Today I introduce you to the Meatless Monday pledge. Haven’t heard about this movement yet? The idea is simple: take a break from eating meat once a week, for both your health and the health of our environment.
I’m perpetually looking for ways to improve my health when it comes to eating, but I’ll admit that I haven’t always considered our planet’s health when making my dinner choices. Watching Food, Inc. changed that. Since then I’ve been inspired to make some adjustments in my lifestyle to help our planet in any small way that I can. The movie (which I still strongly urge everyone to see), advised that giving up meat just one day a week is one of the top 10 ways to improve our food system. To further drill home the point, Michael Pollan, author of “In Defense of Food” said on Oprah recently that if everybody in America did just that, it “would be the equivalent of taking 20 million mid-size sedans off the road.” That’s one powerful visual. I know it’s a bit hard to imagine how giving up that piece of chicken could do that, so click here to visit the official website to learn more.
Now don’t go thinking that I’m going vegetarian on you- not going to happen. I like meat too much to give it up altogether. But consuming a little less of it? That’s easy. And what better time of year to start than summer, when fresh produce is plentiful? So for the next few weeks, I’ll start off the week sharing with you some of my favorite meatless recipes in hopes that they will inspire you to adopt Meatless Monday in your own life.
For this first installment, I’ve got a zesty summer salad that makes for an easy weeknight supper. It’s light, fresh, and bursting with flavor!
Summer Chickpea Salad
Makes 2 servings. Adapted from Serious Eats.
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small fresh red chili, deseeded and minced
2 handfuls red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
6 ounces feta cheese
Combine the onion, chili, and tomatoes with their juice into a bowl. Dress with olive oil and most of the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
In a small skillet, drizzle 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat and add the chickpeas. Cook for a few minutes until hot and creamy and just beginning to color. Add them to the bowl and allow to marinate and cool.
Once cooled, toss the herbs and season again to taste, adding any remaining lemon juice if needed. Serve with the feta cheese loosely crumbled on top.
For more facts, tips and recipes, visit the official Meatless Monday website.