The Best Meatless Monday Recipes

Meatless Monday is a global initiative to encourage people to eat less meat every Monday, in an effort to reduce stress on the planet's resources and help combat climate change. The idea is that reducing meat consumption (even just a day less per week) can reduce pressure on the Earth's resources.

The Best Vegan Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐) Mushrooms deliver a robust umami to the dish – and stand in for the traditional ground meat. Gochujang and spicy chili crisp bring a one-two-punch of heat. And you can take the spice up another level with Sichuan peppercorns.

West African Peanut Stew (Vegetarian) This West African influenced peanut stew is packed with veggies, leafy greens and chickpeas. The broth straddles the line between soup and peanut sauce texturally – and is so savory. I use collard greens in this one pot meal, but kale would be a good substitute.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Lentil is a legume that delivers the meaty texture to this classic casserole. Traditional veggies like corn, peas and green beans are combined with the lentils in a savory mushroom gravy. The whole thing is topped with pillowy mashed potatoes and then baked to perfection.

Stir Fried Bean Sprouts With Tofu and Garlic Chives Garlic chives and bean sprouts are flash fried in a soy based sauce alongside tofu for a dish that's as pretty as it is delicious. This stir fry is one of those meatless Monday recipes that doubles as the perfect takeout fakeout. Use what you like best.

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese This vegan spaghetti bolognese delivers on the deep and slow cooked flavor promise of the original. Finely diced mushrooms give your tomato sauce a little extra umami earthiness. The secret to the perfect texture is pulsing part of the sauce in a blender.

Thai Green Curry This Thai green curry is pungent, sweet and spicy. Roasted delicata squash imparts a bit more sweetness. For heat, I'm using chopped Thai chilis. A little goes a long way – but if you like it volcanic, you know what to do.

Japanese Curry Over Mashed Potatoes Veggie loaded Japanese curry is served on top of silky smooth mashed potatoes. Think of a more savory, sweeter, richer inverted shepherd's pie. I love carrots, mushrooms and zucchini in Japanese vegetable curry – but you can use eggplant, butternut squash, corn, etc.

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