Meatless Mondays are a great way to lower your carbon and water footprint!
Growing up near New Orleans, gumbo was always my favorite home-cooked meal. Time to try a new meatless version for Fat Tuesday tomorrow!
What you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 chopped green bell pepper
- 3 chopped stalks of celery
- 3 cups diced tomatoes
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
- 3 sliced carrots (not baby carrots!)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen sliced okra
- Spices. I suggest:
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 1 Tbs. paprika
- 1 Tbs. dried oregano
- 1/3 tsp. cayenne pepper
Now, let’s get started:
- Stir together oil and flour in your biggest pot until smooth. Cook over high heat until roux turns a dark caramel color (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.
- Add onion, bell pepper, and celery until vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in all remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until carrots are tender (about 40 minutes).
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
Let me know if y’all try this or what other meals I should try!
Like I’ve said before, some easy environmentalism tips aren’t so easy where I am from. When I was younger, I never really liked the taste of meat and would much rather eat potatoes! I would unknowingly go days without meat and thought about or even attempted going vegetarian many times before.
One day, I was on YouTube for hours on end like I frequently was in my high school days! I would always get lost and end up watching videos I wouldn’t have ever thought about watching. I saw a video by Bonny Rebecca. I can’t find the actual video that inspired me, but this is close. In the following weeks, I watched vegan documentaries and videos back to back to back. This included Forks Over Knives (1 hr 36 min), Cowspiracy (1 hr 30 min), Authentic Food Choices Ted Talk (19 min) Gary Yourofsky’s Best Speech Ever (49 min), 101 Reasons to Go Vegan (1 hr 9 min), and Food, Inc (1 hr 33 min) on YouTube or Netflix. There are definitely more, but those are the ones I remember. Some of them can be scary or gory so if that bothers me, either ask me or search for which ones will be better for you.
But after only one day of the vegan marathon I was on, I stopped eating animal products. I, as expected, have messed up since then. We aren’t perfect of course! But I think I am making a big difference! It’s important to make sure you aren’t letting the fear of slipping up stop you from making a big difference!
If I could go back, I probably wouldn’t have jumped in head first because it’s a lot easier to stick to a habit if you adapt to it at a normal rate! I’ve found better plans that my friends and family have found more successful!
- Transitioning One Day at a Time: This method would be being vegan (or vegetarian or whatever your goal may be) on one day a week until that is normal and then adding one more day a week and so on. You may get to 7 very quickly and be vegan! You also might do less forever, but you will still make a big difference!
- Transitioning One Meal at a Time: My most recommended is being vegan at lunch first. This way if you are craving something, you can have that food for dinner that night! I also think breakfast can be hard for a lot of people! Even if you stick with lunch forever, that’s awesome!
- Transitioning Through: This is a method commonly recommended. It includes eliminating certain foods at a time. First may be red meat, then being pescatarian, then vegetarian, then vegetarian without dairy, and then vegan! Like the other methods, each step you take is better than the first and if you stop, it’s still better than never starting! This is my least favorite of the three, though, because you don’t necessarily figure out vegan meals you like until the very end. At the same time, it works for people so if you like the idea, try it!
I think it’s also important to spread the word to family and friends (check out one of mine). Passion is something you keep by giving it away.
I really recommend everyone watches some of these videos and documentaries simply to be familiar with the issues. I also think anyone can benefit from decreasing animal products and increasing whole foods! Let me know if y’all have any questions!