Moving to a 100% plant based diet may not be your thing, but reserving one day a week to go meat free is totally possible and one of the best things you can do for your health.
This past weekend as I was strolling through my local farmers market I was so inspired by the late summer bounty that I knew I was going to make a delicious meal focused on the stars of the season. Veggies.
I started by making my favorite, simple and classic basil pesto (I simply could not resist the most beautiful bunch of basil).
Then I just started building, with grill on, I charred to perfection gorgeous eggplant and summer zucchini, I even sliced an onion extra thick and grilled that until it was sweet and bursting with flavor.
Using a homemade ciabatta bread (Yes, also from the farmers market) I built this beautiful plate, layering pesto and eggplant on some slices, pesto and farm fresh tomato, and pesto grilled zucchini and a squeeze of lemon on the others. When the bread slices were finished we used the grilled veggies as our vehicle to continue to mop up the rest of the pesto.
Now tell me, if I had you over for lunch or dinner and this is what we were eating (most likely with a glass of super cold crisp white wine) would you complain?
I know eating meat is ingrained in the culture of this country, I eat it too (albeit in much smaller quantities than most) BUT just ONE day per week without meat may reduce your risk of chronic disease like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer. And a meatless day is kinder to the planet! reducing your carbon footprint and preserving valuable resources like water and fossil fuels.
Here are some tips to help make even the biggest meat eaters look forward to a plant perfect day!
*Plan ahead – there are a ton of resources online simply google the hottest trend “meatless mondays” and you will find a plethora of delish ideas. Find some recipes that look good to you and plan away. Or jump on over to my vegetarian recipe section, I’ve always got you covered 🙂
*Stock your pantry – have vegetarian friendly items on hand like veggie stock or broth, organic canned beans, whole grains, and nuts and seeds
*Take a trip to your farmers market – Need some plant inspiration? Then go to the source, our farmers. It is virtually impossible to walk through a farmers market and not feel totally jazzed to whip up some veg-centric concoctions.
*Mushrooms are your friend — mushrooms are a great crossover food for all meat lovers. They will satisfy with a meaty, hearty texture.
*Don’t be afraid of flavor – Just because you are removing meat from your plate does not mean you are removing flavor. Get creative with fresh herbs, really jazz up your dishes with delicious sauces like:
*Take stock – how do you feel on your days without meat? lighter, more energetic?
I encourage you to tune in and pay attention to how your body feels. A day without meat is the perfect opportunity to listen on a deeper level to how different foods make you feel. Maybe going meatless multiple days a week is better for you maybe not?
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
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