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Meatless Monday

October 20, 2008

I’ve decided to make the effort to eat less meat. I can’t see myself
as a vegetarian because of things like bacon and salmon and corned
beef and fried chicken (my ultimate guilty pleasure). But! I managed
to have an entirely meat free weekend. Saturday night, the beau and I
sauteed brussel sprouts and green beans and shallots and fancy
mushrooms, tossed them in olive oil with some farfalle pasta, and
finally stuffed ourselves silly. And it was so satisfying.

Even though I’m a bit of a liberal political hippie, this diet
modification really isn’t about politics as much as it is my own
health. Sure I understand that animals are mistreated but I’m also of
the persuasion that the reason we have teeth like we do is because we
were created to be carnivores. However, I am NOT comfortable with
genetic modification of the food I eat nor am I comfortable with the
idea of my meat being injected with antibiotics and growth hormones.
Ew. No thanks, I’ll stick to my brussel sprouts.

Once I have time to cook regularly again, I’m looking forward to
experimenting with meatless recipes. I’m looking forward to trying new
veggies and new ways to prepare veggies. And in all honesty? I’m
mostly just looking forward to having the time to cook. Well, just
having time to do anything. Stupid job.

That being said, I have a question for all you lovely readers who are
either herbivores or just don’t eat meat regularly. I brown bag my
lunch at work on many days. I usually default to a turkey sandwich
with provolone cheese, a little mayo and a little mustard. How can I
do an easy, quick, affordable meatless option for lunch? (One that
doesn’t involve PB&J. Sorry kids.) Any sandwich combos you love? Any
salad creations I won’t get sick of? Any frozen entrees you swear by?
Weigh in!

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. Mermanda permalink
    October 20, 2008 7:07 pm

    The key to salads that I don’t tire of:

    A variety of olives and feta cheese. Seriously. So good.

  2. Angela permalink
    October 20, 2008 7:20 pm

    I buy frozen meals at Whole Foods. There’s a great brand called “Seeds of Change” that I adore. Usually with frozen meals it’s tricky to find ones that don’t involve meat, but I’ve found that “SmartOnes” and “Lean Cuisine” make more pasta dishes.

    With sandwiches, I do peanut butter and banana a lot…

    I get a veggie sub from Subway at least once a week.

    As for salads, I like to make mine with dried cherries, bits of provolone, and balsamic vinaigrette.

    But I’m almost done with vegetarianism. I can’t wait for November 10th!

  3. October 20, 2008 7:23 pm

    I love love love making large casserole batches over the weekends and then freezing them to take to work for lunch. Veggie stirfries can also keep well, if you use heartier vegetables, for leftovers to eat for lunch. I’m down to eating meat 2-3 times a week, but it’s usually seafood or chicken. I eat steak once or twice a month. Same reasons as you. It’s easy now to substitute meat in dishes for hearty veggies. Kudos ont he change.

  4. Ashley permalink
    October 20, 2008 7:24 pm

    Since cutting meat completely out of my life almost 4 years ago, it’s been pretty easy to find lunches to bring to work that are meatless. I just don’t do it – so I can’t imagine any other way!

    I usually bring a few things – as opposed to one big dish. So any given day, I’m bringing some of the following for lunch:

    * hummus and veggies
    * peanut butter and apple
    * raw almonds
    * veggie corn dogs
    * soup and crackers
    * cheese and berries and crackers
    * pesto pasta
    * stir fry (a standby – veggies and tofu with rice noddles and peanut sauce)
    * other random leftovers

    Have fun! Let me know if you need any more ideas. I LOVE food. And, I’m a vegetarian!

  5. Bobbie permalink
    October 20, 2008 7:48 pm

    I have been a semi-vegetarian my entire life, and I can think of lots of combos and stuff:

    –avocado sandwiches. layer avocado with tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cheese, nuts/sunflower seeds, or anything else you want. use a french roll, some awesome yummy wheat bread, or a flatbread for a good wrap. or try large portabello mushroom sandwiches/wraps.
    –lean cuisines/smart ones/healthy choice frozen meals. they have veggie quesadillas, tomato basil paninis, and some good asian inspired dishes, as well as yummy pasta.
    –the morningstar farms veggie bites.
    –string cheese
    –yogurt
    –mediterranean plates (pitas, hummus, olives, cheese)
    –waffles with nutella spread (yeah, i eat this for lunch sometimes)
    –the morningstar farms/boca meatless patties
    –falafel
    –for salads, something i ALWAYS love is mexican-style, with lettuce, crunched up tortilla chips, mexican cheeses, black beans, and a dollop of sour cream mixed with salsa to make an AWESOME salsa dressing. yummy.

  6. October 20, 2008 8:36 pm

    hummus and veggie wraps.

    red leaf and/or spinach salad with dark purple grapes, apples, white cheddar & walnuts with olive oil and vinegar dressing.

    3 bean chili with or without soy "meat" crumbles.

    rice with edemame (sp?), peppers, mushrooms, etc.

  7. Maxie permalink
    October 21, 2008 12:05 am

    I eat meat but I LOVE veggies. a few of my favorite veggie lunches:

    Lean Cuisine makes a rice/cheese/bean combo that’s pretty good. i can’t remember what it’s called

    Lean Cuisine Spinach and Artichoke Pizza– i had it today and it is so good!

    If you like avocado then you should definitely try fake bacon with avocado and a little mayo– it’s good with tomato too– SO GOOD.

    Spinach (cooked or not) with hummus in a wrap is really good too.

    I could go on and on!

  8. October 21, 2008 12:36 am

    Even though I'm not a vegeterian, I enjoy a good veggie plate whenever I can find one. I've found applesauce travels well in lunches, as well as carrots. Most days, I just bring PB&J because I'm lazy like that.

    Let me know how it goes, because I feel the same way as you about meat and what's going on with it.

  9. October 21, 2008 12:36 am

    Even though I'm not a vegeterian, I enjoy a good veggie plate whenever I can find one. I've found applesauce travels well in lunches, as well as carrots. Most days, I just bring PB&J because I'm lazy like that.

    Let me know how it goes, because I feel the same way as you about meat and what's going on with it.

  10. Rachel permalink
    October 21, 2008 1:04 am

    The one I liked was homemade guacamole with lettuce on tasty multigrain bread.

  11. Rachel permalink
    October 21, 2008 1:04 am

    The one I liked was homemade guacamole with lettuce on tasty multigrain bread.

  12. Erin permalink
    October 21, 2008 2:21 am

    I’m sort of a pseudo-vegetarian. I still enjoy a good cheeseburger, but I frequently choose meatless options. My favorite veggie lunch is a pity pocket, cream cheese, and cucumbers. Plus a little Italian seasoning. Yum!

  13. Erin permalink
    October 21, 2008 2:21 am

    I’m sort of a pseudo-vegetarian. I still enjoy a good cheeseburger, but I frequently choose meatless options. My favorite veggie lunch is a pity pocket, cream cheese, and cucumbers. Plus a little Italian seasoning. Yum!

  14. Phil permalink
    October 21, 2008 6:27 am

    I’d say the biggest key is to have a way to keep your food cold. Do you have a fridge at work? Or a an ice chest? I have a little lunch box that I put little re-freezable blue ice bags in.

    Foodwise, I’m all about anything I can include cheese with. Sometimes I like veggie sandwiches (tomato and lettuce, maybe with some mustard and light mayo), and add some swiss cheese and it’s heaven. I also enjoy tuna salad, or egg salad. Definitely use mustard in both of those, as it makes them like three times as good.

    As for frozen… I always recommend meatless meat! Morningstar Farms makes some delicious veggie chicken patties, and Boca has their own sandwich version that’s pretty tasty. I also LOVE Morningstar Farms’ veggie chicken strips. I zap ’em in the microwave and then put them in a freshly made Caesar salad. Yum!

  15. Phil permalink
    October 21, 2008 6:27 am

    I’d say the biggest key is to have a way to keep your food cold. Do you have a fridge at work? Or a an ice chest? I have a little lunch box that I put little re-freezable blue ice bags in.

    Foodwise, I’m all about anything I can include cheese with. Sometimes I like veggie sandwiches (tomato and lettuce, maybe with some mustard and light mayo), and add some swiss cheese and it’s heaven. I also enjoy tuna salad, or egg salad. Definitely use mustard in both of those, as it makes them like three times as good.

    As for frozen… I always recommend meatless meat! Morningstar Farms makes some delicious veggie chicken patties, and Boca has their own sandwich version that’s pretty tasty. I also LOVE Morningstar Farms’ veggie chicken strips. I zap ’em in the microwave and then put them in a freshly made Caesar salad. Yum!

  16. Cecelia permalink
    October 21, 2008 12:14 pm

    My favourite sandwich includes avocado, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. My own personal secret to this is sprinkle a bit salt on it. It drawn out the water from the tomatoes (enhancing the flavour) and brings out the taste of the avocado..

  17. Cecelia permalink
    October 21, 2008 12:14 pm

    My favourite sandwich includes avocado, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. My own personal secret to this is sprinkle a bit salt on it. It drawn out the water from the tomatoes (enhancing the flavour) and brings out the taste of the avocado..

  18. andrea permalink
    October 21, 2008 1:00 pm

    I feel the exact same way you do about hormones antibiotics and hormones. For a while, I made a point to eat either lunch or dinner without meat (I hardly eat anything with meat for breakfast, sorry bacon). If you have you have a microwave at work, I’m a fan of whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce (yeah, leftovers, but it works).

  19. andrea permalink
    October 21, 2008 1:00 pm

    I feel the exact same way you do about hormones antibiotics and hormones. For a while, I made a point to eat either lunch or dinner without meat (I hardly eat anything with meat for breakfast, sorry bacon). If you have you have a microwave at work, I’m a fan of whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce (yeah, leftovers, but it works).

  20. MondayCampaigns permalink
    October 21, 2008 3:43 pm

    Renee,

    It’s great that you are starting to reduce your meat consumption! Did you know that by reducing your meat intake by 15% – or not eating meat one day a week – you can dramatically decrease your likelihood of developing preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease. I work for a campaign called Meatless Monday and I was excited to see that as the title of your post. Our website has tons of great information on health benefits to eating less meat (we are not vegetarian either!) as well as hundreds of delicious meat free recipes to help you enjoy your new plan. Here is a list of our favorite meatless lunch recipes! http://www.meatlessmonday.com/site/PageServer?pagename=browselunch

  21. MondayCampaigns permalink
    October 21, 2008 3:43 pm

    Renee,

    It’s great that you are starting to reduce your meat consumption! Did you know that by reducing your meat intake by 15% – or not eating meat one day a week – you can dramatically decrease your likelihood of developing preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease. I work for a campaign called Meatless Monday and I was excited to see that as the title of your post. Our website has tons of great information on health benefits to eating less meat (we are not vegetarian either!) as well as hundreds of delicious meat free recipes to help you enjoy your new plan. Here is a list of our favorite meatless lunch recipes! http://www.meatlessmonday.com/site/PageServer?pagename=browselunch

  22. Monday Campaigns permalink
    October 21, 2008 3:46 pm

    Whoops, that didn’t work so well. Let me try that link again – just click the monday campaigns on this one to get right to the lunch recipes! Or go to http://www.meatlessmonday.com

  23. Monday Campaigns permalink
    October 21, 2008 3:46 pm

    Whoops, that didn’t work so well. Let me try that link again – just click the monday campaigns on this one to get right to the lunch recipes! Or go to http://www.meatlessmonday.com

  24. Katelin permalink
    October 21, 2008 8:19 pm

    yeah i’m pretty sure i couldn’t cut out meat either. but i have been cutting back since living on my own. not too shabby.

  25. Katelin permalink
    October 21, 2008 8:19 pm

    yeah i’m pretty sure i couldn’t cut out meat either. but i have been cutting back since living on my own. not too shabby.

  26. Katrina permalink
    October 22, 2008 12:19 am

    I found that the more I ate as a vegetarian, the more ideas I had. I second all the avocado comments – a favorite wrap of mine for lunch is lettuce or baby spinach, avocado, mozzarella, sometimes tomatoes, and a balsamic, mustard, honey vinaigrette. I also find that I end up eating more wraps than sandwiches as a vegetarian…not sure what that’s about. Oh! And PORTOBELLA. Portobella mushrooms are SUCH excellent sandwich food – they are good cold, but hot, with some melted cheese and a few caramelized onions on top? Heaven. Veggie Burgers are a great choice too, and although I try to make my lunch every day, I do sometimes cheat and grab an Amy’s frozen burrito from the freezer on my way out the door. Oh – and I like this:http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/01/brown-bag-it.html – she has some other great veggie recipes too. Happy Cooking!

  27. Katrina permalink
    October 22, 2008 12:19 am

    I found that the more I ate as a vegetarian, the more ideas I had. I second all the avocado comments – a favorite wrap of mine for lunch is lettuce or baby spinach, avocado, mozzarella, sometimes tomatoes, and a balsamic, mustard, honey vinaigrette. I also find that I end up eating more wraps than sandwiches as a vegetarian…not sure what that’s about. Oh! And PORTOBELLA. Portobella mushrooms are SUCH excellent sandwich food – they are good cold, but hot, with some melted cheese and a few caramelized onions on top? Heaven. Veggie Burgers are a great choice too, and although I try to make my lunch every day, I do sometimes cheat and grab an Amy’s frozen burrito from the freezer on my way out the door. Oh – and I like this:http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/01/brown-bag-it.html – she has some other great veggie recipes too. Happy Cooking!

  28. hannah elizabeth permalink
    October 22, 2008 3:49 pm

    sometimes the best lunch is cheese (NOT american!), crackers and apples.
    oooh, and if you made a cold pasta salad, throw some cheese or avo in it and it’s yummy for days… and has protein. (:

  29. hannah elizabeth permalink
    October 22, 2008 3:49 pm

    sometimes the best lunch is cheese (NOT american!), crackers and apples.
    oooh, and if you made a cold pasta salad, throw some cheese or avo in it and it’s yummy for days… and has protein. (:

  30. ZenDenizen permalink
    November 12, 2008 9:57 pm

    This lifelong veggie sends kudos your way! I see some excellent suggestions here so I hope you added some variety to your lunches. If all else fails, try Amy’s frozen stuff. Whole Foods also has pretty good cold sesame noodle dishes.

  31. ZenDenizen permalink
    November 12, 2008 9:57 pm

    This lifelong veggie sends kudos your way! I see some excellent suggestions here so I hope you added some variety to your lunches. If all else fails, try Amy’s frozen stuff. Whole Foods also has pretty good cold sesame noodle dishes.

  32. Andrew permalink
    November 26, 2008 6:26 pm

    Great post, I especially like to eat local as much as possible. I intern with the Eat Well Guide, and we’ve teamed up with Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) to issue the Local, Organic Thanksgiving Challenge this year. Will you join us? And share a recipe? Read more on the Green Fork http://www.blog.eatwellguide.org/2008/11/take-the-local-organic-thanksgiving-challenge

  33. Andrew permalink
    November 26, 2008 6:26 pm

    Great post, I especially like to eat local as much as possible. I intern with the Eat Well Guide, and we’ve teamed up with Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) to issue the Local, Organic Thanksgiving Challenge this year. Will you join us? And share a recipe? Read more on the Green Fork http://www.blog.eatwellguide.org/2008/11/take-the-local-organic-thanksgiving-challenge

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