off cancers, too. A more colorful diet makes for a more diverse intake of essential vitamins and antioxidants. So, what does this mean? If you want a better balance of all the good things our bodies need – Eat the Rainbow, friends!


Find out how Phytochemicals can help fight cancer, from the American Institute for Cancer Research


I am not a perfect eater. In fact, even though I’m a vegetarian, I still love junk food – like the salty stuff on occasion – and chocolate (it has its own food group in my house, y’all), not to mention pastas and rice. But, I also love my fruits and veggies. And I know they are damn good for me, which is why I eat them daily and drink them often, to give myself that great colorful burst of phytochemical-rich foods.

All the yummy goodness in the picture above went into one of my breakfast smoothies this weekend, as well as a few things not pictured: frozen mango, a whole banana and a small dollop of peanut butter (there was no spinach left in the house – had to resort to my second favorite high protein source), plus some good old H2O. Yes. Yes, it was delicious. So delish that I had to share it.

Happy Meatless Monday, y’all!

Meatless Monday…All About the Birds

This weekend I was sitting with my friend, her mom and her mom’s friend, talking about animal related things, and Miss M, as I’ll call her, asked me when I made the connection and became a Vegetarian – what was it that flipped the switch? Unlike a lot of questions I get asked about my lifestyle choices, I didn’t have to think carefully before answering her, because I instantly knew the answer: it was the broken chicken leg.

In a sense, I would say I was becoming a Vegetarian for years, without even realizing it. As a new mom and owner of a childcare, I really want to ensure my kids were all getting the healthiest of foods, living as chemical free as possible and wearing clothes that didn’t come from animals skins. I began to do research on the foods we ate. Organic vs. Non-Organic. Natural vs. Organic. Pesticides. Antibiotics. Animal Rights. Factory farming. Free range. Animal testing and experimentation. Animals for entertainment. The fur industry. Chemicals in cleaners… Seriously, you name it, I wanted to learn about it. And this took me down a road that led to some painful discoveries about my diet and lifestyle.

I’ve always loved animals, you see. Grew up around dogs and cats and nature. I rescued a baby bird once. Caught lizards as a little kid just to check them out and get them to relax long enough to hold onto my finger. And frogs – I loved frogs. Every camping trip by water consisted of me on frog hunts. I was always fascinated and in awe of nature, like most children are. It’s really never mattered to me if an animal has hair, fur, scales, feathers, whiskers, blubber, fins, tails, horns or hoofs – I love them all. On my journey of self-discovery, I stumbled upon image after image, video after video, of humans doing the most horrendous things to animals. Pigs in gestation crates. Chickens in battery cages. Cows hanging alive by one foot getting their throats cut, male chicks being ground alive because they mean nothing to the industry, foxes being stripped of their flesh while still alive and dumped on top of one another left to slowly die, rats in labs with screws and holes in their heads, and oh my GOD, this list goes on forever. I knew, like all of us do, that an animal had to die to end up as a burger, a fillet, a steak, ribs, etc…but I never questioned my diet when I was younger because I’d been raised eating animals and loving animals. I saw those things as falling into two separate worlds. I could love my cat and dog, and eat a cow and pig – no problem. Because the two were different. But are they?

IMG_8644.f8e0f1e358916ed982f2b55e5ae6d832888

The research started. I watched the undercover videos, and one in particular; a video of an undercover investigation at a chicken factory farm provider for a major chicken supplier for food chains and grocery stores all over the world. I sat in my plush swivel office chair frozen in place as factory workers lifted chickens up into the air and slammed them into concrete walls, onto the floors and then stomped on their already frail and calcium depleted bones, breaking wings and legs and necks. I didn’t understand how something like that could (and does) happen. Legally. Real people, real animals, real torture. I was traumatized. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open for the whole video. You can watch it HERE.

Now, let us fast-forward a bit after I watched that video to the last time I cooked chicken for my family. As I dropped the raw pieces of legs and thighs into a large pot of boiling water, and watched the blood rise to the surface of the water and begin to turn brown, I realized that nearly every piece of meat in that pot had a broken bone cleanly snapped in half. I can still see myself standing in that kitchen watching the ‘meat’ float around, seeing the joint of the legs separating from the meat from whatever previous damage it had endured and it hit me. Seriously hit me – like a punch to the gut. I almost cried over that pot, wondering if those parts came from chickens who had been crammed in crates, thrown against walls and stomped on. And something happened. I saw the ‘food’ I was going to eat as what it was…an animal, a being just like me. Once living, breathing, thinking, feeling. And yes, I did eat that chicken, but with every bite, my mind thought of the outer skin as flesh, the meaty part as muscle and fat, the bone as skeleton. I never ate chicken again. Shortly after that, I became a true Vegetarian. One year later, after learning more about the egg industry side of chicken farming, I removed egg from my diet. And since then, I’ve been on the slow process of going Vegan.

I told Miss M that it took one broken bone for me to make the connection between animal and being. And that connection can’t be forced on others. My story might help another ‘see’ the industry for what it is, but I know that most will need to experience their own ‘moment’. And that means research. We were born to live, born to learn, and what we put into our bodies and on our bodies is one of the most important things we can learn about. You don’t have to sit and watch video after video of torture, but I suggest you watch a few. See what it’s really like for the animals that end up on our plates. Because we owe them that. Over 200 million turkeys give their lives for us each year. Over 8.5 billion chickens. The numbers are staggering. And I think their lives matter just as much as my dogs and cat.

I am the voice of the voiceless
Through me the dumb shall speak
Till the deaf world’s ear
Be made to hear
The wrongs of the wordless weak.

And I am my brother’s keeper
And I shall fight his fight
And speak the word
For beast and bird
Till the world shall set things right.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)


Learn more about Birds on Factory Farms from the ASPCA.

Meatless Monday

It’s ‘Meatless Monday’ every day for me, but even if you aren’t a Vegetarian or Vegan, there’s still wonderful health benefits from removing meat products from your diet one day a week (less cholesterol, less fat, etc…). I thought I’d share some amazing pins from Pinterest just in case you’re looking for new meatless recipes! You can find some FABULOUS meal ideas online. So good, in fact, that you won’t miss meat on Mondays ever again!


Breakfast

blog-breakfast2The Pumpkin Pancake. One of our family’s faves. Super easy to make with no egg or dairy. I use a pancake mix from Trader Joe’s with Almond milk. Instead of egg, I add a cup of pumpkin puree. Fluffy and filling. Comes out DELISH. Even the kids gobble this one up. Great topped with vegan butter and agave syrup. For a side we often add some chopped fruit. Fiber-packed and full of energy!

*

blog-breakfast3Cold breakfast. Yum. Often times we forget that nature has provided us with plenty of simple meals you can pick right off a tree. There’s no way to go wrong with a fruit salad; just combine the fruits you have (cleaned, chopped or sliced) into a medley, and add whatever toppings or base you want. This can be yogurt, cottage cheese, granola, nuts, etc…or go au naturel and just eat the fruit whole.


LUNCH

blog-lunch2Who doesn’t love burritos? Beans are a fantastic protein source, and there are a ton to choose from. Add a healthy serving of freshly chopped or grilled veggies, rice, and grated cheese (some vegan cheese melt just like the real thing and taste yum) or a vegan sour cream wrapped in a tortilla of your choice and you’ve got yourself a meal!

*

blog-lunch3Vegetarians and Vegans aren’t rabbits, yet there’s this misconception that like rabbits, we sit around munching on greens all day long. Um, we don’t. But we do need them, and a fun way to get greens into a diet is in a salad. Though I’ve only met ONE vegetarian that didn’t like salads, they stand to be one of my favorite meals because you can put anything and everything in a salad – including fruit! Experiment. Toss nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, or anything else you have in your fridge on top a bed of romaine, arugula or spinach to make a yummy and colorful meal. Play with the dressings too – a sweet dressing can make all the difference with your taste buds!


DINNER

blog-dinner1Most meat-eaters I know assume that dinner means you MUST have a meat of some sort on the plate to consider it a real meal. Not true. If it’s the protein you’re looking for, there are tons of recipes heavy on protein to satisfy an empty stomach that tastes good. Don’t knock the tofu, people. It’s a versatile food that you can do anything with. But if you’re REALLY stuck on something that resembles chicken or beef, you can try one of my favorite brands for the ‘meat’ on your plate. I love me some Gardein. The food is meat-free, tastes amazing, and I get mine from Target. So easy!

*

blog-dinner3Use foods in a different way to make them interesting again. If the words ‘Chipotle Quinoa Sweet Potato Tacos with Roasted Cranberry Pomegranate Salsa’ sounds iffy to you, then look at the picture on the left and try NOT to drool. Thanks go to ‘Half Baked Harvest’ for this one. *grabby hands*

*

blog-dinner2I love eggplant pizzas. They’re one of my favorite foods, seriously. Imagination will take you anywhere with these, but I like to slice the eggplant, dribble some garlic and oil on top, then layer with tomato sauce (or bruschetta), basil leaves and mozzarella cheese, with more olive oil and seasonings sprinkled on top. Bake in the oven till the top is lightly browned crusty…and OMG…NOM.


DESSERT

blog-dessert1I have a sweet-tooth, that’s for sure. There’s nothing quite like warm cake or creamy chocolate, but as a vegetarian, I’m constantly looking for those recipes that don’t need egg or gelatin or anything else questionable for my diet. It took me a while to realize that almost ANY dish can be made vegan. So, now I pin most desserts or treats that look yummy, and tweak them if I need to, for my liking. Here’s a pic of my chocolate covered peanut-butter balls. SO good.

*

blog-dessert3Dessert can be a little healthy too. If you have kids (or picky adult eaters in the house), then you know how hard it can be to get everyone to eat well. This doesn’t mean you can’t add something healthy into your favorite treats, and desserts are a great way to do this! Throw in some quinoa, zucchini, carrot, veggie puree, etc… and turn that sweet into a healthier treat.


Most of the images above are taken directly from pins others have shared publicly on Pinterest from websites, blogs, and personal kitchens (some are mine). Feel free to click on the images to follow their links to their original source, though obviously I can’t speak for the validity of these sites.

Want more? Check out my Pinterest food boards for a fabulous collection of more recipes and delicious meat-free foods! Keep in mind that ANY food can be made vegan. The market has so many great options now for dairy and meat replacements, your head could spin. Literally.

EATS

SWEETS

DRINKS

Happy Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday doesn’t have to be complicated, y’all. And you don’t have to be a Vegan to enjoy them. Last night my hubby made us some yummy macaroni salad with vegan mayo, and I cooked us up some veggie hot dogs – all the toppings were meatless and dairy free. It’s super easy to have a lower cholesterol, lower fat and more compassionate meal! Try Meatless Mondays and have some fun with your menu!!

InstagramCapture_f5345855-0743-46db-9669-6e9e975b91f2