The NoMeatPoWeek challenge wrap-up

I decided to participate in NoMeatPoWeek, a challenge by the League of Maternal Justice, BlogHersAct Canada, and Green Mom Finds to go without meat for five days (Monday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Feb. 1).

Over the years I’ve been an on-again/off-again vegetarian and more recently a flexitarian (meaning I consume far less meat than the average American, but I still eat it), but lately meat has become more of a regular fixture in our meals. I think that in part it has been due to my laziness.

Cooking for me goes in waves. One week I’ll be totally gung-ho about cooking and try all new (often vegetarian) recipes and then the next few weeks I’ll feel totally burnt out on cooking and just make some old stand-by recipes, regardless if they include meat or not.

Because I’ve been in a rut again lately, I suggested to Jody that maybe Rachael Ray’s 365: No Repeats cookbook might bring me some inspiration, so he bought it for me. Now a LOT of the recipes in there include meat, but I found some vegetarian ones and found others that I was able to convert to vegetarian by simply removing the meat or by adding in a meat substitute like my beloved Quorn chik’n tenders. And I love that the recipes are all things you can make in 30 minutes or less, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that much time to devote to making dinner.

So what did we have for dinner all week?
Monday – Artichoke and Walnut Pesto Pasta (I substituted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts because I’m allergic to walnuts) – from Rachael Ray’s (RR’s) cookbook
Tuesday – Chik’n tenders (Quorn), corn and black bean Stoup (stew/soup) – adapted from RR’s cookbook Wednesday – Spinach salad and Veggie fritters – from RR’s cookbook
Thursday (Jody was gone skiing and I was too lazy too cook) – Cheese pizza from Little Caesar’s
Friday – Spinach salad and pizza again, but of the veggie variety (that Jody brought back from his ski trip)

The challenge was only through Friday technically, but I also stayed veggie over the weekend.
Saturday – Delicious veggie enchiladas out with some friends
Sunday – Spinach artichoke calzones – also from RR’s cookbook – they took longer than 30 minutes to make, but they were pretty darn good and I have leftovers for lunch this week.

It wasn’t hard for me to go five (seven) days without meat. I didn’t clue Jody in on the challenge (oops), so he still ate meat while at work and on his work skiing trip this past week, but he was fine eating the vegetarian dinners I prepared (he used to be a vegetarian for 7 years). The kids ate vegetarian throughout the week as well, with the exception of having a few slices of Applegate Farms roasted turkey deli meat two of the days.

All in all, I think we did fairly well. I enjoyed finding some new vegetarian recipes and hope to keep up on the eating mostly vegetarian kick. I’m looking forward to reading how others did with this challenge and hopefully picking up some new recipes from them as well. If any of the four recipes that I mentioned above (from Rachael Ray’s cookbook) appeal to you, let me know and I can try to get them typed out to share with you.

If you are a meat-eater, did you give the challenge a go? If you didn’t, would you consider trying it for a week, a couple days or a day? It’s really not as hard as one might think.

10 thoughts on “The NoMeatPoWeek challenge wrap-up”

  1. It sounds like a wonderful challenge. My husband and I are not vegetarian, but over the last 2 -3 year have significantly cut down our meat products. A couple things we have done is “meatless monday” and switching to rice milk instead of cows milk. It tastes a little different, but it is hard to notice, especially when cooking with it!

  2. Actually I’ve been meaning to email you about the ravioli recipe with pumpkin seeds… I’d love to have it.

    We (read I) try to have vego at least once a week and also fish once a week. I also try and use pulses and need to get more whole grains into our diet too.

    (I do confess a weakness for white bread toast!)

  3. Pingback: Vegetarian Recipes
  4. I have that cookbook, and it does have some great recipes. I can’t remember if it is in that one (I have several), but she has a great recipes for making pasta with a roasted red pepper sauce. Yummy!

  5. Lana and I have been vegetarian since November. I’ve always been waiting for a good opertunity to go veggi, since my convictions have always leaned that way. When Lana came to me crying saying she didn’t want to eat the animal, she wanted them to stay alive, I seized my opertunity.
    I cook all vegetarian meals. Kaya and Rene eat meat if we go out somewhere, but we don’t keep meat in the house. So far I’m mostly sticking to my old recipes and using meat substitutes. I’ve learned and created some new veg only ones too.
    Had some friends over last week, they tasted out spagetti and “meat”balls and were “mmmmmm”ing out loud, then were shocked to find out there was no meat in them (quorn).
    We’re healthier, we’ve lost a little weight, unintentionally, just from cutting out the saturated fats in the meat. It’s all good.

  6. We’ve been decreasing our meat too, also in waves. I didn’t hear about the challenge and probably wouldn’t have tried if I did just because we have enough going on without putting extra effort into meal-planning, but I’m sure we go meat-free some weeks without even realizing it.

    Way to go, those meals sound delicious!

  7. Hi Amy,
    Don’t forget – What’s Cooking Weekly offers several vegetarian options – at least one vegetarian and most of the side dishes.

    We will be launching our new website really soon – it looks great ( – should be ready in the next week or two!

  8. My fiance and I didn’t hear about the challenge but lately we’ve been trying to eat less meat and make sure what we do eat is organic and free range but now we are going to eat at least one true vegan meal a week. We want to make sure that we are expanding our horizons and not ruling something out just because we’ve never tried it.

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