Two classics, with a Meatless Monday twist

When a friend of mine introduced me to Trader Joe’s soyrizo (yep, its exactly what it sounds like  – a soy version of chorizo), it quickly became one of my favorite Meatless Monday ingredients, and has been ever since! There are many other brands of the soyrizo out there, so be sure to try several to find your top choice!

Here are two classics with a soyrizo twist – both are deliciously savory and will be a hit with even the most serious meat eaters!


Meatless Mondays – everyone is doing it

My husband and I started Meatless Mondays about two years ago and since then I’ve been very excited to see several of my friends and family adopting this easy, but extremely influential, diet change.  And I’m even more delighted when I see large organizations such as hospitals, universities and restaurants implementing Meatless Monday!

Here are just a few examples (there are many more!) of how businesses and even cities around U.S. are going meatless once a week.


US meat consumption is down, but we’re still out-eating the world & other interesting stats

American beef consumption is down – USDA shows a 5% decrease between 2002 and 2010 and a poll done by NPR finds that as many as 39% of us are eating less red meat today than three years ago.

This is good news. It means more of us are eating healthier (also, less environmental impact, fewer animals killed for food, etc). Unfortunately, America is still eating more meat per capita than any other country! And it’s not a stretch to assume that this is thanks in part to our indecently huge subsidies for corn and soy that’s fed to livestock… but I’ll save that discussion for another blog post.

Three main reasons attributed to our decreased meat intake are increases in price, health consciousnesses and most recently social awareness.

The financial correlation is a simple one: when meat is cheap or incomes go up, meat consumption goes up. This has been true in the history of America and other countries, most recently in the developing regions where salaries and the middle class are on the rise. The opposite is also true: when meat prices go up or incomes go down, meat consumption goes down as well.  The latest from USDA shows cost of beef per pound increasing 7.5% from 2005 and 2010. And the recession doesn’t help either.


Grillmaster fruit

On those hot summer days when the coals are hot (or propane is flowing) and the delicious BBQ aromas fill the air, there is one food group that often gets the short end of the grilling stick. I’m talking about fruit. While meat and veggies are BBQ no-brainers, fruit rarely makes it to the party.

And what a shame when there are so many grill-worthy fruits that provide a delicious, healthy, and vegetarian alternative to traditional desserts!  Here are three of my favorites for my Meatless Monday grill days.


Meatless lasagna – easier than it sounds

For this week’s Meatless Monday’s my husband, Nathan, decided to make an eggplant lasagna. While it sounded like a lot to take on, it simultaneously fulfilled two objectives. Firstly, it provided an interesting alternative to our Meatless Monday routine and secondly, it left me with a dish that would last me 3 to 4 meals, as my husband was traveling, and I don’t like to cook (and I love leftovers!).

Quickly glancing at the ingredients, we were off to the grocery store with ricotta & mozzarella cheeses, lasagna noodles and of course eggplant added to our usual shopping list.

When we got home and read the recipe with a little more attention, we realized that the recipe called for eggplant instead of pasta sheets, not in addition to.  Having bought both we decided to tweak the recipe a little bit.  It turned out delicious, easy to make and most importantly lasted me for a few nights!

Below is the original recipe from Food Network with Nathan’s magic touch/variations highlighted in orange:


What we can do

In my constant research and reading about the topic of eating kind, I came across this great article that talks about things we can do today (some of them are VERY easy) to directly improve welfare of farm animals.  Read the full article here or see below for my summary:

Incorporate the Three R’s into Your Life
  • Refinement: look for humanely raised products
  • Replacement: look for vegetarian alternatives
  • Reduction: reduce meat consumption by just one meal a week

The reduction part seems pretty easy to do and the results are fantastic! According to MSPCA, “if we reduce the consumption of animal products by just one meal a week, approximately one billion animals would be spared the suffering that occurs with intensive confinement operations.”  And when we do buy meat, stick with the humanely-raised options!

Support Legislative Action

There are many websites and organizations that make it very easy to take legislative action, including keeping you up to date on various issues and even providing email templates so making a change is as easy as pushing a button!  My go-to websites are Farm Sanctuary and HSUS.Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?!