Meatless Mondays.

M.O.N.D.A.Y.S. (-) M.E.A.T.

There is a huge crave for "Meatless Mondays" lately.  I've started making more vegetarian meals on a night other than Monday. I can't partake a lot on Mondays  - this night typically consists of ladies night with dinner, wine, and watching the oh-so drama "Bachelor Sean". Twist my arm.  Yea ladies, you know what I'm talking about...

Cough. Tiaraneedstoleave. Cough. 

So, I wanted to add some fun ideas for your breakfast, lunch, dinner, possible happy hour, and dessert that don't include meat! They are pretty quick and easy - nice for a busy lifestyle that I live! 

Breakfast Ideas:

Oatmeal: 10 minutes

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk
Toppings (fruit, granola, honey, etc).

1. Bring oats, water, and milk to a boil and switch to low-medium or low heat to get things thick and creamy.  Stir every so often to make sure the ingredients don't burn. If you like your oatmeal thick, put it on low and be patient!
2. Towards the end, add your vanilla and cinnamon.  Give your oatmeal a couple of stirs and let sit on low for a minute or so.
3. Transfer into bowl, add toppings, and enjoy! I LOVE putting fruit on my oatmeal.  Your options are endless!

Health Tip: Oats (whether quick, regular or steel-cut), are a great way to add dietary fiber into your diet.  Oats can lower your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and can help maintain weight.

Green Monster Smoothie: 10 minutes
Fun for all.
Keeps you full.
Cheap to make!
Great breakfast, lunch or dinner idea.
2 cups spinach
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter

1. Throw all into your blender, Magic Bullet, Vitamix, whatever you have - and sluurrrp. It's so good. And, you seriously don't taste the spinach. Don't knock it 'til you try it, people. Click here for my other posting for green smoothies.

Fun options to add to your smoothies include: Strawberries, blueberries, honey, cinnamon, coffee, or different flavors of milk (lately, I've been doing 1/2 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 cup chocolate unsweetened almond milk). Other options to help boost your health include flaxseed or chia seeds.

Lunch Idea:

Egg and Avocado Salad: 10 minutes
Great way to get in protein!
2 boiled eggs
Avocado (your decision on the amount)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
Salt and pepper
Dippers (veggies, pretzels, pita bread, etc).

1. Smash up your boiled eggs.  I've been leaving the yolk out on the second egg.
2. Slice your avocado in half. Half that half - scoop out with a spoon and smash in to the egg mix.
3. Add in your plain greek yogurt to mix everything together.
4. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper for great additional taste.

**Something fun that I added into this salad was edamame beans.  Just another way to get some veggies in there for the day!

Health Tip: Eggs give you protein, especially if you are a vegetarian.  Avocado contains good fats for you, and its absolutely delicious so its clearly a win-win situation. Plain greek yogurt is an awesome substitute for mayonnaise. Mayo weirds me out and for the last couple of years, I've been using plain greek yogurt instead. It's also a great substitute for sour cream, you really cannot tell the difference.  I use this fabulous Chobani chart for extra ideas.  Scroll down past the recipes to find it.

Dinner Ideas:

Salmon + Veggies: 30 minutes
Dinner for 1,2,3 or more.
Healthy dinner in a small
amount of time.
Ingredients (For 2):
2 salmon fillets
1/2 stalk asparagus
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1.5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Fish rub
Garlic Salt

1. Turn oven to broil. It's a fast way to cook fish! Use 1/2 TBSP olive oil to coat salmon, sprinkle any type of fish rub.  Don't cover it to the point of masking the fishy taste.
2. Cut up veggies and throw in 1 TBSP olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. 
3. When oven is ready, salmon should cook 6-7 minutes per side.
4. While salmon is cooking, cook veggies on the stove - turn onto medium heat to get them going and then keep on low-medium heat so dinner can be ready all at the same time.
5. Serve!  We found that parmesan cheese was a great addition to the veggies. 

Additional sides to add would be bread (we cut up a yummy asiago small loaf, but a pretzel loaf has been great to use in the past), rice, or quinoa.  I try to add fish into my diet twice a week and this is a simple way to do it!

Veggies++: 25 minutes
So. So. Easy.
Anything, really!  I'll add my options of what I threw together but you can use any type of veggies.  I had a lot leftover from the weekend so it was perfect...
Yellow squash
Edamame beans
Red baby potatoes
Feta cheese
1 TBSP Olive Oil
Salt Pepper
Garlic salt
Other ideas: Eggplant, carrots, brussel sprouts (love), artichokes, tomatoes

1. Turn the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Literally throw everything together. Well, not really.  Don't get messy with it, but coat it up! Leave out the cheese right now.
3. Put into pan - this time, I put everything into a glass cooking dish. The veggies and potatoes will have enough olive oil on there that they won't stick. Another option is putting onto a cookie sheet, on top of foil.
4. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until your veggies are crispy. 
5. Remove from oven, and sprinkle some cheese on there - I used feta but goat cheese is another delicious option.
6. Optional ending: Pour yourself a glass of wine. Take a bite - the perfect bite is always a bite of everything together at once.  Take a sip of wine. Sit back, relax, and be happy.

Health Tip: Getting your daily intake of veggies, or beyond your daily intake is so, so good for you and your body.  Vegetables contain a wonderful amount of vitamins and minerals, including Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, etc.  Veggies also contain antioxidants - that can help prevent stress and certain types of cancers. Last of all, veggies just keep you healthy and fit!

Happy Hour Idea:

Pretzel Thins.
Wine. [DUH].
Trader Joe's Wisconsin Extra Sharp 
Cheddar Cheese 
Pretzel Thins
Trader Joe's Multigrain Flaxseed Crackers
Trader Joe's La Finca Wine

1. Cut up cheese.
2. Cut up apple.
3. Grab a large stem of grapes.
4. Arrange items around a regular dinner plate as so. Make it look pretty, would you?
5. Un-cork the wine. 
6. Invite your friend, mom, sister, or anyone over.  Heck, make it for yourself.
7. Sip. Savor. Enjoy.

I made this last week for a happy hour with my sister.  We were wedding planning for her and this was perfect.  It took ten minutes to put together and it kept us full while we chatted and made plans!  I know, cheese is not the best thing for you - but you need to enjoy yourself. Remember that moderation is key! You are mostly getting your health benefits from the grapes and, the red wine.  Red wine has antioxidants and resveratrol.  Nothing wrong with a glass of wine or two every once in a while.

Dessert Ideas:

Chocolate Chip
Banana Bread Bites:
30 minutes
I can't claim these babies.  I saw the recipe on Minimalist Baker and I made them right away. I shared them with my family, and I think they were gone the next day. They are a fun way to enjoy sweets - so go check out her site.  She really has some great and simple recipes!

The cool thing about these recipes is, that if you DO want to add meat at some point, you easily can!  This is just a base of can mix and match. 
Here's to Meatless Monday, Tofu Tuesdays, Whey Wednesdays, Tomato Thursdays, Fruit Fridays, Salmon Saturdays, and Salad Sundays!  Just kidding.

If YOU have some great meatless recipes to share, please leave them below on the "Comments" area.  I love trying new things!

Enjoy Your Week!

Be Healthy.


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