Skip to main content

3 Meatless Meals Actually Worth Eating on Earth Day

3 meatless meals actually worth eating on earth day falafel
Studies have shown eating less meat could help mitigate climate change, which really blows to hear because the environment is useful and, frankly, meat is delicious. But you don’t have to go full-on vegan to help ease the strain– one day a week (or even one meal a day) of going meat-free can help. Not to mention, it’s beneficial to give your gut a break from the hard stuff.

Here is a full-day’s menu of meatless recipes for Earth Day that will make you forget you’re selflessly sacrificing for our weird little blue space marble.

Related Videos

Breakfast: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Don’t be intimidated by the name: these are super simple to make and fantastically delicious. Plus, they seriously impress guests. This recipe (everything in italics) comes directly from The Food Lab, a cookbook by J. Kenji Lόpez-Alt that absolutely every man should own.

Granted, there are eggs in the pancakes, but they’re technically pre-meat, right?

Makes 12 Pancakes, serving 3-4

½ cup buttermilk

1 cup fresh ricotta (drained for 30 minutes)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)

2 large eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (1 lemon)

Vegetable oil (for cooking)

1 cup Basic Dry Pancake Mix (see below)

Basic Dry Pancake Mix: Makes about 2 cups

10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar


  • Whisk together the buttermilk, ricotta, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Add the pancake mix and lemon zest and whisk until no more dry flour remains (the mixture should remain lumpy–be careful not to overmix).
  • Heat ½ teaspoon oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Reduce the heat to medium and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Use a ¼-cup dry measure to scoop 4 pancakes into the pan and cook on the first side until bubbles start to appear on top and the bottoms are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Serve the pancakes immediately, or keep warm on a wire rack set on a baking sheet in a warm oven while you cook the remaining batches. Serve with maple syrup.

Lunch: Falafel Pitas

This easy and hearty recipe comes to us courtesy of Martha Stewart. Now, Martha makes you work for it, but it’s worth it: this lunch is fried! Don’t worry, we’ve left off the instructions for making your own wax paper wrappers and how to tie the string in a nice bow.

1 ¾ cups cooked dried chickpeas or one 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 small yellow onion, cut into 1’’ pieces

¼ cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped mint

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon cayenne

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

Juice of 1 lemon

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

½ cup canola oil

  • Place half of chickpeas in food processor and pulse a few times until chopped, transfer to large bowl.
  • Place remaining chickpeas in food processor with garlic, onion, herbs, spices, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice. Pulse to thick, chunky paste, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with chopped chickpeas.
  • Add egg and sesame seeds to bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill batter in fridge 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil shimmers, drop heaping tablespoons of batter into skillet and gently press batter 2”-round patties. Cook, turning once, until deep golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Serve falafel with pita bread, sliced tomatoes and red onion, romaine leaves, and store-bought tahini dressing.

Dinner: Meatless Tofu Chili

Don’t run away at the word tofu! You will be surprised how well it can match the consistency of meat in chili and it beautifully absorbs the flavors. Whole Foods, oddly enough, has a particularly good recipe, but obviously you can get the ingredients from any grocery store.

Serves 6

1 (14-ounce) package of extra-firm tofu, drained

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 ½ cup vegetable broth (or water)

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid

1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Salt to taste

  • Arrange tofu on a large plate lined with 3 or 4 paper towels and top with more paper towels. Press firmly to release as much water as possible from the tofu. Discard paper towels, crumble tofu and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Add pepper, onion,  jalapeño and corn and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth, beans, crumbled tofu, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin and salt or tamari and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered or partially covered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors have melded, about 45 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

Sit back, crack a beer, and congratulate yourself on an earth-friendly day of good eats and plan the triple-decker bacon cheeseburger you can have tomorrow. Just make sure it’s healthier, happier grass-fed beef.

Editors' Recommendations

1 of 2 American adults aren’t getting enough magnesium — these foods will help
Magnesium is a vital mineral that can help the body in a myriad of ways
Dried fruit and brazil nuts high in magnesium.

Magnesium is more than a fun-to-say word that sounds like something a super hero gets their power from. It's a vital mineral that can offer a big assist to your mood, quality of sleep, heart, and more. But how do we take in more of the stuff, aside from going the supplement route?

Foods high in magnesium, of course, and tasty, snack-able ones that that. Fortunately, you've got options in this department, so adjust your grocery shopping list accordingly. And you should, because the mineral helps with protein synthesis, keeping your blood pressure in check, and helping your muscles work better. Magnesium also keeps bones and teeth healthy, one more reason to load up.

Read more
The 10 best sweet treats for your Valentine’s Day celebration
These desserts are perfect for sharing with your Valentine
Inside Out Red Velvet Cookies

Some folks love Valentine's Day, spending the day with your special someone, fully embracing the hearts and flowers of it all. Others take great pride in declaring it a commercial greeting card holiday, and rebelling against the societal pressures set upon them. But no matter how you look at the day, it has one benefit for all: it's an excuse to make really good desserts. These 10 Valentine's Day dessert recipes range from entry-level to expert offering sugary bliss to cooks and bakers of any level. They also vary in prep and cook time, so no matter how busy you are you'll be able to whip one of these up no problem.

These Valentine's Day desserts would be great after a delicious Valentine's Day dinner or while watching a Valentine's Day movie.
Related Guides

Read more
These 13 foods will add essential vitamin K to your diet
Vitamin K is an important nutrient you could probably eat more of. Here are some foods that are full of the nutrient.
salad greens high in vitamin k.

It's perhaps not the most talked-about or sexiest vitamin out there (we see you, vitamin C), but vitamin K is important nonetheless. You're probably already getting some through your regular diet but there's a good chance you could use a pinch more. But how? And why?

Because vitamin K serves the body well. The nutrient helps with coagulation when you're wounded, bone metabolism, and the vital functions of your heart and vessels. When you're not taking in enough of the stuff, bad things can happen, like bleeding disorders or cardiovascular issues.

Read more