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My Month Long Vegetarian Journey

I did a thing. I ate a vegetarian diet for a month. It all started when my brother asked me in January if it was something I would do with him. I never hesitated about the idea because it wasn't foreign to me. I try to incorporate vegetarian and vegan meals into my diet on a weekly basis, and sometimes I will take a week and go meatless on occasion. So, maybe a month was a much bigger feat to accomplish, but I knew if I had a plan it would make things more attainable.

Building a plan was where I started. The idea that came to mind was to structure things where I only had to cook four times a week. That's one of my issues lately, I don't like to cook much anymore. I've been cooking for a good 30 years, and I don't mean just quick and easy meals, so the less I have to do it the better. My plan was to have two meals that would be leftovers, cook two additional meals, and dine out for one meal. This gave me a total of seven dinner meals for the week which meant I needed 16 vegetarian dinner ideas for the month. Also, I must mention that breakfast and lunch were a no-brainer for me because I eat the same thing every day. A smoothie for breakfast, and oatmeal with blueberries for lunch.

a thai dish during my vegetarian month
Thai Curry

Since I already had a reasonable list of vegetarian options, I just took them and started working from there. When I told my family what I was doing I was surprised they decided to go along for the ride. In fact, they helped me build out the rest of my menu, and even submitted some new recipe ideas. One of those recipes was so well received it made it on to a permanent place in the dinner rotation going forward. If I had to give out awards to some of the dishes, I would say the super simple recipe was the veggie nachos. I make these myself and it takes about 15 minutes. The rice and beans are what take up that time, and all you do is build from there with the toppings you like. For me, it's taco sauce, Greek yogurt, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. The family favorite award goes to the tomato basil soup. This might be a surprise, but my family loves it and would you believe it's vegan. My overall favorite award goes to the tortilla soup. Again, it's a vegan recipe but the flavors are profound, and it comes together quickly and makes great leftovers.

Bean dish I ate during my vegetarian month
Puerto Rican Beans

All in all, this month went well. I felt lighter and I didn't miss meat. I think I could see myself doing this again. It helped having people who were willing to join in so we could hold one another accountable. A couple of my daughters are thinking about taking on a vegetarian diet as a lifestyle and this makes me happy. Who knows what I’ll take on next, but I’m already considering a pescatarian week to see what I think. Are you challenging yourself to try anything new this year?


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