I am not a vegetarian, but living with a vegetarian roommate for over three years in college has always sparked my interest in testing out the vegetarian lifestyle. I decided to start a challenge of my own: the Vegetarian Challenge. I challenged myself to stay away from meat for five whole days.
Could I do it? I’m going to go through my week of veggie living by sharing my day-to-day dinner recipes. For breakfast, I stuck to what I usually eat, minus the bacon and sausage, of course. That includes greek yogurt, cereal and soy milk and my favorite eggs and toast. For lunch, I stuck to salads, grilled cheese and different soups.
Here’s my week-long vegetarian challenge diet dairy.
For Meatless Monday, I decided to make a Pesto Pasta Salad with Veggies.
[This recipe cooks for 4]
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 3 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 ounce Romano cheese
- Cook your pasta, drain, and place it in a bowl
- Combine basil, olive oil, salt and garlic clove in a bowl and use a food processor to mix it all together until it is smooth. Once done, mix it in with your pasta.
- Add your basil mix, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to the pasta. And last but not least, add your Romano cheese to top it off (you also add more of that mozzarella cheese to make it cheesier).
Voilà! I’m thinking of making Meatless Monday a weekly thing.
Meatless Taco Tuesday is up next! I usually do Taco Tuesday once a month, so I had to try out this veggie-filled taco recipe.
[This recipe serves up to 4 people]
- Olive oil
- 1 cup of zucchini
- 1 large fresh mild green chile (discard the stem and seeds)
- 1/2 fresh jalapeño chile pepper (discard the stem and seeds)
- Pinch of ground cumin and oregano
- 1 small chopped tomato
- 4 corn tortillas
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of feta cheese
- Add olive oil in a medium size pan on medium high heat. Add in the zucchini, green chile and jalapeño chile all in the pan and add some salt and cumin on top.
- Stir the veggies until they are a bit toasted. Then, stir in your oregano and chopped tomatoes while lowering the temperature of your heat.
- While letting it sit in low heat, start with your tortillas. I used the microwave to heat my tortillas. I placed my tortillas on a large plate and set the timer for a minute and 30 seconds. I then added the cheddar cheese and set the timer for 40 seconds.
- By now, your veggies should be ready, so place them in your cheese tortilla add some cilantro and feta cheese and you’re done!
For hump day, I decided to make a blueberry tofu salad.
[This recipe serves around 4]
- 1 cup of grade tomatoes
- Romaine Lettuce
- Baby Spinach
- ½ cup of shredded carrots
- Blueberry vinaigrette
- Wash your lettuce and spinach.
- Mix in your lettuce, tomatoes, spinach and shredded carrots all into one large bowl.
- Add the blueberry vinaigrette as desired.
I’ve been hooked on tofu since I first bought it, so I decided to make a tofu stir-fry.
[This recipe makes 4 servings]
- 1 package of firm tofu, cut into small cubes or slabs
- 2 cups of broccoli
- Olive oil
- 8 ounces of egg noodles
- Set your water to boil in medium heat, and add broccoli. Let it cook for around 5-6 minutes, and then drain.
- Set your egg noodles to boil in medium-high heat and drain.
- Add olive oil to a pan and add your tofu slices on medium-high heat. Turn your tofu around until it is golden brown.
- Add your noodles and broccoli onto your tofu pan and mix it all together.
I am also considering making Tofu Tuesday a weekly event as well.
To finish of the vegetarian-long week, I decided to make a veggie pizza.
To make this pizza faster, I used one of those pre-made pizza bread that you can get in pretty much any supermarket.
- 1 ½ cups of tomato sauce
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 sliced bell pepper.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Black olives
- Olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- To start, I brushed some olive oil onto the bread and then spread the tomato sauce on top.
- I fried the onion, pepper and black olives on a pan.
- I added some mozzarella cheese on top of my bread and mixed in the onion, pepper, and black olives. Once that was done, I added the sliced tomato and then sprinkled some more mozzarella cheese on top of that.
- Place your pizza in your preheated oven for 20 minutes, let it cool and eat up!
Having done this challenge, I learned that while I can live without meat, I rather not eliminate it completely. What I have done is cut down on meat, serving myself less portions and replacing it with tofu (which I actually enjoy). Give the week-long Vegetarian Challenge a chance, and you’ll be surprised with what you learn!