I ask all of you Meat Lovers out there, have you heard of “Meatless Monday” or another variation of this concept? I challenge those willing to try this for at least a couple of weeks and see how you feel and do. This idea has really caught my attention lately and the value behind it is very beneficial. The idea is to eliminate meat from your diet on a once a week basis. Now you are probably wondering why you would do this or how you’re going to get in your necessary protein.
According to MeatlessMonday.com, eliminating meat once a week in addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet may lead to a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other preventable chronic illnesses. Statistics show that eating processed or red meats have been linked to colon cancer, increased risk of type 2 Diabetes, and increased mortality. It has also been reported that those who have diets high in vegetarian or low-meat diets have significantly lower body weights and reducing your overall meat intake can prevent weight gain.
Now that we have covered the basics as to how you could reap in the benefits of pledging yourself to a meat free life once a week, we can address how you’re going to do this in a healthy, yet satisfying way. First priority is getting in your complete proteins, which may often pose a challenge for those who do not eat meat.
A complete protein contains adequate amounts of all of your essential amino acids necessary for your body’s dietary needs. With a well-balanced diet and sufficient complementary grains and vegetables, your body is able to get all the protein you require. For example: pairing a delicious bean and rice dish, whole grain bread and peanut butter, hummus and pita bread can all be easy ideas to get your started on embarking on your Meatless Monday journey.
One of my favorite unusual and delicious complete proteins is quinoa. If you have yet to try it, I suggest you get to a super market and pick some up this week! Why not pair it with my absolute favorite fruit- avocado. Check out this recipe from Allrecipes.com:
Red Quinoa and Avocado Salad:
1/3 cup red quinoa
1-cup cherry tomatoes halved,
½ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin seed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 avocado- peeled, pitted and sliced
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water as been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Spread into a mixing bowl, and refrigerate until cold.
Once the quinoa has chilled, gently stir in the tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Season with lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Divide the spinach leaves onto the salad plates, and top with the quinoa salad. Garnish with the avocado slices to serve.
Try out this innovative, refreshing dish this summer and consider if you’re ready to try Meatless Monday and work towards a healthier new you! Do you have any meatless recipes you rave about? Share your recipes with your Muesli Fusion friends, and together we could begin our Meatless Monday recipe book.