Taking it Further

Good morning and happy January! More importantly, happy 2012! It is a time for renewal, resolution and, in my case, shoveling. We came back from a week in Florida over the holidays to the Canadian Winter finally deciding to take control of the helm with the chilling word, "Engage." It looks like its here to stay. But back to resolutions... do you have one? The time is now, my friends, and the stakes have never been higher. In this time of the end of days called the Mayan Apocalypse, we Earthlings may only have this one year left to get it right before the planet presses "Reset" on us. What are you going to change?

Okay, kidding, obviously. If it's not one apocalypse these days, it's another, right? But if we could return again to resolutions for one brief moment on a non-comedic note, I did warn you that in 2012 I was going to ask you if you were ready to take it further. So, are you? We've been on this Meatless Monday program for awhile now--some of us for over a year. It having been resolved and agreed that a reduction in meat consumption would have benefits for human health, the environment and the animals. 

Taking a pause from eating meat and dairy one day a week equates to a 15% reduction in consumption and a measurable reduction in greenhouse gases and perhaps even ones cholesterol count and, as Paula Deen would say, total glycemic load. So, you might be saying to yourself, if 15% is good, might not more be better? 'Twould. I can't argue with it. While I applaud anyone who is making this daunting change and committing to Meatless Mondays, who am I to object if you'd like to do more?

There are many different ideas out there for people who want to take it further but don't want to go whole hog (or "hogless," as the case may be). For instance, there are people who call themselves "flexitarians," who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but have meat from time to time. There are also "weekday vegetarians" who are plant-based during the week and then eat with no restrictions on the weekends. Similar to this concept is the "vegan before 6:00" movement, which is plant-based during the day and then no restrictions for dinner (supper, AKA teatime, or whatever you call the meal at the end of the day). The Toronto Vegetarian Association offers a "Veggie Challenge" program for people who want to try being plant-based for a whole week to see what it's like. And then there are the radical "freegans" who don't eat any meat unless it's free.

If one of the above appeals to you, by all means take on this challenge in 2012. You will find that the "Meatless Monday" recipes I've been sending you will work equally well any day of the week you choose to make them. If you aren't ready to "take it further" and want to stick with just one day a week, you're still a superstar for the planet, the animals and your health. It's all good. Thumbs up.

This week's recipe is simple and delicious, as all the best recipes are. It is an easy way to roast some mixed vegetables that we really enjoyed one night down in balmy Florida over the holidays. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for making a difference in 2012.