By now you have heard of Meatless Mondays, a growing movement in which people give up meat just one day a week. Well, that turns out to be really easy, and effective, too. When a million people opt for beans over beef, that means that thousands of pounds of beef are spared.
That single quarter pound burger patty represents 6.7 pounds of animal feed, 52.8 gallons of water, 74.5 square feet of farmland that were used to grow the feed, and 1, 036 Btus of fossil fuel energy. The US has a huge appetite for meat, second in per person consumption only to Luxembourg. All those farm animals that we consume are producing lots of waste and methane gases, too.
Link to NPR Story on Meat Consumption
So why not celebrate eating plant based, for a week? You’ll find that it is easier and more satisfying than ever. Already vegetarian? Pledge to go vegan for the week, and pare down your carbon footprint. It’s almost Earth Day, so it’s fitting that we are talking about making a move that is so friendly to the Earth.
It’s Spring cleaning season, so what better time to boost your veggie consumption? We read over and over about how beneficial plants are to your well-being. If you spent the winter eating hefty stews and cheesy casseroles, this is a perfect opportunity to lighten up.
So, if you are an omnivore, you just need to plan in some hearty protein foods, like beans and grains, as well as all those leafy greens. Some people like to transition by eating mock meats, like veggie burgers. I’m always going to recommend that you pick the most whole-food option, so look for the veggie burger that has whole beans, grains, nuts and seeds, not soy protein isolates. For that matter, maybe you can just opt for the beans, nuts and seeds. They are quite delicious in their own right.
So click on over to the pledge site, where you can receive some free materials in the mail on how to go veg.
Link to Compassion over Killing to sign up for the pledge.
For my part, I want to offer you a really satisfying, hearty salad that fits the season perfectly. A few years ago, I posted a blog and recipe featuring Freekeh, and it has been one of the most popular posts on my blog. I thought I might tickle your fancy with another Freekeh fantasy.
Freekeh-Radish Spring Salad with Edamame
Serves about 6
1 cup Freekeh
2 1/2 cups water
12 medium red radishes, chopped, and a handful of the leaves, if they are fresh
1 cup shredded carrot
3 medium scallions, minced
3 cloves garlic
3 cups salad spinach
1 cup mint, fresh
1/2 cups olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame, thawed
Boil water in a 2 quart pan with a tight fitting lid. Add grain to boiling water, be careful, as it can boil over as you add the grain. Cover and set on lowest flame. Check in 20 to 25 minutes. When water is absorbed,chill the freekeh. Chop radishes, shred carrots, and chop scallions. Chop garlic, spinach and mint, add olive oil, lemon juice, pepper and salt and process. Mix all in a big bowl with the edamame.