Reducing (or cutting out) meat consumption doesn’t have to be boring, or salad-based.
Plant-based meals can be creative, inspiring and flavorful. And a plant-based diet is better for our health, for animal welfare and for the environment.
But when we’re raised with meat as an integral part of our daily lives, it can be hard to adjust to eating none. The good news is that reducing the quantity of meat we eat, even if we don’t cut it out altogether, still helps the environment.
This is the message of Meat Free Mondays, a campaign that encourages us to make at least one day a week completely meat-free. To help with that concept I’m sharing weekly meal plans here—hopefully they will inspire you to consider meat-free Mondays yourself.
This week’s recipes are all Mexican inspired. They aren’t as speedy to produce as some others, but maybe you’re on vacation (it is August) and have a little extra time. (If you are stuck for time, check out last week’s meal plan, or this older one.)
If you like Mexican flavors though, they are totally worth the added time to prepare.
Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros
Most recipes I’ve seen online assume that we’re cooking for four to six people. But you can totally cook this for one—swap out the large frying pan for a small saucepan and the tinned tomatoes for two to three fresh ones.
You’ll also need a quarter onion, clove of garlic and egg per person. The quantity of chili depends on how spicy you want it. (For less heat, remove the seeds before chopping.)
Simply chop onion, garlic and chili and soften in some oil. Then add the chopped tomatoes and allow it all to stew over a gentle heat for six to ten minutes (depending on the size of your pan and quantity of ingredients). Once stewed to your liking, make a dip in the tomato sauce—one per person—and add your eggs. (Optional: season the egg with black pepper.) Cover your pan with a lid and continue to cook over a gentle heat for three to four minutes.
To stick with the Mexican theme, serve with warmed tortillas. (But it works well with toasted bread too.)
Lunch: Mexican(ish) Tortilla Soup
As well as the typical Mexican ingredients of chilli, avocado, tomatoes and peppers, you’ll also find some atypical ingredients in this soup. (As we say in Ireland, there’s both eatin’ and drinkin’ in it.)
You’ll want to prep well ahead of lunchtime, as the author recommends a minimum of two hours to simmer, but it is (in my opinion) simply divine and worth getting organized right after breakfast.
This tasty recipe could be used to fill burittos if you prefer your tortillas soft. (I do.)
I don’t know what Japanese sweet potatoes are—I used the kind I’m familiar with and they worked just fine. While they’re cooking prepare the guacamole and sauce. This doesn’t take long and I recommend using the time to prepare a tomato salsa to add in too.
Dessert: A (Mindful) Margarita
A liquid dessert to finish the day with a zing—why not!
I’d love you to share your own favorite elephant recipes in the comments—or even submit your own. (We could use a few more Mexican-inspired recipes.)
Author: Hilda Carroll
Image: Chunky Salsa/Flickr
Editor: Renée Picard