Meatless Monday – The Challenge Week 1

Welcome to Weal Food‘s first Meatless Monday Challenge! Every Monday in the month of October posts will follow this schedule:

October 5 – Day 1 Introduction
October 12 – Day 2 Canadian Thanksgiving (yikes!)
October 19 – Day 3 How’s it going so far?
October 26 – Day 4 Wrap up and pre-Halloween

As you can see, every week has a focus and today we introduce you to vegetarianism. To familiarize you with the different categories of vegetarianism, check out the following link:

Vegetarian 101

Other related posts
Meatless Monday – A Primer on Vegetarian Basics
Meatless Monday – Protein Counts

For this challenge, the lacto-ovo diet will be featured. Let’s begin!

The Challenge!
For every Monday in October, cut out all meat products from your meals. This includes the following items:

  • gelatin (in some yoghurt, marshmallows and other gelatinous-textured foods)
  • rennet (found in many cheeses)
  • alcohol refined with isinglass (‘fish bladder’)
  • processed foods using the red food colouring carmine (from a beetle)

Meatless Monday – What a Tangled Web

You can still consume dairy and eggs if that is your bent. This challenge is designed for everyone: the already vegetarian or those trying a meat-free diet for the first time. Perhaps do the challenge with a friend, write a pledge to commit to being meat-free all Mondays in October or simply tune in every week for some meal ideas.

Menu Planning
Typically, a North American diet consists of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Here are just a few ideas for menu plans.

Breakfast
oatmeal with nuts and seeds; granola or muesli with milk or yoghurt; pancakes with fruit; omelettes; toast with nut butter

Lunch
sandwiches or wraps with grilled vegetables, tempeh, tofu or avocado; soup; bean salads

Dinner
vegetable and bean casseroles, stew and/or soup; roast vegetables and rice or noodles; pizza

Snacks
fruit; hummus and vegetables; crackers and cheese

You can also consult the cuisine of different cultures for more meal ideas (e.g. the Middle East, India, etc.). They often have recipes that are naturally vegetarian.

Resources

Vegetarian Times

VegSource

Vegetarian Cookbook list on Amazon

Meatless Monday – Vegetarian Cookbooks

The Vegetarian Resource Group

Happy Cow -Compassionate Restaurant Guide online

Today’s recipe
Cauliflower Cheese Soup (adapted from Mollie Katzen’s recipe in the Moosewood Cookbook)

  1. Prepare vegetables then place them all into 1 large pot with 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt.
    *Chop 1 medium onion, 1 medium potato and 1 medium carrot into cubes.
    *Break one head of cauliflower into florets.
    *Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic
  2. Bring water to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium/low. Let simmer away for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Purée mixture with hand-held blender, food processor or regular blender. Return mixture to same pot.
  4. Add 3/4 cup milk, 2 cups cheese and 1 teaspoon of dill to the pot. Heat on low until the cheese melts and mixture is smooth.
  5. To serve, top with freshly ground black pepper. To add more protein, top with roasted chickpeas (recipe follows).

Roasted chickpeas
In bowl, mix 1 cup of cooked chickpeas with some salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are crispy.

 

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