Making better food choices for yourself and your family can sometimes seem like a full-time job. Thankfully, initiatives like Meatless Monday can make it easier to get your family excited about eating healthier. This is especially true when it’s a global movement, and the whole world is on board. We are here to help you find Meatless Monday Recipes that fit your family and your budget. Read on to learn more about Meatless Monday, and explore some of the best meat-free mushroom recipes for Meatless Monday.
What Is Meatless Monday?
Meatless Monday is a global initiative encouraging people to reduce the amount of meat they consume to improve their health and benefit the planet. This campaign was initiated by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, along with Sid Learner, founder of The Monday Campaigns, and took off in 2009. Its goal is to encourage people to reduce meat consumption and encourage plant-based foods to reduce preventable chronic diseases while preserving natural resources and combating climate change.
Meatless Monday’s message has its roots in similar conservation campaigns enacted during World Wars I and II to encourage families to reduce the number of staples they consumed to contribute to the war effort. They were known as Meatless Tuesdays, and the campaign helped people get on board with the meat rationing that took place during World War II.
The current Meatless Monday campaign uses the first day of the week to be its action day. This is partly due to research that shows that Monday is the day of the week people are most likely to initiate positive changes. Starting the week out with a meatless meal can lead to more positive health choices such as increased fruit and vegetable intake during the rest of the week. A large number of schools and public health organizations have also adopted the initiative.
What Can You Eat for Meatless Monday?
Now that you’ve decided to join the Meatless Monday movement, you may be wondering what you can eat next Monday. Fortunately, there are many different vegetarian recipes available on the internet and cookbooks dedicated to meatless options. Finding Meatless Monday recipes can be fun, and you can have your whole family participate in the process. Consider having family members take turns looking for new ideas for Meatless Monday and helping with meal preparation. Younger children are more likely to be vested in the new lifestyle changes if they participate in the process.
Dishes that would typically feature meat can be built around vegetables instead, such as a vegetable and mushroom stir-fry, or many recipes can use meat substitutes such as tofu or mushrooms to take the place of the meat.
Meat-Free Mushroom Recipes
Mushrooms are a perfect choice when looking for Meatless Monday recipes. Portobello mushrooms have the right texture and flavor profile to take the place of a burger at your next barbeque, or try using shitake or oyster mushrooms in place of the lobster on a lobster roll. You can also use mushrooms to make your favorite family comfort meal into a Meatless Monday recipe that the whole family will love, even if it isn’t Monday. The following are a few meat-free mushroom recipes to get you and your family on the road to better health.
Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: serves 4
1 20 oz. can green enchilada sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 finely chopped onion
1 pound button mushrooms
1 pound chopped baby spinach
10 flour or corn tortillas
3 cups shredded Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 dish.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over med-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent and tender, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, stirring occasionally, and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add spinach, cooking until just wilted. Drain off excess liquid, and add ¼ cup of enchilada sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat.
For enchiladas, spread a layer of the spinach-mushroom mixture along with a sprinkle of cheese down the center of the tortilla, roll up tightly. Place in the 9×13 dish and repeat. If using corn tortillas, warm before filling.
Pour remaining enchilada sauce over rolled tortillas to coat evenly, top with remaining Jack cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly and cheese lightly browned. Let enchiladas sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.
Add your favorite toppings, such as sour cream and tomatoes, enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 -6 servings
8-ounce package bowtie pasta shells
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds Baby Bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup white wine
1 ½ cup vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Cook pasta according to instructions on the package; drain.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add shallots and mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and slightly brown.
Add garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for about 1 minute. Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping browned bits from the bottom. Cook until liquid reduces.
Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in vegetable stock and Dijon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened.
Add pasta and sour cream to the skillet, and cook until heated through. Stir in parmesan until it melts into the pasta and mushrooms. Add parsley, salt and pepper, to taste.
Portobello Mushroom Bolognese
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Yield: 6 servings
1.5 lb. portobello mushrooms, about a 1-inch dice
6 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, about a ½ inch dice
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 c dry red wine
1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Heat olive oil on high heat in a Dutch oven. Add mushrooms and stir until coated. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 20-25 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 10 minutes.
Add tomato paste; stir frequently until the vegetable mixture is dark red, about 2 minutes.
Add red wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up all browned bits on the bottom. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking to allow flavors to meld. Bolognese should cook for at least 20 minutes and can continue cooking for up to an hour.
Toss 1/2 mushroom Bolognese with one-pound cooked spaghetti, penne or pappardelle pasta. Portion and top with additional Bolognese, and parmesan, if desired. This dish can also be served over pureed cauliflower or polenta.
Remember, Meatless Monday meals don’t have to be boring, try the dishes above and discover more easy and scrumptious mushroom recipes on our site here.
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