There’s a new meatless option for you to try this Monday, and it’s at Wendy’s! The fast food chain is officially testing an all-new meal, the Wendy’s Black Bean Burger. The meal is being tested in select markets across the US: Salt Lake City, Utah; Columbus, Ohio; and Columbia, South Carolina. With a flavorful blend of grains, vegetables, and southwest spices, the burger delivers 14 grams of protein per serving with absolutely no beef on the bun!
The Daily Meal describes the new burger at Wendy’s as “tender on the inside and slightly crusted on the outside.” What’s in the burger patty? While black beans are the main ingredient, the burger patty is a blend of wild rice, brown rice, farro, onions, carrots, corn, red and green bell peppers, and a blend of spices including cilantro, garlic and chili pepper.
Served on nine-grain multigrain buns with seeds including white sesame seeds, red quinoa and rolled oats, the burger pairs well with tomatoes and a mix of spring greens as well as the optional Pepper Jack Cheese and Parmesan ranch sauce. Cooked separately from any meats in the kitchen, the burger is considered fully-vegan when ordered without the pepper jack cheese or parmesan-ranch sauce.
First introduced in early 2015 in Columbus, OH, Wendy’s Black Bean Burger has been a hit in limited locations for many months. The Columbus Underground described the fist release of the meatless meal option as “pleasant and savory” and “shockingly beautiful.”
“More miraculously, the thing came out gorgeous, in spite of the fact that the test-market Wendy’s was swamped with customers. The crew in the kitchen was running to keep up with the orders, and, in spite of their hustle, it still took them twenty minutes to fill the order.” — Columbus Underground, describing the early release of the Wendy’s Black Bean Burger
Wendy’s is the third-largest fast-food burger chain, so additional meatless options on their menu could make a big different for anyone interested in eating less meat every week.
Hungry for veggie burgers, and live outside the Wendy’s test markets? Try one of these 15 mouthwatering Meatless Monday burgers!
Are you ready for the big game? Bring savory, spicy “wings” to your game day celebration with these recipes for the hottest trend in hot wings: cauliflower! Cauliflower is rich in nutrients and makes a versatile base for almost any flavors you want to cook with. Cauliflower wings are particularly perfect for game day, and can even be dipped like chicken wings in the sauce of your choice!
Cauliflower Wings from Meatless Monday Bloggers
Looking for even more delicious recipes for the big game? Visit the Meatless Monday Pinterest page for inspiration, and check out the Meatless Monday recipe archive for meals and snacks the home team will love!
Celebrity chef Mario Batali has been a part of the Meatless Monday movement for nearly five years, and this month on The Chew he helped spread the word! He joined the movement in May of 2010 after learning about the environmental and health toll the western diet was taking on the world. Since that time Batali has offered Meatless Monday specials in all 14 of his restaurants across the US and embracing Meatless Monday in his own home.
Starting in 2016, though, he’s upping the stakes at home and making it meatless even more often: when asked about his health and diet plans for the new year on The Chew, Batali responded “Meatless Monday is now Meatless Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday!”
Batali went on to discuss one prominent dietary trend in the US: eating more vegetables. “Most people are eating more vegetables at this point,” he remarked to The Chew, “It’s a good way to live and it’s a good way to have a healthy long natural life.” With bloggers and media in the field already calling 2016 the Year of the Veggies, it’s easy to see that Batali knows what folks are interested in eating and how to put delicious, healthy meals on the table.
Want to follow Chef Batali’s lead? Sign up for our newsletter and take the Meatless Monday pledge! Whether you’ve already cut back on meat or are looking for a way to get started making a healthier choice, taking the pledge is a great way to get started.
Hungry for more?
Find out more about the benefits of going meatless once a week, and learn more about the global meatless movement. Get ideas for your own Meatless Monday on our Pinterest page, and visit the Meatless Monday recipe archive for healthy, hearty entrees and savory side dishes to keep you satisfied and feeling great!
Gearing up to go meatless on Mondays? Keep your kitchen and pantry stocked with plant-based foods that are rich in protein and flavor!
When folks start eating meatless once a week, many wonder where they can get enough protein to stay healthy. The truth is, plants (especially pulses) are full of protein, and with just a little planning you can get all the nutrients you need from plant-based foods! Here are some of the most popular plant-based sources of proteins that Meatless Monday diners love.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 18g protein
Lentils are a protein powerhouse: 9 grams of protein in just half a cup! But protein is only part of the picture for lentils; these pulses add a significant serving of fiber, folate, iron, and potassium to your meal. Dried, canned, or pre-cooked, lentils are an essential in any pantry.
Nutrition: 3 tablespoons = roughly 10g protein
Far from a simple garnish, hemp seeds add protein to any meal and contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Whether sprinkled on salads, stirred into smoothies or blended in soups, hemp seeds at a mild sweet or nutty flavor to meals.
Nutrition: 2 tablespoons = 4g protein
Chia seeds are a sprinkle-able, stir-able, drinkable source of protein with simple instructions: just add water! Soaking your chia seeds allows them to absorb water and produce their iconic soluble-fiber- rich gel. These seeds and the gel they produce also make an excellent thickening agent in cooking.
Nutrition: 1/2 cup = 7-9g protein
A perfect protein-rich replacement for rice, quinoa has recently become a popular meatless main course ingredient and stand-alone side dish. Quinoa is packed with full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese, and makes a very nutritious addition to your menu.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nutrition: 1/4 cup = about 7-9g protein
Peanuts, almonds, cashews, and more – nut butters are perhaps the easiest way to add a dollop of protein and healthy fats to your diet. Nut butters go way beyond the traditional PB&J; spread it on whole grain toast, add a spoonful to soups or sauces, or just enjoy a spoonful on its own!
Beans (Like Black Beans, Kidney Beans, and Cannellini Beans)
Nutrition: 1 cup = about 15g protein
One of the best-known plant-based protein sources, beans are versatile and can be very easy to prepare. In addition to the protein they bring to your plate, beans also offer a heaping helping of fiber and flavor.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 40g protein
Nicknamed “wheat meat,” seitan is made of wheat gluten and has a chewy, meaty texture when cooked. It’s know for its ability to soak up the flavors of the other foods, seasonings, and sauces it is cooked with.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 22g protein
This meatless protein source is made of fermented soy beans, and has a nutty, sweet flavor on its own. Like tofu and seitan it absorbs flavors well, but tempeh has a firmer consistency that makes grilling and searing ideal cooking options.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 14g protein
Spongy, versatile tofu is one of the most popular meatless protein-rich foods. Made from soybean curds, tofu can be silky soft or extra firm, and can be grilled, fried, baked, steamed, sautéed, or even eaten raw.
Just a few weeks into 2016 experts are already calling this the Year of the Vegetable, and with good reason: around the world people are beginning to see that meat doesn’t need to be at the center of the plate!
NPR’s food blog The Salt recently stated that vegetables would take center stage in home and restaurant kitchens, Parade.com has noted how popular vegetable-centric meals have become, while cover stories from Better Homes and Gardens and Eating Well have featured delicious fruits, vegetables, and smoothies. Restaurants have also been embracing the veggie-centric trend, with top chefs from Jason Weiner to Bryce Shuman proclaiming the flavor and culinary promise of meatless entrees and side dishes. In 2015 Eater recognized the rise of this trend, and it’s on track to be even more popular in 2016. With so much buzz about plant-based foods, the year of the veggies is the perfect time to start going meatless once a week on Mondays!
January is often filled with resolutions to “get healthy” and “eat better” in the coming year, but research shows that there’s a more effective way to change your habits that’s also easier to stick to: small changes in your behavior, starting with Mondays. If you feel more energized about your resolutions, or inspired to make a fresh start on Mondays, science says you aren’t alone. New research form the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School supports the idea that the beginning of the week is an effective time to initiate new goals. Mondays, and the start of the week, is a perfect time to recommit to resolutions if you’ve slipped up or been less committed than you’d like.
Need a little making a meatless meal plan during this veggie-focused year? Visit our recipe index for meal ideas, check out our Pinterest page for inspiration, or download one of our Meatless Monday e-cookbooks for ideas on how to make your Monday meals nutritious, delicious, and above all, meatless!
The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. But what is a pulse, and why focus on them in 2016?
‘Pulses’ are a specific group of foods including lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas.
This food group is consumed regularly around the world in a huge variety of cultural cuisines. Using the slogan ‘nutritious seeds for a sustainable future,’ the United Nations, led by its Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), named 2016 the International Year of Pulses to raise awareness about the protein power and health benefits of all kinds of dried beans and peas, boost their production and trade, and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain.
“Pulses are important food crops for the food security of large proportions of populations, particularly in Latin America, Africa and Asia, where pulses are part of traditional diets and often grown by small farmers” – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
“[Pulses] have been an essential part of the human diet for centuries,” Director-General Graziano da Silva continued, “Yet, their nutritional value is not generally recognized and is frequently under-appreciated.”
According to FAO pulses are more than cheap and delicious, they are also rich in nutrients and provide a range of health benefits – perhaps especially in developing countries. With the global diet trending toward an increase in meat consumption, and with the danger that such rates of meat consumption poses for human heath, the environment and climate change, a diet rich in alternative sources of protein is one step anyone can make for a brighter future.
In addition to the dietary and environmental benefits of making pulses a primary source of protein on your plate, increasing the global consumption of pulses could support farmers around the world. As crops they have nitrogen-fixing properties that increase the health and fertility of soil, making nitrogen-rich fertilizers less of an expensive necessity.
“Much work needs to be done to end hunger and provide food security and nutrition for all. One concrete, promising opportunity lies with pulses. Let us join forces to raise awareness of the benefits of pulses,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Join in the global movement to raise awareness around the benefits of pulses this year by learning more about the many virtues of the crops and by piling them on your own plate all year long!
The US Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years, and the most recently updated guidelines have just been released. The guidelines have a long history in the US, and were the basis for nutritional resources like the Food Guide Pyramid, My Pyramid, and most recently the ChooseMyPlate.gov graphics.
The new guidelines include a range of recommendations including cutting back on sugar consumption, eating more fruit and vegetables, and reconsidering how much and what kinds of protein to eat. The recommendation on limiting the calories consumed in sugars is one of the most striking in the announcement: the guidelines advise that 10% or fewer calories from come directly from sugar. This change reflects the same conclusions as research from the World Health Organization, an organization that also specifically recommended reducing meat consumption. The scientific advisory committee for the guidelines recommended including a call to reduce meat consumption in the guidelines, but it was not included in the final version. While the guidelines do not specifically recommend cutting the amount of meat on your plate, there is significant research affirming the importance of eating less meat.
Cutting back on red meat and processed meat has been shown to have significant health benefits, especially for teenage boys and adult men. Rather than focusing on the benefits of reducing meat consumption, the guidelines have emphasized the importance of getting dietary protein from a variety of sources. Teenage boys and adult men are encouraged to “reduce their overall intake of protein foods” rather than meat specifically. Meatless Monday’s registered dietitian Diana Rice responded to this particular recommendation:
“It’s encouraging that the guidelines call for certain populations – men and teen boys – to reduce their overall protein consumption by limiting foods such as meat. But the truth is, research shows that we can all stand to cut a little meat out of our diets and instead consume more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, which is the great appeal of Meatless Monday.”
The guidelines recommend making “small shifts” in overall dietary patterns. That is just the kind of change Meatless Monday can help diners make every week. Cutting out the meat once a week can introduce new protein sources and delicious new recipes to the typical US diet.
New Year’s Day and the whole month of January is a time for making resolutions. For some it’s a time to think about eating healthier, exercising more, or getting on and sticking to a budget. A great way to get started on all three of those resolutions is pledging to go meatless on Mondays! But why Mondays?
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 120 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but unfortunately only 8% of resolution-makers are able to keep them. Making Monday your day for habit change could be the key to sticking to your resolutions this year!
Once a week means less stress
By committing to a resolution you have to keep just one day a week, you take the pressure off. Give yourself a reasonable goal, like eating differently or moving more once a week, and you’ve set a small and achievable goal for the whole year.
Mondays set you up for success
It turns out that starting a healthy change on a Monday automatically sets you up for success for the rest of the week. A recent study by FGI Research found that most respondents felt Monday was the best day to begin a new exercise routine, start eating healthier, or engage in other activities that reduce stress. Research also shows that when you make a healthy choice on Monday, you’re much more likely to make healthier choices all week long.
Start fresh every week instead of once a year
In that same FGI study nearly one out of three of respondents saw Monday as a fresh start. If you’ve kept your resolution, then Monday is an ideal time to recommit. And if you’ve slipped and let your resolutions slide? Monday makes an excellent opportunity to get back on track.
Dr. Larry Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, credits a recurring Monday check-in as a key element in the success of his weight-loss program. “Using Monday as the day to set goals, celebrate progress, and get back on track after a weekend slip up can help people stay on track for the long haul.” Whatever your New Year’s resolution is for 2016, committing to making a change on Mondays could lead to 52 happy new weeks!
Looking for a resolution this new year? Try going meatless on Monday! Ditching the meat once a week can do your health, your bank account, and the planet a lot of good. So whether you’re interested in getting healthy, saving money, or trying to save the world in 2016, pledging to make Meatless Monday part of your weekly routine is a great way to get started with your new year’s resolution. Here’s why!
Going meatless is great for your health
Introducing a diet focused on plant-based foods – vegetables, fruits, and whole grains – has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and help prevent heart disease. Studies also show that diets focused on foods that come from plants can help curb obesity and lead to a longer lifespan. Some evidence even suggests that consuming large quantities of red or processed meats may lead to an increased risk of colo-rectal cancers. Plant foods also provide an array of vitamins and minerals that are crucial for health and well-being, both for growing bodies and for adult health. By eating less meat each week, you leave more room on your plate for plant-based meals that can help you get healthier and stay that way!
Skipping meat once a week can keep you (and your wallet) feeling full
Eating your greens can help save you lots of green! Not only is meat expensive and a big chunk of the average weekly omnivore’s food budget, but eating less meat can lead to fewer hospital and healthcare bills. Meatless sources of protein like legumes and other vegetables tend to cost less per serving than meat, so they make an economical (as well as healthy) choice. In the US chronic, preventable diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes account for 75% of the $2 trillion spent annually on medical care. Reducing the risk of these conditions by eating less meat is one good choice for your wallet and for public health bills in general.
It’s one way to take action on climate change
Meat production incurs a massive environmental cost in resources like grain, water, and fossil fuels. Food and water for the growing of livestock, and then fuel for the processing, shipping, and refrigeration of meat, takes a toll on the environment and is rapidly evolving as one of the leading causes of climate change around the world. Livestock animals also produce a large quantity of greenhouse gases like methane, further damaging the earth’s atmosphere. By reducing the demand for meat by eating a little less each week, anyone can chip away at the environmental costs of agriculture right from the dinner table.
There are lots of specific, science-backed reasons to try Meatless Monday; make one small resolution every week and have a happy, healthy new year!
In early December of this year, representatives from more than 200 nations gathered to discuss and decide the future of climate change and the fate of our planet. The COP21 gathering in Paris brought together representatives from around the world with one goal: to create and enact policies that would limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2030.
While many proposals would help achieve this goal, reaching it is impossible unless meat production and consumption is included in the equation. Unfortunately meat was not a subject under discussion at the COP21 talks. Luckily, the Meatless Monday team and 15 Meatless Monday global partners were there to bring the subject into the spotlight. Together they staged a successful event educating attendees about the effects of meat consumption while demonstrating the depth and diversity of the Meatless Monday movement around the world. The presentation was held at the Climate Generations area next to the Paris-Le Bourget site, and included a panel of environmental and health experts as well as talks on tactical ways to create change.
Highlights from the event included a keynote address from Uffe Elbæk, a presentation on the science behind the movement by Roni Neff and Rachel Santo of the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, a video from Meatless Monday, and insights from the Meatless Monday global partners. The presentation reached attendees from around the world, and has possibly influenced celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and inspired them to advocate going meatless for a few days each week.
Through the presentation and discussion, Meatless Monday was able to insert the dramatic effects of meat production and consumption into the climate change conversation. Meatless Monday was proud to spread the word about cutting out meat once a week and share ways everyday people can reduce global warming right from the dinner table!