Meatless Mondays (and Maybe Even Some Lenten Fridays)

Chances are you’ve heard of the Meatless Monday campaign sometime since it originated in 2003. Having Meatless Mondays encourages people to reduce the amount of meat in their diets for their own health and the health of the planet. I’ll admit, I’m not the best when it comes to consistently sticking with Meatless Mondays — mostly because Mondays around here are for red beans and rice (and I make my red beans with two types of sausage along with tasso, so they’re anything but meatless!).
meatless monday
Since I’m Catholic and observe “no meat on Fridays during Lent,” going meatless on those days has generally meant grabbing shrimp and oyster poboys or maybe a few pounds of boiled crawfish. But the Meatless Monday campaign actually says to skip the beef, poultry, pork, and — gasp! — even seafood!

So what’s a New Orleans girl to do?

Focus on beans, nuts/nut butters, seeds, eggs, and dairy. (If you’re wanting to venture into the more vegan side of things, obviously stay away from the eggs and dairy.) Meatless Mondays are a great opportunity to up our consumption of veggies and whole grains and to try more plant-based protein options than what most of us are used to.

Give it a try!

I crowdsourced several different recipes that are tried-and-true Meatless Monday favorites. I’m sharing them with you to give you some tasty options to try on your next Meatless Monday (or Lenten Friday)!

Creamy Baked Spinach & Mushroom Pasta

1 container sliced fresh white mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced garlic (but measure this with your heart)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 bag fresh baby spinach
Olive oil
1 block cream cheese
1 wheel Boursin garlic & herb cheese
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Your choice of pasta (whole wheat or low-carb would work well here)

Combine mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a 13×9 pan. Give them a light drizzle of olive oil and make room in middle for block of cream cheese and Boursin. Drizzle with half the cream. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes, then bake uncovered for 15 more minutes. While your mushrooms are in the oven, cook your pasta. When the mushrooms are done, mix in the baby spinach, parmesan, cooked pasta, and the rest of the heavy cream. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan.

What are your favorite Meatless Monday meals?

Joey Yearous
Joey is a New Orleans native, Dominican alum, and LSU grad who joined the ranks of motherhood in the summer of 2019. She and her Colorado born-and-raised husband, Phil, left their Mid-City apartment for a house on the Northshore about ten days before they welcomed their son, Sam, into the world. Though she’s always had a passion for writing, it’s her work as the Director of Marketing for a Louisiana-based electrical firm that pays the bills. She’s a longtime member of the dance troupe The Muff-A-Lottas and when she isn’t covered in glitter and dancing through the streets of New Orleans, she’s usually cooking, trying new restaurants, and listening to true crime podcasts. A consummate Pinterest fanatic, she’s always looking for her next DIY project or recipe to try. She believes good senses of humor and random acts of kindness make the world go ‘round.

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