Meatless Monday: Becoming Vegetarian

About four months ago I decided to commit to being a vegetarian. I have never liked chicken or red meat, and have never cooked with it, although once every three years or so I might break down and make a secret solo trip McDonalds for some chicken nuggets and a chocolate milkshake. But I've decided that these rare trips are something that I can (easily) live without. Committing to a vegetarian lifestyle meant one thing to me: saying it out loud.

I have been a vegetarian on and off throughout my whole life and I can tell you the number of times I've eaten red meat in the last year: two. I knew though, that announcing my decision would result in questions from friends, family members, and maybe even some flack for avoiding the things that I've always avoided anyway, albeit silently.

Last year my New Year's resolution was simple: cook more, eat out less. It's healthier, you can control your portion size and eat leftovers for lunch, and you can spend all of the money that you saved on a vacation to Costa Rica with your boyfriend, husband, friends, family, etc (I'm going in April!). But what I found while cooking more was that the vegetarian recipes were FUN! I learned about new protein rich grains such as quinoa and seitan, I figured out how to cook with tempeh and tofu, and I expanded my knowledge and love of cooking exponentially. With all of these new possibilities, I look forward to cooking and finding new ways to make favorite meals. There is no better way to jump start the new year than to be reinvigorated by new recipes!

My new favorite this week is Tempeh Sloppy Joes. I made them the other night and my roommate (who alternates between steak, bacon, and chicken) was so impressed that he considered for a brief second about becoming a vegetarian himself.

Check out this easy vegetarian recipe and see for yourself!

Erin Lizzo is a freelance writer and food lover - a perfect combination for She'll be contributing fabulous (and easy) vegetarian recipes that everyone can enjoy! We already promote going meatless one day per week, so we're looking forward to her fave suggestions!

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