Meatless Mondays

Carol Berg Sloan RD

Trying to cut back on your saturated fat intake? Want to eat more vegetables and whole grains? You are the perfect candidate for the new imitative “Meatless Mondays.”
According to the website, in 2003 Meatless Monday was recreated as a public health awareness program in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. The campaign was endorsed by over 20 schools of public health. Its goal was to help Americans reduce their risk of preventable disease by cutting back saturated fat.
I like the idea, and it’s easy to implement, but many make the mistake of serving up extra-cheesy mac and cheese, pizza, or tempura vegetables with fried rice. Cutting back on saturated fat, which comes from animal products such as beef, pork, veal, and dairy products, is a wise decision, but substituting other high-fat products, such as cheese and vegetable oils, defeats the purpose. You need to continue to watch portion sizes and limit all fats.
Here’s a typical menu for Monday followed by a Meatless Monday version. Try it next week!

Egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant
Dollar-value hamburger and fries
Corn Dog
Pork Chops with Gravy
Baked potato
Ice cream 
“Meatless” Day
Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins with skim milk
Chopped Salad with:
Mixed Greens
Garbanzo beans
Sliced black olives
Sliced beets
Oil and vinegar dressing
AkMok crackers
Cheese crackers with peanut butter
Spinach lasagna with tofu and marinara sauce
Whole-wheat sourdough bread (Trader Joe’s) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Green salad with Paul Newman dressing
Frozen yogurt
The website is full of recipes, but here’s a delicious “Italian night dinner” from for
Tortellini with Broccoli “Pesto”
Makes 4 servings
• One 12-ounce bag frozen cheese tortellini
• One 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli florets or 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (5 to 6 cups)
• 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped or 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Cook the tortellini in a large saucepan according to package directions. Two to 4 minutes before they are done, add the broccoli. Bring back to a boil and cook until the broccoli and tortellini are tender. Drain and return to the pan.
Add the walnuts, Parmesan cheese, oil, salt, and garlic powder and stir well to combine.

Nutrition Information per serving: 470 calories, 23g fat (5g saturated, 1.6g omega-3), 420mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 19g protein, 60% vitamin A, 190% vitamin C, 30% calcium, 20% iron

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