Today is the Great American Meatout, a day meant to raise awareness of the benefits of eating a diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
To translate, that means that today—the first day of spring—people around the country can take a pledge to eat vegan for the day, once a week, or even for good.
The goal of Meatout is to raise awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet, and encourage people to eat a vegan diet for their health, the planet, and for animals (the day is coordinated by the non-profit group FARM, the Farm Animal Rights Movement).
Though parting ways with your morning scrambled eggs or a steak dinner may seem hard to imagine, Meatout wants to prove that being vegan isn’t as hard as people think.
And the group notes that there are some major health benefits. Cutting out dairy and meat that is high in saturated fat and eating more veggies is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, several common cancers, and other chronic diseases.
Want to try a vegan diet but don’t know where to start or what to eat? We’ve got a full days worth of recipes to get you started…plus they taste good and fill you up!
If you think all vegans just munch on carrot sticks and kale all day, you may be surprised that blueberry muffins and burritos are still on the menu. (I made my pledge already, so I will be enjoying some vegan burritos right along with you!)
Vegan Blueberry-Lemon Muffins
(Note: You can make any muffin recipe vegan by using soy or almond milk instead of cow's milk, vegan spread instead of butter, and a vegan "flax egg"--1 tablespoon flax meal, plus 3 tablespoons water--in place of regular eggs. Using whole-wheat flour and cutting down on sugar will yield a deliciously healthy muffin!)
Try this recipe: Vegan Blueberry-Lemon Muffins
Red Cabbage and Apple Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette:
Ingredients: apple cider vinegar, ginger, Dijon mustard, honey (not all vegans eat honey, so you can cut this ingredient out), garlic, olive oil, red and Napa cabbage, Granny Smith apple, lemon juice, golden raisins and sunflower seeds
Try this recipe: Red Cabbage and Apple Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette
Spicy Black Bean Burritos
Ingredients: black beans, red onion, garlic, cumin, tofu, olive oil, whole wheat tortillas, iceberg lettuce, white or brown rice
Try this recipe: Spicy Black Bean Burritos
Check out our favorite better-for-you chocolate…two of them are vegan!