We’re going meatless! (At least on Mondays.) I was a vegetarian for many years, as was Mr. Legume, so this is not an entirely new thing for us. And it’s only one day each week, which we pretty much did anyway, unofficially.
So why the sudden meatless proclamation?
Mr. Legume asked me recently if I would be surprised if he became a vegetarian again. Though he’s a dedicated meat-eater these days, I know he hasn’t always been, so the answer was “no.” But I was curious as to why he might return. It seems he was reading a bit of Albert Schweitzer, and a bit of Schweitzer will do that to a person. And then I read something on Grist.org that pointed to MeatlessMonday.com and implored me to join in all the fun. (And I kind of have a crush on Grist, so there you go.)
Aware (and concerned) about the amount of water and fuel that goes into producing meat (an estimated 1800-2500 gallons of water for a single pound of beef, according to the Meatless Monday site), I was already considering cutting back. But I hadn’t thought Mr. Legume would go for it. And, as it turns out, when I made my “we’re doing Meatless Mondays!” announcement, he had more of a skeptical oh-we-are-are-we? look than a yay! look, much to Schweitzer’s dismay. But it’s only one day a week. And I control only dinner – he can eat whatever he wants for breakfast and lunch. But I, along with Bug, will be going meatless for the entire day every Monday.
Or Tuesday, as is the case this week. (The dinner I planned to make on Sunday had to be pushed to Monday, and it happened to include ham. But it also happened to include spinach that wasn’t going to stay edible for another day. So my meatless meal got pushed to tonight. I’m sure the Meatless Monday folks won’t mind.)
Tonight’s meal was a white bean, butternut squash, kale and olive stew. It was… thick. Yes. I think that’s the best way to describe it. But tasty, I thought. Mr. Legume thought it could’ve used more kale. I can’t argue, especially since I put in less kale than the recipe called for (I was out of room in my soup pot). I also put in fewer beans and onions, and maybe a little less squash (based on recommendations gathered from the reviews). And my red pepper got a little overcooked while waiting for the squash to cook through, so next time I’ll either add it later or cut the squash into smaller pieces so it cooks more quickly. We paired it with bread and some cheeses (it’s meatless Monday, not vegan Monday). Though this was a very simple recipe that cooked up in just over a half hour, there was a lot of chopping required up front (including the relatively labor-intensive squash prep) so it might be better suited for a weekend meal, depending on how hectic your evenings tend to be during the week.
Think you might be interested in going meatless one day a week? Check out meatlessmonday.com and consider taking the pledge.