stuffed mushroom

Have you heard of Meatless Monday? It’s the go-veg-one-day-a-week initiative that’s caused a sensation around the globe. “Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel,” the campaign explains on its website.

But with all the benefits Meatless Monday offers, why stop at the beginning of the week? There’s a whole week’s worth of meals to make meatless for your health and the environment.

If you’re struggling just to make Mondays meatless, here are a few tips for making the rest of the week more vegetarian-friendly, too.

  1. Check out Organic Authority’s weekly Meatless Monday roundup! We do the work for you each week, pulling together the best vegetarian meal ideas. There are plenty to last you through the week and beyond.
  2. Flip your perspective: A wise man once told me that it’s scarier if we look at what we have to cut out of our diet. Instead, look at what you can add to it. So, maybe Tuesday isn’t completely meatless, but maybe you make it tofu and turnip night. Or tempeh “tuno” salad for lunch. By just adding in more of the good stuff, you make less room for the bad stuff, and over time it gets easier to make the swap.
  3. Stock your kitchen the right way: Eating meatless is as simple as having delicious meatless foods in your kitchen. Prep healthy meatless fare ahead of time. Beans, rice, veggies—they can all be cooked on a Sunday for use throughout the week.
  4. Make some vegetarian friends: We’re fun people, really. And you know what? We love good food, too. It can be a lot easier to experiment with vegetarian meals with the help of an experienced meatless mealer.
  5. Go local: Get to know your local farmers market and the farmers who sell there. Pick up that strange looking veggie (looking at you, kohlrabi) and ask your farmer what it is and how to cook it. They’ve got simple, quick and delicious recipes and cooking tips that can really expand all of your meals, meatless or otherwise.
  6. Date night: You don’t have to spend a fortune for a decent restaurant meal. And in many cities around the world, you can also find good meatless meals, too, if not totally vegetarian restaurants. Split a few with your sweetie or friend to see what you like.
  7. Go ethnic: Indian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, even sushi restaurants can be really veg-friendly. Many Indian restaurants have lunch buffets that are inexpensive and full of delicious vegetarian foods. Live near a Hari Krishna ashram? You don’t have to shave your head to get a tasty lunch. Many of the temples offer free or low-cost lunches that can be a great way to add a meatless meal.
  8. Check out Groupon: Or another type of coupon site where you can get special deals for restaurants including veggie ones. When you’ve prepaid, you’re more likely to stick with the commitment and cash in on that veggie meal.
  9. Reverse engineer it: The way to a vegetarian’s heart? Dessert, of course. If you make one more meal a week meatless, why not take it a little step further and go all the way animal-free with a nondairy dessert? Some of the easiest vegetarian recipes are desserts, and let’s face it: if you can make chocolate ice cream a healthy part of your diet, what are you waiting for?

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Related on Organic Authority

Meatless Monday Roundup: 4 Raw Food Recipes

Meatless Monday Roundup: 4 Vegetarian Pizza Recipes

The 99 Reasons to Switch from Vegetarian to Vegan

Image: SweetonVeg