Vegetarian Week

vegetables.jpgI recently saw Jennifer of Savoring the Thyme post about her family's Meatless May and it reminded me of something I wanted to share. A couple of months ago, Laurel became very concerned about animals -- or rather, human consumption of them. She asked whether we could help the environment and the animals and start eating vegetarian one week per month. We tried it and found it surprisingly easy, and that the experiment rendered other benefits.
Though organized about lots of things, Jon and I tend to be lax when it comes to menu planning. But when we committed to Laurel's vegetarian week, we decided to create a menu for the week to help us stick to the plan. Here's a sample week:

Sunday: Vegetable lasagna (It's nice to do something on Sunday that will create leftovers for the week; I used this awesome lasagna recipe but substituted roasted eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash for the chicken.)

Monday: Bean and cheese and/or vegetable quesadillas

Tuesday: Pan seared tofu, brown rice, scallion pancakes, and assorted veggies

Wednesday: Breakfast as dinner (eggs, pancakes, what have you...)

Thursday: Magic spinach pie

Friday: Take out or dine out (pizza, burritos, sushi, etc...just make sure it's meat free!)

Saturday: FREE CHOICE (e.g., leftovers or something easy like veggie burgers)

As I said, it was remarkably easy to make it through the week eating vegetarian. But also cool? We have found that this experiment has lead to decreased meat consumption in other (non-vegetarian week) weeks, lower grocery bills (since we're buying less meat and fish), and better menu planning overall (we now plot our weekly menus on these chalkboard circles in our kitchen). So what do you think? Would you consider trying vegetarian week?

Image credit: Michelle Meiklejohn /