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Meatless Meals Save Money

Hands slicing a cucumber on a wooden cutting board.

Nashville, Ark. – No, you are not imagining! Grocery prices are on the rise and will continue to rise over the next few months. Among the costliest items are meat products. With issues facing farmers, you can expect to pay more for beef, pork, poultry and dairy products. You can, however, lessen the sticker shock by going meatless just one night a week.

Going meatless doesn’t mean you are giving up protein. Protein is essential to a healthy diet. says that all foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered part of the Protein Group. These foods supply many nutrients, including protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, Zinc and magnesium.

By replacing meat one day each week with beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, your family could see additional health benefits by reducing their intake of saturated fat, reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, lowering the risk for development of type 2 diabetes, reducing their risk for obesity and contributing to a healthy body weight. Plus, as an added bonus, you are improving your family’s quality of life by increasing the amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber you consume.

Your wallet will also be happier. Meat prices have risen significantly over the past two years. Going meatless just one day a week can help lower your total food bill.

Does this mean no more hamburgers? No. It just means giving up beef, seafood, pork, poultry or any other meat one day a week and making substitutions with other protein and fruits and vegetables.

For more information on MyPlate, contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Recipe of the Week

Start your “go meatless” meal with this hearty lasagna paired with a tossed green salad and garlic toast. Your family doesn’t need to know there is no meat in the recipe. It makes a lot, 12 servings, so plan accordingly.

Hearty Lasagna

  • 1 (16 oz.) package lasagna noodles

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

  • ½ cup chopped broccoli

  • ½ cup shredded carrots

  • ½ cup shredded zucchini

  • 1-10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

  • ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper

  • ¾ cup chopped onion

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 (26 oz.) jars pasta sauce

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 (15-oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese

  • 4 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.

  2. In a large saucepan with olive oil, sauté all vegetables, except spinach, until al dente.

  3. Add pasta sauce and basil; bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

  5. In a separate bowl, mix together spinach, ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, and eggs.

  6. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  7. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.

  8. Layer ½ cup each: lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, sauce, and Parmesan cheese.

  9. Repeat layering, and top with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

  10. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

  11. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

  1. Note: For a higher fiber content, use whole wheat lasagna noodles.



By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517

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