2. Learning new cooking techniques may make those veggies more appealing to kids, and even adults. Try eating vegetables raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted and grilled.
3. No need to fret about the protein! There are many meatless protein options available; try quinoa, beans, lentils, whole grains, seitan, tempeh, tofu, and veggie burgers.
4. Be creative. Take family favorite recipes and change them to be a meatless option. Love chicken parmesan? Try eggplant parmesan. Other options are black bean burgers, meatless soups and chilies, salads, enchiladas filled with rice and beans, and even vegetable stir-fry. Also, do research to find additional vegetarian meals and tips.
5. Find support in friends and family by encouraging them to also eat meatless meals one day a week. Host a vegetarian recipe exchange or neighborhood vegetarian potluck block party to share meatless meal planning tips and tricks.
To get your Meatless Mondays started, try this healthy and hearty Crock-pot Lasagna Primavera!
Crock-pot Lasagna Primavera
Prep Time: 30 minutes Wait Time: 390 minutes Serves 6-8
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 ½ cups chopped white mushrooms
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
2 (15 ounce) containers ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (24-ounce) jars pasta sauce
1 (12 oz) box uncooked traditional lasagna noodles
¼ cup vegetable broth
Prepare veggies and mix together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, spinach, and Parmesan cheese.
Using at least a 5qt crockpot, ladle a spoonful of sauce into the bottom of your crock-pot. Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles, breaking them to get a proper fit.
Carefully smear the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle a handful of the shredded mozzarella cheeses over the ricotta cheese. Then, top cheese with prepared vegetables.
Repeat layering process (sauce, pasta, cheese, vegetables) until all of the ingredients run out. Top last layer of vegetables with sauce and pour vegetable stock over this last layer of sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5. When cooking time is complete, unplug crock-pot and take off the lid. Let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting into to avoid lasagna from falling apart.
Chef Hunsaker attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but has been developing family friendly meals since she was nine years old in her mother’s kitchen. She is an avid crockpotter and knows how to get food on the table in a pinch She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site www.foodonthetable.com.