With fresh produce readily available in the summer months, it may be the perfect time to participate in Meatless Mondays. If you’ve been curious about the trend, there are more vegetarian recipes available these days to help ease the transition.
The Meatless Monday initiative started a few years ago with the goal of helping households reduce their meat consumption. As this initiative catches on across the country, many meatless health foods are making their way on to the map.
Proponents say that by reducing the amount of meat you consume, you are decreasing your risk for some diseases, as well as potentially improving the condition of your heart.
Cutting out meat, however, often means you are looking for new side dishes to go along with those vegetarian meals. That’s where quinoa may come in. Quinoa pairs well with vegetables and is produced in a sustainable fashion that is attractive to those concerned about the environment.
So, what’s the skinny on quinoa? According to Alter Eco Foods, quinoa is an edible seed that has been in cultivation for around 4,000 years. A relative to beets, spinach, and tumbleweed, it is high protein and rich in both minerals and anti-oxidants. The different varieties of quinoa make for a vast array of quinoa-based recipes, from salads to veggie burgers. The United Nations has even named 2013 the International Year of Quinoa, based on its health benefits and economic potential.
So, if you are looking to change up your summer diet, consider trying a new, meatless meal made with vegetables and whole grains. With homegrown gardens and produce stands popping up on every corner, it’s a great time to give it a try. Turn that Saturday morning trip to the farmer’s market into a beautiful vegetarian dish, such as this Quinoa Summer Salad courtesy of Alter Eco Foods, which is perfect for any day of the week!