I began Meatless Mondays about 5 months ago on a whim to encourage healthy, natural and environmental friendly eating. I did not expect that the change would affect me for the entire week and completely revamp my eating habits. Surprisingly, I have found myself craving more plant based meals and viewing heavy, meaty, preservative filled foods unappetizing. Maybe it is the 100 degree weather or maybe it is how energetic and positive I feel when I eat clean. I'm still waiting for the glowing skin that I've heard about.
I am not a vegetarian or vegan and I do enjoy a ballpark dog or chicken Caesar salad. The difference is I don't need it in a meal. I've learned that a well balanced meal is not meat and potatoes anymore. Protein is found in nuts, beans, lentils and grains. The combination of these with fresh veggies can create a satisfying meal without the heavy, gluttonous feeling afterwards.
Mostly I've eaten meat-free in my home. I know it is hard for vegetarians to find a variety of options at restaurants. To be 100% vegan seems near impossible to me. When I was nursing my daughter I gave up dairy and it was extremely difficult. I learned that dairy is in many more foods then I realized and restaurants cook with a large amount of butter. I've heard and read about some exceptional vegan restaurants in Chicago.
I've been eager to try Amitabul. Years ago, when it was located on Southport I adored it. My sister in law raves about another low key vegan spot called The Loving Hut. I perused the menu online and my mouth was watering. I'm planning to try it tomorrow and I'll let you know how it goes. What other vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Chicago do you recommend?
Have you enjoyed reading Meatless Monday posts? Comments have been low the past few weeks and I'm wondering if you would like to continue to read recipes and posts about eating meat free.
I hope you have a great week - it is the last one of July. Where has the summer gone?