Meatless NOMday?!

Yes, I just said Nomday instead of Monday because I am quite impressed with how things turned out today.

Today was my first go at Meatless Monday.

Strike that…

My first ALL DAY meatless Monday.

I knew going into the weekend I wanted to start doing Meatless Monday for the rest of this month and as long as I can stand it. I also knew getting my mom to agree because my dad will eat whatever you give him parents on board would be a challenge. So I settled on making dinner a meatless meal and breakfast and lunch can be whatever anyone picks up.

Well, in true RwC fashion, I decided this morning, as I was getting dressed to go teach that I was going to go meatless all day. But silly me, I didn’t have much time to think of something since the majority of what we had in the fridge contained meat. I knew there was a leftover sweet potato so I quickly called dibs on that. But what else am I going to take? I swear, trying to figure that out before I left was probably what caused me to run late to school. I stood in the middle of the kitchen and looked into each cabinet with my X-Ray vision because I felt opening each cabinet would take too long. I stared at the cabinets and “saw” cans of green beans, packs of crackers, applesauce and canned tuna/chicken.


I looked at the other cabinet and saw chia seeds, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal and other dry goods and baking essentials.


I stared at the refrigerator next, I saw celery, homemade applesauce, snap peas, and stuff to make a sandwich.

This will have to do.

So I went in the fridge and pulled out the other items for my lunch and ended up with this:

Meatless Monday lunch1So what you see here is my small lunch since school releases at 1:50pm. I have a baked sweet potato with a light drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of chia seeds, 2 cut up stalks of celery with light ranch dressing and Tajin to dip, and my garlic and parmesan cheese roasted chickpeas. (Not pictured: unsweetened applesauce.)

I don’t need a lot to hold me over because it is an early day and I can go home and finish up my day.

I know this probably isn’t a “Complete meal” but on the fly with about 15 minutes until I had to run out the door, I say it was a pretty decent lunch.


Now, on to dinner…

I have been on the search for new recipes for a while now. My staple meals have done their job but it is time for something new and interesting. I searched around on google, magazines, pinterest, youtube… you name it! Thankfully I have come across some really great recipes that I am excited to try and now that I get to immediately come home after work (and run!) I have time to fix dinner instead of relying on a ready-pac salad in the back of the fridge.

So dinner was my first shot at one of these new meals and I made Barley Hoppin’ John. I found this recipe through a Pinterest search and pinned this as soon as I saw it. Something about it just screamed out good comfort food.

I followed the directions and while it had a good amount of flavor, I added a little bit of Cajun seasoning to my taste. I also added mushrooms and did not use quick cook barley or a can of black eyed peas. I want to stay as clean as I possibly can and I figured what can be better than soaking your own beans? So I did.

And it was fantastic!

meatless monday dinner1

Pro: Filled me up, lots of fiber. Great taste. Comforting. Mom ate it with a hot link liked it. Dad loved it.

Con: So many leftovers since one serving is more than enough. Made my stomach bubble and rumble TOO MUCH FIBER! Too many black eyed peas for my preference so will add less next time.

Barley Hoppin John

from Eating Well Magazine (online)

My additions


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1 cup Pearled Barley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 2 cups dry black eyed peas rinsed and soaked
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 8 white mushrooms


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broth, barley, thyme, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the barley is done, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in black-eyed peas and cook until done (no longer crunchy). Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot.


Per serving: 320 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 58 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 11 g fiber; 677 mg sodium; 529 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (58% daily value), Folate & Vitamin A (24% dv), Potassium (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat


I should note that the whole fiber thing could have been due to what I ate all day and not just the hoppin john. But I had a lot going on last night and it was not fun!

I can’t wait until my next Meatless Monday. I haven’t decided if the whole day will be meatless but I know for sure dinner will be.

I have also started planning out my weekly meals (lunch and dinner) and am thinking about sharing that as well. I would post it now but I don’t have a lot of software on the laptop I take to school. I don’t want random children playing on my system and then messing something up. So that may be later tonight if I have the energy after my staff meeting and then my run.

o_O How many more days until my half marathon?


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