Easy Go To Meal Ideas for Meatless Monday

Who doesn’t want to be part of the solution vs. the problem and help reduce our carbon footprint? Especially when it’s so easy to do.


One way to teach our children that activism doesn’t have to be a great sacrifice is by embracing Meatless Mondays.


Here’s a way to cook vegetarian dishes easily.


First, in the same way most households consider a blue blazer and sneakers must-have classics, a pantry should have black beans and rice. Especially the Minute Maid instant cups which only take a minute in the microwave as do heating up the black beans, if not using a pot.


With these two ingredients, a meal you will have in minutes.


So what to do for extra color and taste? After all, black beans and white rice may not  look so appetizing.  Food should also be a feast for the eyes.


Well think of yourself as an artiste and just pop some butternut squash in the oven – tossed with olive oil, S&P – at 450 temperature for 30 minutes.


Voila – you have a great dish.   And for added color, sprinkle some parsley or cilantro on top of it. Then add a salad.


If you don’t want beans, use the butternut squash over sauteed spinach or kale and then add the side of rice.  Too many greens make kids suspicious. But bright colors of orange often help.


Another option – which I did for my Meatless Monday – is add spaghetti squash in the same pan I used the butternut squash.


Half the spaghetti squash, spoon out the seeds, put in oven with cut side open to the top.  Oven should be at 450 for 30 minutes.  Then take a fork and literally carve out spaghetti like strands.


Then I put it in the microwave with tomato sauce – everyone has that in their pantry – and sprinkled on some parmesan cheese.


Because I have male athletes in my house – who eat lots of food –  these two dishes really accomplished my two goals.


It not only provided dinner in less than 30 minutes with little fuss or clean-up and it also became  a story to share over dinner that included being a good citizen and creative cook.


-Jill Brooke