Meatless Monday Made Easy

Dishes of Santa Fe-Style Rice & Beans, Spinach & Mushroom Pizza and Butternut Squash Ravioli sit by Garlic Parmesan Alfredo.

Looking for a simple way to switch up your eating routine with more purposeful choices? Consider kicking off your week with “Meatless Monday.” The concept is simple: each Monday, explore meat-free, plant-forward meal options.

The Meatless Monday campaign was started in 2003, though the history of meatless days is vast. Over a century ago, national meatless days were introduced to conserve rations for those fighting overseas in World War I. But today, Meatless Monday isn’t about scarcity or tough sacrifices. Instead, it’s an easy way to celebrate the abundance of plant-based foods, increase our intake of fruits and vegetables, and expand our culinary horizons. Going meatless on Monday can also be a powerful way to set the tone for the rest of your week, knowing you’re making an intentional choice – along with millions of your fellow citizens – to eat well and to help conserve the planet.

3 Benefits of Meatless Monday

Because meatless meals encourage you to add a variety of nutrient-rich foods to your plate, Meatless Monday may offer several benefits:

  1. Start the week strong: Monday is a time to hit the rest button and set the tone for the rest of the week. On simple step, like going meatless, can help keep your dietary goals on track.
  2. Bring on the benefits of plant-based foods: In general, a plant-based diet has been shown to help support healthy lifestyle goals. A diet full of nutrient-rich plant foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains can provide key vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber and can help your body feel its best.
  3. Explore new foods: Variety is the spice of life, after all. Make Meatless Monday your excuse to try new and different foods – you may be surprised how delicious meatless meals can be! And adding more greens to your diet can help you meet your dietary goals.

Protein-Packed Options for Meatless Meals

Keep in mind, going meatless shouldn’t mean missing out on protein. Foods like eggs and dairy are strong sources of protein when going meat-free. And plenty of plant-based foods can help boost the protein content of your meals, too. Reach for beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, whole gains and plant-based meat alternatives like tofu, tempeh and seitan to help you meet your needs.

Easy Meatless Monday Ideas

Shaking up your mealtime routine should be about trying new things and having fun - it shouldn’t be tough or intimidating. For a quick and easy meatless dinner or lunch, look to the frozen aisle for prepared frozen entrées. LEAN CUISINE® now has a variety of meatless meals that can be ready to devour in a matter of minutes.

Here are some favorites from our line of meatless meals, each with 10-20 grams of protein per serving:

  • LEAN CUISINE Five Cheese Rigatoni has 14 grams of protein and is 360 calories per dish. This pasta pairs perfectly with a side salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
  • LEAN CUISINE Fettuccine Alfredo provides 12 grams of protein and is 290 calories. Consider steaming veggies to add into the pasta or enjoy on the side.
  • LEAN CUISINE Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese is a deliciously cheesy addition to a meat-free Monday, with 280 calories and 18 grams of protein. Pair it with a cup of plant-based soup for an extra boost of veggies.
  • LEAN CUISINE Butternut Squash Ravioli is certified by the American Heart Association as a heart healthy food. It has 300 calories and provides 1 cup of vegetables and 10 grams of protein. Enjoy it with a whole-grain roll on the side. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease.
  • LEAN CUISINE Four Cheese Pizza boasts 20 grams of protein and is 370 calories per dish. For a veggie take on pizza night, pair it with an assortment of raw vegetables and your favorite dip or dressing.

Give Meatless Mondays a try and see just how delicious and easy meatless meals can be!