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Around my house the movie Office Space is one of the most quoted. Sadly, this includes the frequently observed “Somebody’s got a case of the Monday’s.” Yes, normally that somebody is me. Let’s face it; Mondays have a terrible reputation because in general they suck. The first day back on the job always leaves me feeling exhausted in the evening and facing the daunting week ahead full of work and errands before the next blessed weekend. So, here at we heart this we decided to cheer things up on that first day back and turn those blue Mondays green!
We’ve noticed our readers appreciate eco friendly finds, vintage shopping and upcycling, veggie recipes and organic beauty. So, we’re taking a cue from the Meatless Monday Movement, a worldwide effort with the goal of “reducing meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.” The idea is a modern twist on the government sponsored, voluntary meatless days that were initiated during World War 1, asking people to give up meat for one day a week for the greater good.
We know that a vegetarian lifestyle is not for everyone, and have never been the types to get up on our soapboxes, but we think the Meatless Monday effort is a doable way for everyone to make a small change for big results. Hey, if Sir Paul McCartney is asking me to try it, who am I to argue? We’ll be posting some tried and true, favorite veggie meals and offer some tips for making meatless pain free and delicious.
But it’s not all meatlessness! We’ll cover all of our favorite wht subjects with an eco-friendly slant to chase away those Monday blahs. Look to start the week with reviews of organic beauty and natural home products, crafty ways to turn trash into treasure, vintage finds, eco-friendly tips and more. And we would love to hear from you! If you have an eco tip, a yummy recipe or a favorite green product, we’re all ears! Drop us an email with Green Monday as the subject.
To kick off our Green Monday movement, I’m giving you some of the easiest ways to go veggie. You can slide effortlessly into a meatless menu day with these basic tips:
• Shop the farmer’s market over the weekend. It’s much easier to cook a veggie-based meal when your kitchen is stocked with fresh produce. You’ll have your pick of the freshest and tastiest seasonal goods while saving money. Plus by shopping locally, a trip to the farmers market has the added bonus of leaving a smaller mark on the planet.
• The frozen foods aisle can still be your friend. Today’s supermarket has refrigerated and frozen food sections devoted to vegetarian fare. You can find easily cooked, healthier versions of meat standards from veggie burgers and veggie dogs to plant based chicken and beef knock offs.
Hint: Check your Sunday paper for coupons from some of the big names like Morning Star and Boca – and when you see a two-for-one deal or a price reduction on your favorites, stock up with a months supply.
• Once you’ve selected a few meat substitutes to test, slip them into a few favorite family recipes for a fairly seamless transition to a meatless meal. I suggest picking a recipe that calls for ground beef and replacing the beef with TVP crumbles (as in this crowd pleasing TVP taco recipe). We can move into tofu and tempeh as we explore more veggie options, but for now, a simple bait and switch is a pain-free way to ease the family into meatless meals.
• Here’s another painless plan – take advantage of the remaining warm evenings and fire up the grill. Throw veggie burger or veggie dogs and some corn on the cob on the grill for a few fast minutes, set up a toppings buffet with all the trimmings, toss together some fresh vegetables for a salad and dinner is served. A fool-proof, simple way to start your Meatless Monday movement with no fuss from the family.
• Explore some ethnic foods. Too tired to cook or even to grill? I find I’m most likely to order in on a Monday evening. So, check out some of your local ethnic restaurants and you may be surprised at all the veggie options. I’m always happy to order Thai, Chinese, Indian and other specialties for the array of vegetable based options. Save some gas by taking a walk and picking up your order (or schedule to pick it up on the way home for work).
Deceptively simple, no? Going green for the day does not have to mean a diet of wheatgrass and mung beans. As the Mondays pass, we’ll explore the subject a little deeper, expand out culinary skills and taste some new flavors.
If you already have a veggie diet, please share your tips for simple ways to go meat free. we heartsters, who’s with me? Let us know what you’d like to see more of on Green Mondays!