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One of my family’s goals for the New Year is to start eating less meat. It’s an important goal for us for several reasons, but mostly because eating plant-based protein is a much healthier option. You may think finding ways to provide your family with enough protein without using meat will be hard to do, but products like those made by MorningStar Farms® make it really convenient to substitute veggies for meats in a delicious way. (Don’t take my word for it; taste it to believe it!)
So why should you consider going the same route? Our bodies need “essential” amino acids. These are the amino acids that our bodies cannot make for themselves, and therefore, it’s “essential” that our diets provide these. Animal-based foods do this, but they also provide unhealthy saturated fats. Not to mention that meat production accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than everyday traffic does!
By now you can see why MorningStar Farms® products are not just for vegetarians. They’re easy “as-is” meal solutions, that don’t require prep work. They’re especially great for busy families. You can use their products while also adding more fresh vegetables to your daily routine in order to cut back on meats.
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Here are 5 tips to incorporate more veggies and plant-based proteins into your diet.
1. Eliminate meat from your breakfasts
This is probably the easiest meal of the day to swap out meats for plant-based proteins. There are so many great recipes out there, like my Kale, Sausage, Apple and Butternut Squash Hash. Simply substitute MorningStar Farms® Original Sausage Patties from Walmart for traditional sausage. It’s a colorful and nutrient-rich recipe that brings us one step closer to reaching our wellness goals in the New Year each time I make it.
2. Fill your plate with vegetables
Did you know women are supposed to eat two and a half cups of vegetables every day? If you start filling your plate with colorful veggies, you’ll not only be meeting that quota, but you’ll also naturally be eating less meat. You can also try filling up on a salad or vegetable soup before your main dish, so you can purchase and cook up a smaller portion to begin with.
3. Opt for plant-based protein shakes on busy days
If you know you have a crazy day ahead of you, pack a plant-based protein shake so you don’t skip a meal or head for the nearest drive-through window. Put a serving of the powder in a shaker bottle and bring a separate bottle of water. Combine the two and drink up when your stomach starts to growl.
4. Have a green smoothie for an afternoon pick-me-up
Green smoothies are an easy way to get superfoods, like spinach, kale, and chia seeds into your diet, while giving you the energy you need to get through your day. Consider making your own, so you know exactly what’s going into it. Choose lots of fresh greens and take it easy on fruits and added sweeteners.
5. Stock the fridge with easy options
When life gets hectic, we go for what’s available and easy! If your fridge and freezer are full of fast and easy veggie cuisine, we can easily whip up slightly altered versions of our tried and true recipes.
Eating less meat is important for your health and the environment, and thankfully, it’s really easy to do! Start small. Cut meat out of your breakfasts, fill up on veggies, go for plant-based protein shakes and green smoothies, and be sure to stock up on MorningStar Farms® products.
Recipe: Kale, Sausage, Apple and Butternut Squash Hash
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 apples, peeled and cubed
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 MorningStar Farms® Original Sausage Patties
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Roast squash for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
2. Microwave the MorningStar Farms® Original Sausage Patties according to the package instructions, until they are defrosted enough to cut.
3. Slice the MorningStar Farms® Original Sausage Patties into small cubes. Place the sausage in a large saute pan over medium heat.
4. Add the butternut squash, apples and garlic in the saute pan and sautee until squash and apples are fork-tender.
5. Add kale, water, and vinegar; stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any cooked bits.
6. Cook until the water has absorbed and the kale has welted, about 5 minutes.
7. Add salt and pepper as needed.
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel and lifestyle digital influencer at Top Flight Family. Her insights on travel have been featured in Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, Seatrade Cruise News and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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