#MenuMonday: Meatless Monday

You may have heard about it from the media or from non-vegetarian peers jumping on the “Meatless Monday” bandwagon. Still wondering what’s all about? “Meatless Monday” is a phrase and national movement that has gained momentum in an effort to encourage individuals to “go meatless” for one day (or on a smaller scale, for at least one meal) of the week.  

The movement highlights the benefits of skipping meat one day a week for our personal health, as well as the health of our planet. Going meatless, if executed wisely by swapping a protein higher in saturated fat with a plant-based alternative, can be a heart healthy strategy for those wanting to improve their cholesterol levels. Want to join in? You can start by exploring the recipe database at www.meatlessmonday.com, where you’ll have access to dozens of meatless meal options like this easy and nutritious “Lazy Lentil Soup” featured below.  Or, if you’re dining out, opt for a dish featuring beans, legumes, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, or low-fat dairy products as the protein source.

 

Lazy Lentil Soup

Lazy-Lentil-Soup1

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, stem removed, minced
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery, tomatoes, and rosemary and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly tender.

Add the lentils, water, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Don’t let the name fool you; you’l feel healthy and energized after cooking and eating this wonderful meal!

 

– Keeley Mezzancello, RD, LD, CSCS