Black Bean and Sweet Potato Flautas - Photo used courtesy of Peas & Crayons




Meatless Mondays

The Florida Department of Health Escambia County Health Department has joined the international Meatless Monday campaign! We’re encouraging you to eat meatless for one day a week. Keep reading for information about why and how to eat less meat!

What is Meatless Monday?
Featured Recipes
Why Meatless?
Why Monday?
Go Meatless, Save Money
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional Resources


What is Meatless Monday?

Meatless Monday is a world-wide campaign that encourages eating less meat for personal health and the health of the planet. Community efforts around the globe are encouraging people to go meatless for one day a week to improve personal well-being and create a healthier environment.

Learn how and why the international campaign started at

Meatless Monday can help you take small, manageable steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Use this information to make choices that are right for you and your family. Try eating less meat in a way that works for you – plan one meatless meal a week or make a pledge to go meatless for an entire day!


Featured Recipes return to top

Morning Glory Muffins
Veggie Pasta Salad
Cajun Cornbread Casserole
Fruity Tofu Smoothie
Grilled Italian Pressed Sandwich
Hearty Veggie Jambalaya
Pesto Tomato Toasts
Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Crustless Spinach & Feta Pie
Bean and Cheese Enchiladas
Greek Salad with Baked Pita Croutons
Black Beans and Rice Burgers
Oatmeal Cranberry Breakfast Bake
Oven Roasted Veggie Pizza
Family Frittata
Vegetable Fried Rice
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans
Honey-Lime Fruit Salad
Fresh Mushroom Fettuccine
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Flautas

Want more meatless?
Meatless Monday Favorite Recipes
Eating Well: Healthy Vegetarian Recipes You Must Try
Cooking Light Meatless Recipes
Parenting Recipes: Meatless


Why Meatless return to top

Eating less meat can help you, your family, and your community. Read about the valuable benefits below.

For Your Health

  • Curb obesity. Reducing meat consumption can help lower your body weight and prevent long-term weight gain.
  • Reduce risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Animal proteins usually contain saturated fat. This type of fat can cause high cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease. Eating red meat is associated with an increased risk of stroke, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Improve your diet with a variety of proteins. Plant-based proteins are healthy substitutes for meat because they are naturally high in fiber and low in saturated and total fat. Consuming a variety of lean proteins also increases the variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet. You can easily satisfy protein needs while eating less meat.

For the Environment

  • Help slow climate change. Meat production plays a major role in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Reducing the demand for meat can help reduce emissions and slow climate change. Eating less meat helps reduce your personal carbon footprint!
  • Minimize water usage. It takes almost 10 times more water to produce one pound of beef than it does to produce one pound of tofu.
  • Help reduce fossil fuel dependence. Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas. These resources take millions of years to make and aren’t renewable – once they’re gone, they’re gone. It takes about 20 times more fossil fuel energy to make one calorie of beef than it does to make one calorie of plant protein.

How much water and fossil fuel can Meatless Monday save?


Why Monday return to top

Many people think of Monday as a fresh start. It’s the day we return to a structured, planned schedule after the weekend. Studies show that behaviors started on Monday influence how we act and feel the rest of the week, making it a perfect day for a healthy change.

Learn about the Monday Campaigns’ research. (359.2kb; pdf)


Go Meatless, Save Money return to top

Going meatless once a week is good for your budget, too! Replacing ground beef, chicken, seafood, and other types of meat with healthy protein alternatives can lower your grocery bill and save you money.

Look at these price differences to see how easy (and budget-friendly) it can be to turn a meaty meal into a meat less meal:

Food Average Price
Tofu 1.19/lb
Dried beans 1.45/lb
Eggs 1.96/lb
Boneless chicken breast 3.43/lb
Ground beef 3.76/lb
Sirloin steak 5.85/lb

Read these articles by the Monday Campaigns to learn more about going meatless and saving cash:

Cutting Meat Boosts Cash!
Is There Money In Monday? Go Meatless!
Swap Meat, Save Money


Frequently Asked Questions return to top

What can I eat instead of meat?

There are many meat-free foods and menu ideas that are delicious, filling, healthy, and budget-friendly. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, a variety of protein sources, whole grains, and low-fat dairy will provide a well-rounded, nutritious meal plan.

Learn what and how much food is recommended for you at

Use these ideas to cut out meat one day a week with your family:

  • Swap the meat in one of your family’s favorite dishes for beans or peas. Use this Meat Swap Chart (136.2kb; pdf) for more ideas!
  • Plan your meals ahead of time so you’ll be more likely to have ingredients on-hand.
  • Let your kids help plan meals, grocery shop, and cook.
  • Add extra seasonings like black pepper, garlic, basil, and others. Meat typically adds flavor to our dishes, but spices and herbs can do wonders for your taste buds!
  • Remember to consider calorie, fat, and fiber content of your meals to ensure they fit within recommendations for each member of the family.

How will I get enough protein if I don’t eat meat?

You can easily satisfy protein needs and feel satisfied without eating meat. The key is to eat a variety of nutritious foods and get enough calories to maintain a healthy weight. Try these meat-free sources of protein, remembering to keep in mind appropriate serving sizes in order to limit calorie and fat intake:

Fat-free and Low Fat Dairy
  • Skim milk
  • 1% milk
  • Yogurt
  • Hard cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Parmesan)
  • Soft cheeses (ricotta, feta, cottage cheese)
Beans and Peas
  • Beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, soy, white)
  • Black-eye peas
  • Lentils
  • Split peas
Whole Grains
  • Whole wheat breads
  • Whole wheat tortilla shells
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Whole grain cornmeal
Nuts and Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts (filberts)
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds
  • Nut butters (almond, peanut, etc.)
Processed Soy Products
  • Tofu
  • Veggie burgers
  • Tempeh

Is a meatless diet automatically healthier?

No because removing meat from your meal, day, or entire diet does not automatically make it healthier. Take note of the calorie, fat, and fiber content of the foods you plan to eat. Remember to limit unhealthy foods, such as most processed foods and those that contain too many calories, added fats, salt, and sugar, and remember to exercise portion control. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, a variety of lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy for a healthy, balanced diet.

Choose My Plate

Learn what and how much food is recommended for you at


Additional Resources return to top

Choose MyPlate 10 Tips, “With Protein Foods, Variety is Key” (523.2kb; pdf)
Meat Swap Chart
(136.2kb; pdf)
Meatless Monday PowerPoint Presentation (8.6mb; ppt)


California Energy Commission. (2012). Chapter 8: Fossil Fuels – Coal, Oil and Natural Gas. Retrieved from

Pan, A., Sun, Q., Bernstein, A.M., Schulze, M.B., Manson, J.E., Stampfer, M.J., Hu, F.B. (2012 April 9). Red meat consumption and mortality: Results from 2 prospective cohort studies. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(7), 555-563. Retrieved from

Shaw, J. (2012 Jan-Feb). A diabetes link to meat. Harvard Magazine. Retrieved from

The Monday Campaigns, Inc. (2003-2012). Why Meatless? Retrieved from,

United States Department of Agriculture. Protein Foods. Retrieved from

United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012 Oct). Average prices. Retrieved from


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  This page was last modified on: 04/23/2013 12:54:41

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