Greetings squad!! Today’s post is all about getting at least one meatless meal in a week. And when I say a “meal” I mean dinner. Of course you can even dedicate a whole day to being meatless. The idea behind going meatless is to give your digestive system a little break, add more variety and nutrients to your diet and it’s a fantastic way to introduce new veggies into your meal planning!
Most of you have probably heard of “meatless Mondays”. I am trying to incorporate that into my family meal planning, and this is what I came up with yesterday!
Curried, Riced Cauliflower, Sesame Cucumbers and Roasted Asparagus. It was DELICIOUS! I loved it and my kids almost did too ;-). I had my nine year old help me with the cauliflower–we had a great time sautéing it together! She kept referring to it as the “rice” so I thought I had her fooled. We had a great time adding all the spices and vinegar and onions…but after one bite, she knew this “rice” was a “little poopy” as she said. Oh well, I’ll keep trying because I think this riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s is genius!
Before I give you the details to this dinner let’s get back to going meatless. I was a vegetarian for 7 years. Well, more like a pescatarian on occasion. I read a book that turned me off to consuming all “land animals”, if you haven’t read a book about going vegetarian don’t unless you’re ready to change your lifestyle. I thought going vegetarian was the healthiest choice for me. And for the most part I felt pretty good…initially. I did make good choices and stayed away from a lot of processed foods. I didn’t want to fall victim to becoming a pasta-atarian or a mac n’ cheese-atarian, because I’ve seen that happen all too often and it’s not pretty. It did get pretty challenging after a while to plan and make delicious meals. It takes A LOT of time chopping, cleaning and preparing enough fruits and veggies to keep me satiated. With the physical demands of my job and lifestyle I found myself hungry quite often and low on energy. But I was committed to make this work!
Two years ago my youngest brother passed away from complications due to a sodium deficiency. I talked with doctors about what this really meant and how someone becomes sodium deficient. One doctor asked if anyone else in my family suffers from autoimmune disorders. Several of my family members do, and I am one of them with my thyroid disorder. I learned it could be genetic and a sodium deficiency falls into the autoimmune disorders category. Long story short, this whole situation obviously made me very concerned and was the impetus for me researching more about my disorder and the best diet to manage my health and help me feel awesome! The number one thing I saw was “lean animal proteins and fruits and veggies.” That was all I needed to hear. I started, slowly, adding meat back into my diet and I actually feel much better. My point in telling you all this is to say we can change our perspectives on what diets work best for us. If you are currently vegetarian or vegan and you feel fabulous, that’s great! Keep it up. If you don’t feel fabulous it’s ok to experiment and introduce new foods into your diet and see how that makes you feel. There is no “one size fits all diet”. It’s important you are super in tune with how food makes you feel. If you currently eat meat with every meal, everyday maybe it’s time for you to try a meatless meal and this recipe below might be the perfect one to start with! Here is how I prepared my meatless Monday delight!
- Sauteed all these ingredients together: extra virgin olive oil (a fair amount), 1/2 chopped onion, lots of dashes of curry powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic salt, a couple drizzles of balsamic vinegar and 1 bag of riced cauliflower all from Trader Joe’s.
- Roasted a big bunch of asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper on the bbq.
- Peeled and chopped one English cucumber. Drizzled with a little olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Little salt and pepper and sesame seeds on top. I would have used sesame oil and rice vinegar but I was out of both–drat!
- When the cauliflower was almost complete I added a big handful of chopped cilantro and chopped cashews. Delish!
And that’s the meal! Give it a try tonight–or on your next Meatless Monday! Let me know how it goes! xoxo Jenny