Yes, you can become a vegetarian part-time, integrating more veggies into your diet and changing up your meals to a meat-less version. Make “Meatless Monday” carry into some other days of the week! Begin to try those vegetarian recipes you have been saving. Not only will this version of vegetarianism help you to be healthier, but it can save you money and turn your monotonous meal routine into something more exciting to look forward too!

Focus on Adding, not Subtracting

Many meat lovers feel being any type of vegetarian is not for them; whether it’s full OR part-time! Remember-it’s about adding more veggies, not taking anything away. Make your steak, chicken, pork, etc…, and add some fun, colorful, and most importantly, FLAVORFULL sides to your meat. Try roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta, asparagus with a little Parmesan cheese, or mashed cauliflower for that mashed potato fix. What about spicy green beans or steamed zucchini with some chicken broth? There are so many ways to incorporate veggies into your meals without sacrificing the flavor.

Discover New Flavors

As most of us know, it seems like we are always at the store to buy fresh produce. Veggies only last so long, and you want to use them up in creative ways before they spoil. Have tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers to use? Make a flatbread pizza with some olive oil, spices, and your produce. Blend them all together to make a sauce for your pasta or spiraled veggies! Because you are STILL a meat eater, your protein is already covered. Getting tired of the same old produce to pair up with your meats? Venture out and try veggies you never have tasted: Kale, chard, bok choy, collard greens, etc….Not only will you break the cycle of the same old stuff, but you might find a new veggie you really like. Search for new recipes that call for your newfound vegetables and have at it!

Save Money and Trips to the Doctor

A study conducted by USDA found that about 33% of veggies we buy are about 50 cents or less a serving! Imagine how much we save eating foods that are good for us. Go even a step further to save some money by purchasing the vegetables that are in season; planning your meals and snacks around those seasonal items. It it doesn’t hurt that these veggies may save us money in the long run; no money spent on certain medications or doc visits if we are eating healthy and right!

You might already be a part-time vegetarian and not even know it! If you are, pass the word, swap vegetarian and healthy recipes with friends, and remind them and yourself it’s not about passing up the meats, but introducing new vegetables and side dishes to the tasty meats we love. If ¼ of our plate is our meat/protein, we will need more ideas on healthy greens and veggies to fill the other ¾ of our meal. You will start with a Meatless Monday, and pretty soon, you’ll start a Tomato Tuesday or a Watercress Wednesday! Go Green!