Meatless Lunches

Welcome! Today is DAY 9 of “The Greatest Generation Challenge.” This challenge is based on the mindsets, behaviors and habits of the original Greatest Generation and what we can learn from their lifestyles to apply to ours today. They were born between 1901-1927 and came of age during the Great Depression and WWII. The original Greatest Generation really has a lot to teach us, if we are willing to pay attention

Quote of the day:
“At first, people think about vegetarian food like, ‘Here’s some veggies. Here’s some pasta.’ But there’s so much more you can do in the vegetarian and vegan world.” -Guy Fieri

“Meatless Mondays” is probably something you’ve heard of and maybe even practice. During WWII they did “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” to save supplies to send to soldiers fighting overseas. The original Greatest Generation implemented these minor switches in their food consumption for the greater good of the nation.

You might be wondering why I’m advocating for meatless meals and it boils down to being better for the greater good. Meatless proteins are usually shelf-stable and are cheap. Many Americans are not getting their normal paychecks and are looking for alternatives to fill their bellies. Secondly, eating less meat is good for your health and environment. I won’t pretend to be an expert on all those details, but feel free to Google what the benefits are to eating more vegetarian meals are for your health and environment. It might shock you.

I realize with the grocery stores being a hot mess, you might just have to settle for whatever is available. But, you might be like me and have some canned/dried beans or lentils hiding out at the back of your pantry. I’m suggesting to get creative and find a way to use them. Avoid going to the grocery store and make it like one of those cooking show challenges. Will you try a meal of taco beans and rice? Will you make a lentil soup? Will you find something fun like lentils with curry and rice? Get creative (and if you do make something yummy, tell me about it in the comments!)

Now I realized that many of you love your meat and can’t fathom going without. At our house, I told my husband that unless it’s leftovers from the night before, I’m not going to be cooking meat for lunch during the social distancing effort. We are saving our meat meals for dinner and therefore reducing out demand on meat and also reducing how often we will have to go to the grocery store.

I only have a regular refrigerator and freezer combo. Therefore, I don’t have extra space to store meat like an extra chest freezer at our place. Stocking up on a ton meat wasn’t an option for me. But, I’m not worried. We already had eggs, a bag of lentils, 2 bags of dried pinto beans, hemp hearts, ground flax, chia seeds, peanut butter, PB2 powdered peanut butter, and a variety of nuts in our house. Plus we both have our preferred protein powders and we have powdered collagen we sneak into our kid’s juice from time-to-time. Long story short, we will not be lacking in the protein department.

So far, I’ve made about a 1/3 of a bag of pinto beans in the crockpot this last week. The first night we added them with ground beef taco meat and made nachos. The leftovers were then made into bean and rice fried burritos for two lunches. The hubby enjoyed our bean and rice fried burritos as us adults added some diced jalapeños we had in the fridge to ours to spice it up. Super cheap, easy, and yummy. Winning. We also did pancakes and scrambled eggs for dinner. You could take this a step further and do pancakes and smoothies, cutting out the animal-based protein altogether.

Tonight, I am going to make a lentil alfredo pasta. The plan is to cook the lentils, add them to the alfredo sauce with sauteed red bell pepper and onion and some spinach. Fingers crossed it turns out. I think it sounds yummy and it’s something I wouldn’t have come up with before we went into our social distancing quarantine.

Today’s challenge, be creative with your lunches. Realize that you don’t have to have meat at every meal. Go through your cupboard and look at what’s hiding in the back. Can you make a meatless chili? A veggie and barley soup? A lentil spaghetti? (PS- this is good and easy, just substitute cooked lentils instead of ground beef).

See what you can do to stay away from the grocery store a couple extra days. Let the world calm down and catch up a bit. Social distancing to stop the spread of Coronoavirus will work if you (and everybody else) stay home.