What We Actually Eat for Meatless Monday

You can find millions of meatless recipes online to help create any meal imaginable. But how many of these recipes actually end up made? It’s one thing to post a recipe; it’s another thing to cook it.

So this week we’re doing something a little different.

We surveyed members of the Meatless Monday team to find out what people actually eat on a Monday. Because when you’re busy with work, family, and any of life’s other demands, you tend to consider a different set of factors when deciding what to cook. Cost and ease of preparation may trump those more elaborate dinner decisions. Maybe you opt for a quick peanut noodle or veggie stir-fry instead of that ten-step recipe for mushroom Wellington with bordelaise sauce.

And although these meal ideas pull from different corners of the culinary map, they’re all excellent options to add to your Meatless Monday repertoire. Some don’t even require a recipe; others you can pick up at your local quick-service or fast-food restaurant (because sometimes we’re not in the mood to cook at all). We hope you love these foods as much as we do and that they inspire your future cooking endeavors. 

Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats

We love waking up to a nutritious breakfast with minimum fuss. Prepare overnight oats the day before by soaking the oats in plant-based milk and spices. The next morning you can top your creamy oats with things like chocolate, blueberries, chia seeds, or shredded coconut.For some inspiration check out this chocolate banana version.

Fruit and Veggie Smoothies

A smoothie can be your best friend when you’re crunched for time or just not in the mood to turn on the stove. The combinations are endless: frozen fruits, vegetables, yogurt, seeds, nut butters you’re only limited to your imagination. You can also boost the nutritional content of your smoothies by adding a few key ingredients, like protein-powder, spirulina, or avocado.

Two-Ingredient Pancakes

No recipe needed for these pancakes. Just mash one ripe banana together with two eggs and cook on a medium-hot skillet before flipping. Top the hot pancakes with a schmear of creamy peanut butter and you’ve got a filling hot breakfast ready in minutes.  

Burger King Impossible Burger

As far as fast-food burgers go, this one is pretty good! And it’s totally plant-based which we applaud. Although the drive-thru window isn’t always option A, it can be the right move if you’re in a hurry or on-the-go. Check out our list of other national chains offering plant-based options.

Farro Grain Bowls

You can buy quick cooking farro at Trader Joes, and use it as the base of grain bowls throughout the week. Top the farro with chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, and arugula for a light lunch that takes little to no prep. The farro can also be stir-fried in place of rice with beans and veggies.  

Italian Pasta Salad

Sure, you can boil pasta and smother it in tomato sauce, but you can also take those noodles and use them as a base of a light-and-bright veggie-packed pasta salad. Maybe you’re a fan of pesto or sundried tomato or artichoke hearts or sliced olives; whatever ingredient you enjoy, you can customize a pasta salad to your liking. It’s a great dish to pop in your bag and take with you for lunch.

Chickpea Curry

Curry paste and coconut milk is a match made in heaven. This combination of ingredients brings a balance of sweet and spicy that pairs magically with any number of plant-based ingredients. You can quickly whip up your own chickpea curry using diced tomatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, onion, and frozen spinach. Start-to-finish, the whole dish will take you thirty minutes.

Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

A platter of stuffed peppers is a show-stopping dinner option, but it’s even better when saved for leftovers. Some cooked beans, leftover rice, corn, and chopped veggies can quickly be stuffed into a pepper and then baked in the oven till the whole thing is nice and tender. Top with salsa, guacamole, cheese, or sour cream (plant-based or dairy).

Mushroom Pasta

Another Meatless Monday favorite is mushrooms. Their chew and umami flavor make them an excellent addition to creamy pastas. Cook together in a pan with onion, garlic, and a little chile flake, and deglaze with some reserved pasta water or stock to create a flavor base for your pasta. Finish with a little bit of cream (plant-based is okay, too), and toss in the pasta for an easy dinner that’s sure to satisfy.  

Peanut Noodles

A mouthwatering blend of salty and sweet, a bowl of peanut noodles is a terrific meatless lunch or dinner option. The sauce is essentially a quick mixture of creamy peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, chile sauce, and sesame oil. You can thin it out with a little bit of reserved pasta water or broth if it’s too thick. Then just pour the sauce over sliced vegetables and your favorite noodles and garnish with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.

Vegetable Stir-Fry

A vegetable stir-fry is an easy one-pan meal that can feed one or a crowd, which is probably why so many of the team selected it as one of their go-to dishes. Pick any fast-cooking vegetables (we like broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms, and peppers) and a protein (like tofu) and give a quick sauté over high heat. But the key to any tasty stir-fry is the tangy sauce, which typically uses some combination of honey, soy sauce, hoisin, hot sauce, corn starch (to thicken) and fresh ginger and citrus.

Sorbet with Berries

Sure, you can whip up your own plant-based frozen dessert using a frozen banana, berries, and lemon juice, but you can also just buy a pint of sorbet at the store and have dessert ready when you are. Adding fun toppings like strawberries, sliced almonds, or chocolate chips makes for a necessary sweet finish to the day.

Click here for more Meatless Monday recipes. When posting pictures of recipes to your social media network, tag @MeatlessMonday use #MeatlessMonday to show the plant-based community your creation.