I always find it interesting to find back-stories about food “trends.”  I never 100% know who is telling the whole truth but it is always interesting to read what is out there on the Web.  (Because if it is on the Web we know it is the truth, right?)

So when one of my readers asked me why I didn’t participate in “meatless Mondays” I wasn’t sure how to respond.  I, honestly, didn’t know that Meatless Monday was a real thing.  I thought it was just a whimsy like Taco Tuesday or Sundae Sunday.  (I’m not sure if Sundae Sunday is real either but it sounds like fun, doesn’t it?)

Little did I know Meatless Monday dated back to World War I.  It was believed that the conservation of food would support the U.S. troops.  The rationing was purely voluntary but the FDA came up with the whimsical slogan “Meatless Monday” to advance the cause.  (Wheatless Wednesday was also invoked but not quite as catchy.)

During World War II, meat was being rationed, so the slogan was back and it was a way for women at home to support their men on the front.  (This would have been a good Walton’s episode, my guide to history.)

Sometime during 2003-2009, the campaign came back once more as an incentive to reduce your carbon footprint and make the public aware of the health benefits of going meatless

According to all of the valid resources on the Internet, reducing your meat intake can help reduce heart disease, fight diabetes, limit cancer risk, curb obesity, improve your diet and live longer.  (If I didn’t like meat so much, this would be a huge incentive to become a vegetarian.)

With all that said, last night I had my first official Meatless Monday.  I decided to go for a nice Asian veggie stir-fry.  (Actually, the red pepper flakes made it kind of a mean Asian stir-fry.)

Spicy Asian Eggplant with Basil and Tofu


8 ounces firm tofu, drained, cubed (I bought the tofu that was already cubed)

½ tsp red pepper flakes (This is a little spicy so feel free to take it down a notch and use ¼ of a teaspoon or less)

2 cups Japanese (or Chinese) eggplant, chopped.  (About 2 eggplants)

1 white onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbs rice wine vinegar

3 Tbs lime ponzu sauce (If you don’t have ponzu, use soy and give it a good squirt of lime)

2 Tbs brown sugar

¼ cup fresh basil, torn

Slices of lime

Peanut oil

Optional: Rice to serve with veggies  (Not really optional because I like carbs)


In a small bowl, mix rice wine vinegar, ponzu and brown sugar.  Stir until sugar dissolves and set aside.

In a large, non-stick skillet, add a healthy tablespoon of peanut oil and heat over medium heat.  Add drained tofu and cook until it is lightly browned on all sides.  (If you press some of the liquid out of the tofu when you drain it, it browns faster.)

Remove and set aside.

In same pan, heat up another tablespoon of peanut oil.  Add red pepper flakes and heat for about 10 seconds.  Add eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and red pepper and stir-fry until the veggies start to get ALMOST to the desired tenderness.   (It took me about 6-7 minutes over medium heat.)

Add sauce and stir it all together for another 2 minutes on the stove.  Right before serving, add torn basil and serve over rice with a slice of lime.

I can’t promise that I will get in a Meatless Monday post every week but I will guarantee you that I will NEVER promote Fasting Friday!  : )