I Tried It: Meatless Mondays
By David Moye, 48, La Mesa
My wife went vegan in March 2012, and while she never forced veganism on us, I always thought it would be nice if we could share all the same meals.
Meatless Mondays officially began in 2003, but really took off in 2009 when Paul McCartney and his daughters gave it a big push. It has caught on since then. For instance, the San Diego Unified School District adopted the program in June.
You Try It
LOOK AROUND YOUR GROCERY STORE. Trader Joe’s sells a pre-made mirepoix that’s an easy soup starter.
SNEAK IN ADDITIONAL VEGGIES. Throwing kale or Swiss chard into boiling pasta water adds extra veggies to a spaghetti dinner.
DINE OUT AT THE RIGHT PLACES (see recommendations below). Restaurants serving Mediterranean or Indian cuisines are your friends. Surprisingly, so is sushi.
Some restaurants like Stone Brewing Co. have adopted “Meatless Monday” menus while others simply have vegan and vegetarian options on their menu, to varying degrees of success (“Uh, I could have the chef make you some pasta and veggies” is an all-too familiar refrain).
I feared going without meat would make me woozy and lightheaded, but beans have plenty of protein and are versatile as well.
Our typical MM breakfast is granola and fruit with apple juice, no milk. For lunch, pita sandwiches stuffed with hummus, artichoke hearts, and homegrown spinach. Fun fact: Fritos are vegan!
For dinner, it’s bean burritos with all the fixings or “Moye-nestrone” soup using olive oil, garlic, veggie stock, onion, carrots, celery, cannellini beans, and whatever other veggies are around.
My wife hoped MM might help me lose weight. Fat chance! My soup is so tasty, I slurp down thirds and fourths.
The kids are very understanding of our decision to go meatless on Mondays—as long as it’s not a daily thing. My daughter says she can’t give up hamburgers and steak just yet. However, we’ve discovered soy-based corn dogs are the Cadillac of the fake meat industry. You can’t really tell they’re made from soy.
Still, there are times when I get extreme cravings for certain types of meaty foods and trying to get through a meatless Monday when all I want is extra hot buffalo chicken strips is akin to torture. Despite that, I’ve learned that I can get by without meat and not really miss it—as long as I’ve got lots of garlic and olive oil on hand.
7 Meatless Menus
1 True Food Kitchen: The healthy eating mecca boasts 12 vegetarian options on the lunch menu alone, many of which are vegan. Mission Valley
2 Sammy’s Wood-Fired Pizza: A Mediterranean influence is great for vegans—items range from baba ghanoush and lebni apps to red quinoa salads and veggie pizza. Various locations
3 Native Foods Cafe: Part of a national chain, the entire menu is plant-based. Encinitas
4 Puesto: The Mexican street-style food includes potato soy chorizo and zucchini and cactus tacos. La Jolla, downtown
5 Himalayan: With a strong Indian influence, this menu is both veg-friendly and spicy. La Mesa
6 Stone Brewery: Their MM menu has a rich cheddar, garlic, and Stone Ruination IPA soup, tempeh shepherd’s pie, and more. Beer is vegan! Liberty Station, Escondido
7 Slater’s 50/50: Try the tasty veggie burger and quinoa salad. Liberty Station, San Marcos (Jan.)