I remember the shame I used to feel when seeing everyone proudly posting their Meat-Free Monday pics on social media, especially when I was eating my steak or chicken schnitzels. I never thought that posting Meat-Free Monday was a self-righteous thing, but rather something fun, especially when showing how incredible vegetarian options can be.
Anyway, these days, most Mondays are meat-free for me as I became a vegetarian almost two years ago (I still eat fish occasionally, but not so comfortably). I don’t preach vegetarianism, nor do I make my family stop eating their meat (it’s unlikely my son could give up sushi or steak, and that’s okay). I used to be a vegetarian in high school, and then became comfortable with eating meat. While
doing some work for a well-known brand, and seeing a lot of graphics and hearing about meat all day, something switched, and I was no longer comfortable eating it.
BUT… I would like to bring in Meat-Free Mondays for the fam – just to have one night when we’re doing things a little differently and eating quick and healthy dinners. It’s a small and manageable way to cut down on meat and sample other foods.
And I won’t be tricking them either – I won’t serve up a Fry’s chicken-style schnitzel for example and tell them it’s chicken (though I’m pretty sure this would work!). Rather, I’ll be upfront about what we’re doing and why (cutting down on green emissions, pollution, and energy and water usage, and for health reasons, like less cholesterol).
Fry’s, makers of vegetarian food, will continue to encourage the Meat Free Monday campaign this year. Aside from their current range of vegetarian burgers, sausages and schnitzels, they’ll be bringing in new products this year to make MFM even easier and more exciting.
Right, so how do you get started?
My advice is to not panic or make a big deal out of it –
it’s just a night without meat, and you probably have nights like these anyway.
If you’re looking for ideas, either Google how to “vegetarianise” your favourite recipe, or search for the hashtag “meatfreemonday” on social media for lots of inspiration (there are different variations of the hashtag such as “meatfreemondays” and “meetfreemondaysa”.
You don’t have to complicate things either – if you don’t feel like cooking from scratch, then just pop a vegetarian burger or sausages in the oven and serve with veggies or grilled oven chips (my best!).