If you are on to Meatless Mondays, kudos to you for taking a step in the right direction. Undoubtedly, you’ve discovered it’s not so terrible, and now that you’ve got some momentum, why not up the ante a little and ditch the meat more often?
While it might be a bit much to expect everyone to give up turkey, cold turkey, it doesn’t mean a meatless meal or two on the other days of the week is out of the question. There are great vegan options for every time of day, all occasions, and any craving imaginable—even meat.
So, here are seven simple ways to go seven days as a part-time vegan.
1. Fake it. Then, Everyone Is Happy.Contrary to popular belief, giving up meat and dairy doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorites. There are great alternatives to nearly every beef-y buffet you’ve grown accustomed to: meatless burgers, cheese-less pizzas, mock meatloaf, and—for the brunch-lovers out there—egg-free omeletes. Not sure about them. Well, devote one meal a week to exploring what we are eating on the greener side of life. You may just dig it.
Vegan Omelette: Looking for protein? This has more than the egg equivalent.
Veggie Burgers: 15 Recipes, Countless Benefits—Try a new one every week.
Lentil Loaf—A side of mashed potatoes, a little gravy, and you’ve got a classic.
2. Forgot Milk? Go Nuts.How many times have vegans of the world heard the initial gasp of I just couldn’t live without cheese? Usually, this is the deal-stopper for lactose lovers. It still doesn’t change the fact that milk and all those milky products just aren’t quite living up to the hype they once carried. They taste great, but that’s not to say that a nice cashew pepper jack can’t get the job done just as well, maybe even better. A vegan variation means cheese isn’t necessarily off the table.
10 Vegan Cheeses That Will Knock Your Socks Off—A taste-testing party.
Vegan Baked Nut Cheese—Got crackers?
3. Eat Your Vegetables. You’re an Adult Now.Maybe as children, our palettes were so unrefined as to need casseroles and cream sauces to cover up the fact that we were eating vegetables, but most people eventually reach a point where at least a few vegetables are enjoyable. Then, it’s actually possible, palatable, and potentially pleasing to have a veggie-based—not just vegetarian, but vegetable—meal every day. They are faster to make and increase the likelihood of reaching the daily-recommended dosage. Mom will be so proud.
20 Ways to Enjoy Kale, the King of Greens—Nutritious incarnate.
Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup—A big, warm bowl of goodness.
Vegan Eggplant Noodles—Quick, simple, and balanced.
4. One Word, So Many Possibilities: SandwichesSandwiches are the ubiquitous lunchtime choice. They stack up clean and fit nicely into the little brown bags and briefcases. Up until the recent cluster of peanut allergies, there was even a recognized, viable vegan option in the PB&J. But, somewhere between the bottom piece and the top piece of bread, many of us seemed to have forgotten that anything can go between. It doesn’t always have to be meat and/or cheese. There are a whole lot of fast and filling options out there.
Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Sandwich—If you’ve just got have something familiar.
The Cracked Sandwich—For a simple, straight-up vegetable stacker.
The Vegan Gutbuster Sandwich—Need something substantial for lunch?
5. Travel Vicariously through Your FoodIt’s a big world out there, and a sizable chunk of it goes without meat for every meal, or every day, or ever at all. Why not see what they’re up to? If Meatless Mondays are working out for you (which they must be if you are reading this), then World-y Wednesdays might just be a hit, too. Imagine trying a dish from a different country every week. Would it make any difference if that meal were meatless? Of course not, it’s still providing you with that certain cultural élan you were after.
African Groundnut Stew—Ever even heard of this? Sounds funky.
Flashworthy Alu Palak (Curried Comforting Potatoes with Spinach)—Ah, India.
5 Delicious and Surprisingly Meatless Recipes for Taco Tuesdays—Or, Wednesday.
6. Sweet, Fatty RedemptionYep, meatless dessert is possible. Heck, even dairy-free if need be. Contrary to popular perception, it is downright easy and worthwhile to whip up a vegan dessert. Often, you don’t even have to bother cooking them (and that doesn’t mean a fruit cocktail). Plus, there is the added bonus of getting to pretend it’s healthy. Sometimes, it even is. Regardless, there are vegan options far and wide that will put just the right ending to a beautiful meal.
Raw Vegan Chocolate and Almond Fudge—Who needs an oven?
10 Scrumptious Cheesecakes That You Won’t Believe Are Vegan—Try them all!
Simple Vegan Sugar Cookies—Easy. Familiar. Delicious.
7. Get Real. Go Full-on Crunchy.Meatless Mondays? Articles citing vegan recipes for mid-week dining. You’ve probably even watched some documentaries about the modern-day food industry and the sorry state of factory farming. That might even be why you’re here. Face it: If you’ve made this far in the article, you’re becoming one of us. Strap on some sandals, get some patchouli, and embrace the veggie power. There is plenty of room at the table, so jump right on in to the crunchy, granola wave we’ve been riding.
Peanut-Butter-Maple-Pecan and Coconut “Bacon” Granola—Crunch.
Cooking with Tofu + 10 Delicious Recipes—Not just for hippies anymore.
Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream—Ben & Jerry’s…Grateful Dead…the munchies?
[via One Green Planet]