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Meatless Mondays: Your Guide to Veggie-Centric Meals

July 4, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta 0 Comments

Meatless Mondays: Your Guide to Veggie-Centric Meals

Meatless Mondays began as a voluntary food rationing campaign during World Wars I and II. Along with Wheatless Wednesdays, citizens were asked to go one day a week without eating any meat and wheat products to conserve national supplies for the troops over seas. Restaurants and culinary colleges all across the country conserved hundreds of tons of meat for the war effort.

Today, Meatless Mondays is an international campaign to improve personal health and conserve environmental resources. Participants are asked to give up meat products once a week on Mondays.  Their goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15%.

Benefits of Going Meatless
Studies have shown many health benefits from decreasing the consumption saturated fats, which are mostly found in red meat, including reduced risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Environmental benefits include reduction of greenhouse gases produced by feed animals and a reduction in water consumption. Many Georgia culinary professionals are joining the cause and presenting meatless menus on Mondays.

Some Things to Know About Going Meatless on Mondays

  • Protein from chicken, beef, and pork can be replaced with protein from beans, legumes, eggs, nuts, and seeds
  • There is no need to take extra supplements on your meatless day
  • You don’t have to skip your regular exercise routine because you are going meatless
  • Going meatless doesn’t always mean healthier. You must still eat a properly balanced diet
  • Most restaurants offer several meatless options on their menus so eating out is okay
  • Limit sweets and sweetened beverages for additional health benefits
  • Grill, broil, and bake vegetarian dishes when possible and avoid frying them
  • Nutritionists and Georgia culinary professionals suggest that even on days when you eat meat, you still need at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables

Greek Salad
There are literally thousands of vegetarian cookbooks for you to find plenty of delicious and nutritious meals for your Meatless Mondays. We wanted to share this delicious and easy to make salad so that you easily make the transformation to Meatless Mondays. It can be served as an entrée or as a side to another of your favorite vegetarian dishes.

Salad:

  • 2 cups Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup whole pepperoncini
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Greek Vinaigrette:

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 clove Garlic, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss gently. Be careful to not break up the feta too much
  • Combine all vinaigrette ingredients except for olive oil in a blender
  • Blend on low and slowly pour in olive oil. Blend until smooth and oil is completely incorporated
  • Refrigerate vinaigrette for at least 2 hours for best taste
  • Pour half of vinaigrette over salad and mix
  • Divide salad into two servings and plate
  • Serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta.Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Atlanta, Georgia area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Atlanta for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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