Ways to Incorporate #MeatlessMonday In Your Family Diet

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/18/2013 | 03:30 PM EST

Go meatless with the fam

Meatless Monday is taking the world by storm, so why not bring your family in on the trend?

With many schools and hospitals participating in the national and global campaign, which sets aside one day out of the week to eliminate meat out of your diet, consider bringing a meatless Monday diet to your home dinner table. It can not only be a great experience with your family, but you’d also be exercising healthy living habits that you can pass on to your children. While they may not instantly embraced the idea of a meatless meal, they’ll surely warm up to the idea - especially with the right recipes!

For your convenience, we’ve incorporated some family-friendly meatless recipes that you should give a try.

Green Lentil Sloppy Joes

1 cup(s) lentils, green
1 tablespoon oil, olive
1 medium onion(s), yellow, diced
1 medium pepper(s), green, bell, diced
2 clove(s) garlic, minced
3 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt, Kosher
1 can(s) tomato sauce, (8 oz) preferably no-salt-added
1/4 cup(s) tomato paste
3 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon mustard, yellow mustard
4 whole roll, 100% whole-wheat, or kaiser or sesame, toasted (optional, for serving)

Directions: Combine lentils and 4 cups water in large saucepan. Cover pan and bring water to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain and set aside. Heat olive oil in pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and sauté until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add cooked lentils, chili powder, oregano and salt. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add maple syrup and mustard and heat through. Turn off heat and let lentil mixture sit for 10 minutes, allowing the flavors can meld.

***

Strawberry Tomato Salad

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, diced
1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn or cut chiffonade
2 avocados, chopped bite size
1 medium carrot
10 grape tomatoes, quartered
6 strawberries, ends cut off and sliced
1 cup yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: In medium bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, pepper and garlic if using. Whisk together until fully blended. In large bowl combine lettuce, avocados, carrot, tomatoes, strawberries and yellow bell pepper. Toss salad together, dress with balsamic vinaigrette and toss again until salad is fully coated. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

***

Red Curry with Vegetables

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, quartered

Directions: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring every 2 or 3 minutes, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to plate. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, broth and curry paste to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato is tender, about 4 minutes. Add tofu, green beans and brown sugar; return to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the green beans are tender-crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in lime juice and salt. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

For more Meatless Monday recipes, visit www.meatlessmonday.com

(Photo: John Lund/Tom Penpark/Getty Images)

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