Going Meatless During Lent
Since meat and poultry come off the table on Fridays during Lent, why not focus your diet on plants instead? Diets based around plants tend to be lower in cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fats and sodium, while higher in fiber, phytonutrients and potassium. Plant-centered eating, even if it includes low-fat dairy and the occasional egg product, may also help manage diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
One easy way to get started is by finding simple substitutions for your favorite dishes. Here are a few ideas:
Do you enjoy chicken noodle soup during those cold winter days? Consider making it with Simple TruthÂ® Griller Strips and whole-wheat noodles in a vegetable broth.
Are beef tacos a common weekday dinner in your home? Try creating the same dish instead with beans, brown rice, guacamole, salsa and lettuce.
Is pepperoni pizza a Friday night go-to meal? Letâ€™s switch that out for a mini vegetarian personal pizza: a toasted whole-grain English muffin with marinara sauce, part-skim mozzarella cheese or a cheese alternative, onions and mushrooms.
Exchange that cherry cheesecake dessert for fresh raspberries and strawberries with a dollop of light dairy or soy whipped cream.
Thereâ€™s no need to worry about getting enough protein from plant-based choices. Soy (edamame, tempeh, soy milk, etc.) and quinoa are complete proteins with all 9 essential amino acids. Vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes pack a protein punch too! Spinach contains 12 grams of protein per 100 calories. Youâ€™ll find 7 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. A quarter cup of split peas provides a full 12 grams of protein, and 40% of the calories in shelled soybeans comes from protein.
Lastly, be sure to make meatless meals and snacks exciting. Take advantage of herbs, spices, flavor combinations and different cooking techniques. This Lent might be the opportunity you were looking for to create a vegetarian culinary masterpiece, try a local vegan restaurant, grill with portobello mushroom caps or see what you can do with tofu!