Salad season is behind us.
But we can still enjoy plenty of hearty, warming meals without meat. And the less meat we eat, the better it is for our bodies, our environment—and our wallet.
If you’re neither vegan nor vegetarian, Meat Free Mondays is a movement to encourage meat-eaters to consider reducing their consumption, for the greater good of all (not just the animals). Going meat-free one day a week makes a difference and the cumulative effect of large numbers adopting this habit can only be positive.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a Monday. But Monday is a great choice as we have the weekend to prepare—mentally and by stocking up on the necessary ingredients.
With this in mind, here’s a “prep ahead” meal plan to inspire you:
This “super yummy double apple” version is one of several granola recipes we have on elephant journal. Granola is the perfect prep-ahead breakfast—one session in the kitchen delivers breakfast for the week. And there are countless ways to change it up, according to your own tastes. Granola is easy to make and once you’ve tried home-made, there’ll be no going back to store-bought. Just make sure not to burn it!
This is my own recipe and how I love it! The soup itself is quick enough to make but you do need to roast the tomatoes ahead of time. That can be either right before, a day before or anywhere in between. And the finished soup will also keep in the fridge for a few days.
Dinner: Fancy Rice
This blog contains a basic recipe and three variations to tart it up according to your own taste, mood or the season. If, like me, you don’t like the isolated taste of celery (bleugh!), don’t be tempted to omit it. Celery adds great base flavor to soups, sauces and stews and so I chop it really fine—think minced, rather than chopped.
This is a really easy option for a main meal or side dish and can be eaten straight out of the pot, as well as prepped ahead of time. Give it time though—it’s one of those dishes that get better while you’re waiting.
Desert/Snack: Veg-arific Autumn Muffins
Get your five-a-day in treat form—these muffins are great for cheating your way into feeding fruit and veg to kids who aren’t so keen. In terms of prepping ahead, you only need half an hour, but the yield is a dozen muffins that you can snack on for a couple of days. Perfect for lunchbox treats or a mid-morning snack with a hot cuppa.
Author: Hilda Carroll
Image: David Pettersson/Flickr
Editors: Renée Picard & Yoli Ramazzina