When you think about it…Meatless Mondays could spread—to Tuesday, maybe Wednesday, on to….

Photo by Siel/Flickr

When you think about it…Meatless Mondays could spread—to Tuesday, maybe Wednesday, on to….

Meatless Mondays, part of a conservation effort on the part of the United States during both World War I and World War II, was restarted in the early part of the 21st century by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future and the Monday Campaigns Inc. The premise behind Meatless Mondays is Monday is often considered the start of the week—back to work and school for many. We think about Mondays as starting points, especially if we’ve had a busy and maybe overindulgent weekend. It becomes the day we get back on track or resolve to start a new.

Even school cafeterias are joining the healthy start to the week. Students in the Santa Cruz City Schools are served tacos and baked enchiladas (hold the meat) and have access to a salad bar. Other school cafeterias are doing likewise. Giving our children healthy, nutritious, plant-based food choices might encourage them to ask for the same at the dinner table. Educating our children on healthy eating is one way adults might learn, too. School is not just about reading, writing, and arithmetic; it’s about living a healthy life, making humane choices, caring for the environment, and saving lives.

To start you on the road to Meatless Mondays, and maybe Tuesdays, and on through Sundays, here are a couple easy dishes for you to prepare. Eating a plant-based diet is simple, delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive.

When you think about it…Meatless Weeks may not be too far off.

Vegan Sloppy Joes

• 1 tbsp olive oil (or other cooking oil)
• 1 16 oz tub of firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
• 1 tbsp molasses
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 4 oz of your favorite mushrooms, diced
• 1 small can tomato paste
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 medium tomato, diced
• 2 tbsp chili powder (use more or less to taste)
• 1 tbsp oregano
• 2 tbsp ketchup
• 1 tbsp rice wine or apple cider vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Hearty whole-grain sandwich buns, or baguettes quartered and sliced lengthwise

In a saucepan or skillet on medium heat, add oil, and molasses.
Crumble tofu with fingers into pan and brown, stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Once tofu has lost some water, but before completely browned, add onion, pepper, and mushrooms.
Add tomato paste and mix well, add increments of water if needed to keep from sticking.
Stir in mustard and tomatoes. Add oregano and chili powder and continue stirring. Add ketchup and vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on buns or bread when thoroughly heated and enjoy!

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