Growing up the daughter of an avid sports fan, there was never a question about what my dad was going to be doing on Monday nights between the end of August through winter. Being from Chicago, we always rooted for the home team (no, I don’t want to discuss yesterday’s game) and I could count on my dad calling out the plays and penalities for me (he always seemed to know before they threw those flags down. I was always amazed by that) and him having his “game day plate” in front of him. What’s football without food?
Well, times have changed. Sort of.
If I still lived at home, I could still count on my dad to be in front of that television calling plays and eating his food. I am now married to a football lover….who roots for a different team (imagine that) and I live in a place where college football dominates more than the NFL (yeah, that’s what I thought too when I moved here). I don’t watch nearly as many games anymore.
And as of eleven years ago, I no longer have hot wings and burgers or hot dogs as my game meal.
I changed over to a plant based diet in April of 2004 for several reasons; the BEST one being my health. I will tell you that it was one of the most important and most beneficial decisions I’ve ever made. It was a gradual transition for me but UGH! I had a HARD time letting go of cheese and milkshakes and ice cream. I knew it was better for my body, my doctor’s bills and the planet but, ooooh weeee, the struggle. However, as a personal trainer, dancer and group fitness instructor who’s on their feet a lot, I still feel better at 40 on a plant based diet than I ever did in my twenties. I also use this version of a plant based shake to get me through (1 cup of unsweetened cashew milk, 1 container of vanilla soy yogurt (makes it creamier), two tablespoons of peanut butter, a frozen banana and some cinnamon. If it’s not sweet enough, feel free to add stevia. NOW Foods brand is our favorite at home. I usually share some but sometimes, real talk, I just drink the whole thing.)
I share this because I know there are people who are interested and intrigued by eating more plant based but are, frankly, terrified that they will miss their favorite foods so much or will not be able to let them go.
This is EXACTLY why the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge is an awesome way to start. I have a few recipes to get you started.
Plant based food can taste AMAZING!! Check out the Philly “Uncheese” Steak, simple delicious and EASY; PERFECT to have while watching your favorite teams play tonight (who’s your pick? It’s a double header tonight!).
I just sautéed some onions, garlic, green pepper and mushrooms in olive oil, added some thinly sliced tempeh, roasted red pepper, vegan worcesterchire sauce, smoked paprika and sauce and then cooked unti the tempeh was done. I put it on top of lettuce since I am not eating as much gluten or bread these days but you could totally rock this on a hoagie! On top is a cheese sauce made out of SWEET POTATO! (1 cooked sweet potato, 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk, 1/2 tsp. of turmeric, 1 tbsp. of nutritional yeast, 2 tsp. of dijon mustard, salt, garlic powder and onion powder to taste. You may want to keep some water handy for when you blend depending on desired thickness!)
Having ONE meatless meal per week (and then eventually one day a week) can be an AWESOME way to start the change and scheduling it during Monday Night Football is a great way to remember and stay consistent!
Try these out and let me know what you think! If you are up for the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge, comment below or tweet me (@hiphealthychick) so we can share ideas and support each other! I’m always looking for new recipes to try.
Also check out www.silk.com/sidelinemeat for recipes and a chance to win a giveaway!
And as for the Bears, we’ll be back next week against the Cardinals! Get ready for us!!!!
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.