Thanks to Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and the city of Ghent in Belgium, it's now okay to talk about going vegetarian to combat climate change.
While Ghent (a lovely city of canals and old buildings) is going meatless on Thursdays, McCartney and his gang are suggesting Meatless Mondays.
So, for all the carnivores and lazy omnivores reading this, here's my list of easy ways to go veg on Mondays.
EAT BEANS: beans from a can with maple syrup — so Canadian! — or mustard or veggie wieners, lots of different kinds of beans, from cans or otherwise (get yourself a stainless steel pressure cooker — beans cooked from scratch in 20-30 minutes!!), Spanish white beans with pesto sauce and salad on the side, mmmmm!
EXPERIMENT WITH GRAINS: many of us grew up on spaghetti and white rice ... now try bulgar wheat (tabouli salads rock), couscous, amaranth, quinoa, millet, kasha or buckwheat, different rices (red, black, wild) from around the world — just go nuts in a health or natural foods store! Put them in jars on open shelves and they become a work of art.
JUST GO NUTS: yup, if you give up meat you get to eat nuts, lots of them, expensive ones! Brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, hazlenuts, almonds — and not just at Christmas or holiday times; try fancy nut butters, too — if they seem expensive, just remember that you don't devour the whole jar at once, and they're taking the place of expensive meats.
EAT LOTS OF SALAD AND PIZZA: you can't go wrong with salad and pizza (unless they pile on the cheese — simply ask for light cheese or no cheese) ... when making your own, go crazy with toppings: nuts, seeds, artichoke hearts, olives of all kinds, even in/on your salads.
GO "ETHNIC" (unless you live in Greece, Greek food is considered ethnic elsewhere): let's try this ...
- Greek = Greek salad, vegetable shish kebab, spanikopita, dolmades, artichoke hearts with lemon sauce
- Indian = raita salad (yogurt with cucumber and spices), vegetable curry, dal (a lentil stew), and rice
- Mexican = bean enchiladas, Spanish rice, salsa, guacamole
- Asian = pad thai, stir fries with tofu, broccoli with black bean sauce (buy lots of "ethnic" sauces for times like this), sushi, teriyaki or tempura veggies, fried rice
Need I continue? If you're not already vegan or vegetarian, please try Meatless Mondays. The Earth, the Future, and the Children of All Species (especially the ones you don't eat) will thank you.