The Many Benefits of Meatless Meals

By April 15, 2021Nutrition
Beans used for Meatless Monday Promotion

Meatless Monday is a global campaign that aims to encourage people to eat less meat for both individual health and the health of the planet.  Commercial meat production uses lot of natural resources such as water and land which can negatively affect the environment. By choosing to reduce meat consumption one day a week everyone can do something to help the planet. Many large organizations such as school systems and hospitals have adopted this approach.  Earlier this year Colorado even became the first state to adopt a meatless holiday when the Governor declared March 20th “MeatOut Day” encouraging everyone to celebrate a day without meat.

Eating a plant-based meal at least once a week is an easy and delicious way to eat more dietary fiber and lower food costs. Eating more fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases including Diabetes and Heart Disease. Not only are there health benefits to eating more plant foods adding more vegetables to a diet is an easy way to reduce food costs. Meat and animal products are typically the most expensive parts of meals and skipping them one day a week can have a large impact on grocery costs over a year.

If decreased cost and improved health are not good enough reasons to try a new plant-based recipe many plant-based recipes can be made in 10-15 minutes and are perfect for busy weeknights! Taco Potatoes are a fiber filled dinner, packed with vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. People who regularly eat a high fiber high are at lower risk for developing conditions like constipation and colon cancer. With an estimated 12 grams of fiber per serving, almost 1/2 of the daily recommended amount of fiber for adult women and 1/3 of the recommendation for adult men, it’s easy to see why this is such a satisfying and filling option.

Written by: Mary Wildes, VA Dietetic Intern


Taco Potatoes
Makes 4 servings

4 medium Yukon gold or red potatoes
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups super thin sliced cabbage
½ cup salsa
1/2 cup guacamole
Optional: Shredded cheese, fajita vegetables

1. Wash potatoes thoroughly but don’t peel. With a fork, poke holes all over potato to vent. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes or until soft, turning over every minute.
2. Heat drained and rinsed beans in a small sauce pan over medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons water. When hot, remove from heat and stir in taco seasoning.
3. Smash one potato in the middle of a 4 medium-large plates. Divide beans, cabbage, salsa, and guacamole evenly and pile on top of smashed potato. Add cheese or fajita vegetables as desired.

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