To Meat or Not to Meat

Roast Chicken   Usually, I feature a recipe or food prep technique in my posts but today I wanted to share an idea that can change your approach to meal planning. Several years ago I began experimenting with going meatless once or twice a week.  It was the first tentative step on my journey to healthier eating, and I know that many families routinely do “Meatless Monday” both for health and budgetary reasons.

Recently, I was thinking about how people probably ate in the past and how it compares with our modern eating habits.  I decided to look at my meal planning from another, more historic, point of view.

A little research showed me that in the past our ancestors ate a lot more vegetables than meat.  So I decided to try planning seven days of vegetarian menus, and one meat centered “feast day” menu for Sundays.  Since most of us grew up eating Sunday dinner with our families, it seemed like a tradition worth cultivating, and pot roast is a great way to encourage everyone to be home for dinner.  It also helps the non-vegetarian members of the family feel less deprived so they have something to look forward to each week.

Here’s a sample week of dinners:

  • Monday – Black Bean Chili with Skillet Cornbread
  • Tuesday – Taco Tuesday (Vegetarian Style)
  • Wednesday – Split Pea Soup with Crusty Bread
  • Thursday – Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Salad
  • Friday – Veggie Burgers, Tomato-Cucumber Salad
  • Saturday – Curried Baked Squash with Green Beans
  • Sunday – Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Carrots and Onions

One of the really positive effects of this menu change is a lower grocery bill.  The fresh items  are readily available this time of year, and the meals rely heavily on staple items like pasta and dried beans and peas.  Plus the calorie count is pretty low (well, except for the mac-n-cheese).  All I can say, is try it.  You just might like it.