Skip to main content

Meatless Mondays: Join the Movement with Healthier, Eco-Friendly Meals

Go meatless just one day a week to transform your family's eating habits. Reducing your family's meat consumption by 15% can do wonders for your health and the environment, too!
Meatless Mondays
By: Cara J. Stevens

Adopting Meatless Mondays and going meatless just one day a week helps reduce your family's carbon footprint, expands your food repertoire, encourages you to try new things together, eat more greens, and brings everyone closer through the idea of "doing good" together.

Meatless Mondays

Even if you're a big meat-eater, reducing meat consumption by 15% can help you pack in more fruits, vegetables, power-packed proteins, and healthy grains, and expand the list of foods your kids like to eat. It also helps the health of the planet. Going meatless can also save you money. The price of plant-based foods is often lower and more predictable than meat!

Meatless Mondays was founded in 2003 through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The movement has grown to be adopted in 44 countries, and many companies are jumping on the Meatless Mondays bandwagon to support a day of meatless meals.

"Moderation in everything means being a reducetarian in practice. By eating less meat, you'll be doing your body, your planet, and your kids' future a favor. And you'll be proving once again that small steps can take us long distances," explains Daniel H. Pink, a TED Talk speaker and author.

Inspiration for Meatless Monday Meals

You don't have to go all full-kale-and-bean-sprouts on your family to participate. Pizza, mac and cheese, lasagna, baked ziti, fried rice, quesadillas, and even spaghetti tacos are vegetarian alternatives that kids can't get enough of!

If you're looking to expand your family's repertoire beyond the standard kid-friendly, bland favorites, here's a list of cookbooks and websites to get you started.

Meatless Mondays

Recipe photo by Ashleigh Amoroso with permission from THE REDUCETARIAN SOLUTION


Cheesy Apple Pancakes

These puffy griddlecakes are easy and fast and satisfyingly good. Serve piping hot with fresh fruit or frozen yogurt for dessert, or add a dollop of the ricotta cheese with slices of banana and drizzle with maple syrup for a hearty breakfast. For lunch or dinner, smear them with a pesto or bean spread and top with thinly sliced carrot, cucumber, cabbage, and red onion and serve with a salad. For a totally leftover lunch, place a spoonful of any leftover main dish in the center, roll up, and eat like a burrito.

Makes 6 to 8 pancakes

Meatless Mondays


½ cup drained ricotta or cottage cheese

1 apple, shredded

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil

Recipe photo by Ashleigh Amoroso with permission from THE REDUCETARIAN SOLUTION


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Combine the cheese, apple, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk with a fork until well mixed.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the cheese mixture into the flour mixture and whisk with a fork just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
  4. Lightly oil a griddle or large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Scoop the batter using a ¼ cup measure (for small cakes) or ½ cup measure (for medium cakes) and scrape onto the hot griddle, spreading each pancake to about ½-inch thickness. Cook until the bottom is golden and large bubbles form on the uncooked side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the remaining side until golden, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove cooked pancakes to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm in preheated oven. Repeat step 4 using remaining batter.

Excerpted with permission from THE REDUCETARIAN SOLUTION: How The Surprisingly Simple Act of Reducing The Amount of Meat in Your Diet Can Transform Your Health and The Planet, edited by Brian Kateman, recipe by Pat Crocker. © 2017 by Reducetarian Foundation, Inc. TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Recipe photo by Ashleigh Amoroso


Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.