If you’ve been trying to eat less meat for health or environmental reasons, April is a great time to take the plant-based plunge. We’re weeks away from Earth Day, the annual event centered on clean, healthy and sustainable living, and you’re likely in the mood for some fresh new recipes for spring. Think you’re up to the challenge? Continue reading for tips on taking a month off meat this April!
Find Your Why
First things first: Understanding why you’re choosing to eat less meat this month will help you remain consistent in your journey. Focus on one particular benefit you gain from eating less meat. Maybe it’s expanding your palette, reducing your environmental impact, improving your health or simply saving money. Whatever your intentions look like, make sure to keep them top of mind in order to stay on track this month.
Here comes the fun part! We know searching endlessly on Pinterest for vegetarian or vegan recipes seems daunting, and that’s why we recommend getting specific. Be detailed in what you realistically see yourself making and enjoying. Research recipes with in-season ingredients you know you love the taste of or ingredients you have in your pantry—like canned vegetables.
Consider Meat-Free Takes on Your Favorite Dishes
Think of your favorite protein-packed entrees that make going meatless difficult for you. Luckily, most of these dishes are easy to replicate with plant-based substitutes from Green Valley! Try trading in a traditional burger for a pinto bean burger or perhaps a chicken wrap for a falafel. Once you get the hang of replacing your favorites with meat-free alternatives, you might even find that they give you more energy and are more enjoyable to eat.
Think Outside the Vegetable Garden
Take this challenge to new depths by incorporating seaweed into your diet! Surprisingly filling, seaweed can be an exciting alternative to beans, avocados and other superfoods during your meat-free month. “Seaweed is low-calorie, crunchy, salty and super nutritious,” said Carolyn Brown, a registered dietitian at NYC-based Foodtrainers, in a recent article for The Food Institute. “The fact that it’s plant-based and high in protein makes it on-trend, too.”
Master a Handful of Recipes
Every great cook has a few defining recipes, and you are no exception. Find the dishes that you are fond of creating (and eating, of course!) to add to your repertoire. Perfecting your signature recipes gives you leeway to get creative and introduce additional elements to keep these recipes fresh and exciting every time you prepare them.
Once you’ve mastered your signature meat-free dishes, turn the dial up a notch. Try using ingredients you may otherwise not consider for a particular dish or adding an extra spice for flavor. Whether you’re experimenting with something for the first time or know for a fact it’s going to be a guaranteed success, try it out! After all, intuition comes from experience.
For more recipes using Green Valley ingredients, check out our collection of recipes and follow us on social media @ItsGreenValley!