Tag Archives: meatless mondays

Meatless Monday and Sunday Night Scramble: Tacos

28 Nov

Once again, I’m presenting a two-fer tonight.

Vegan MoFo has been fun, but it’s actually made me eat a little worse in an attempt to present interesting eats this month. In an effort to clean things up a bit, I’m going to do a week of eating based on Dr. Joel Fuhrman‘s Eat to Live starting tomorrow. So tonight, I wanted to finish off some not-so-healthy leftovers. The contenders: incredibly greasy (and delicious) fajita vegetables, half a can of black bean chili, and flour tortillas. The solution:

Fajitas! Wait, no, Quick and Easy Vegan Tacos! I mixed the rest of the salsa and some Chipotle Tabasco into them, too.

These could easily be made healthy by using a whole-wheat tortilla (Whole Foods makes my favorite kind), plain black or other beans, and veggies you saute yourself in a small amount of olive oil or vegetable broth. Defrosted frozen vegetables work well, too. There are also lots of fat-free refried beans on the market that are vegetarian, though the sodium count can be high. You can mimic them by lightly blending a can of beans and adding your favorite spices, such as cumin and cayenne. Guacamole would be a tasty addition, and I would have thrown in some nutritional yeast if I’d been thinking straight.

I hope your weekend was fabulous!


Meatless Monday Meal Idea: Garlic Mushrooms and Lentils

21 Nov

I’ve shared some incredibly basic Meatless Monday meal ideas since starting this feature, but today I wanted to challenge you to try something a bit more time-intensive, though it’s still ridiculously easy. I present Garlic Mushrooms and Lentils:

Yes, they look like a mushy mess, but they are amazingly delicious, easy, and filling. Oh yes, and healthy, too. Notice how there’s no fat? Yes, I promise it still tastes good!

They recipe is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook.

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • About 1/4 cup low-sodium veggie broth
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 lb mushrooms of any kind (I like wild mushrooms, but button or cremini will work, too)
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 5 Tbsp finely chipped fresh parsley

Wash the lentils. In a medium pan, heat about 3 tablespoons broth over medium heat. Add the onion, cooking until softened. Add more veggie broth if necessary. Then add the red pepper and 3 garlic cloves to the pot, stirring for 10 seconds before throwing in the lentils, the bay leaf, and 2 1/2 cups water. Boil, reduce heat to low, and partially cover. Cook gently for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, clean mushrooms and thinly and evenly slice. Heat 3 tablespoons or so of the broth in large frying pan over medium heat. Add remaining 3 cloves of garlic. Stir once and add the mushrooms, sauteing until they have softened. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne, stirring to mix. Add in 4 tablespoons of parsley and turn off heat. Serve the lentils topped with the mushrooms. Makes four servings.

The original recipe called for something like 1/4 cup of olive oil for four servings. Mine has none at all, and you wouldn’t even miss it.

Serve alongside a simple green salad and enjoy!

Meatless Monday Meal Idea: Sandwiches

14 Nov

This may seem like an obvious choice, but I find that a lot of meat eaters have no idea what would go into a vegetarian sandwich. My usual response — “Um, anything but meat” — isn’t particularly helpful, so I thought I would post something a little more useful.

The most important thing about building a cruelty-free sandwich is choosing something adequately filling. There are two ways of doing this:

  1. Replace the meat with another protein/calorie source.
  2. Eat a really big sandwich.

I promise #2 is not a joke, but I’ll start with #1. The mistake a lot of new vegetarians and vegans make is just pulling the meat and/or cheese from between the sandwich bread and calling it good. That doesn’t cut it for a real appetite. Yes, a lettuce sandwich would be slimming, but it would also be sating for about two seconds. And nasty, let’s not forget about nasty. Here are my suggestions for building a more filling sandwich:

  • Spread on a thick layer of hummus or another bean dip. This will add flavor and protein to the sandwich, as well as negate the need for other condiments.
  • Slather on some guacamole. See above reason, substituting “fat” for “protein”.
  • Add a slab of broiled or baked tofu or tempeh. Once again, they are good protein sources and they more closely mimic the taste and texture of meat, for those who miss that.
  • You really can’t go wrong with a classic PB&J. Or PB and banana. Or any nut butter with any fruit. And I occasionally top my peanut butter with grated carrots. Just make sure your nut butters are natural — sugar and hydrogenated oils are not worth it, friends.

As for #2, quantity is important. You can eat tons more veggies for the same number of calories as meat or its non-vegan cohorts. So why not load up? If you normally eat half a six-inch foot-long meaty/cheesy/mayo-y sub, simply remove the animal products and load up on veggies plus vinaigrette or mustard. I call these sandwiches salad on bread, but is that really such a bad thing? Just make sure your bread (or wrap or whatever) is natural and contains plenty of fiber. For a really fun spin, try roasted or grilled veggies. They are phenomenal on a sandwich. With all the calories and fat you’ll save going animal-product-free, I totally won’t judge you if you can’t say no to the Lay’s potato chips. They’re my weakness, too.

I urge you to try out a tasty, filling vegan sandwich the next time you need a quick, easy meal.

What is your favorite meatless sandwich combination?

Meatless Monday meal idea and a Scramble all in one

7 Nov

Good morning! How did my American readers outside of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and most of Arizona enjoy falling back? I celebrated by getting up shortly before 7 a.m. Even with the time change, that’s a bit early for a Sunday.

Anyway, today I present to you a Meatless Monday meal idea that doubles as a Scramble meal (one that I actually had on Friday for lunch rather than Sunday night). It’s so easy that it almost doesn’t count as a recipe! This recipe is a tasty, fun way to use up leftover homemade salad dressing (like what I had from last week), which is why I decided to try it.

Vinaigrette Roasted Veggies

  • A serving size of leftover raw, cooked, or frozen veggies
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vinaigrette

Yeah, that’s all you need. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it or lining it. Gather your vegetables. Chop the raw ones into small pieces so they’ll roast faster. If you’re using frozen veggies, defrost them with a quick trip in the microwave, or begin thawing them in advance of the recipe. I had one raw potato and some frozen green beans to use up. Put them in a bowl and top with enough vinaigrette to coat:

Toss or stir to distribute the vinaigrette. Now spread them around on the baking sheet:

And put them in the oven until they are roasted to your preferences. Mine took about 20 minutes.*

I served mine up topped with cracked pepper and a small minced garlic clove. Delicious and perfect for a cold day.

*My potato and green beans were fine to sweat it out together. However, if you decide to roast two veggies with very different cooking times (e.g. a whole potato and some asparagus), then you’ll want to keep them separate on the sheet so you can remove the quicker-cooking vegetable when it’s done.

Still have more leftover dressing? Make Vinaigrette Garlic Bread!

  • Slices of bread (anything crusty works well; I used my focaccia)
  • Vinaigrette

Preheat the broiler and place a rack on the top row of the oven. Slice off as much bread as you want and spread some dressing on top:

When the broiler is good and hot, place the bread (on a baking sheet, a piece of foil, or directly onto the rack) under the heat.

It’ll only take three or so minutes for the edges to begin to brown. When they do, it’s done! I sprinkled black pepper and nutritional yeast on top, which was an excellent choice:

You can also pre-toast or pre-broil the bread on the other side before adding the vinaigrette, which will result in a firmer toast. Just make sure to watch it carefully. Mine stayed fairly soft in the middle. The bread is a great treat on its own, but it would also be good served with the veggies or on the side of a nice hearty vegetable soup. Though high in sodium, Amy’s Organic Fire Roasted Southwest Vegetable Soup is a favorite of mine.

If you want to celebrate Meatless Monday but don’t want to invest a lot of time or creativity, give these ideas a go!

Meatless Monday Meal Ideas #3

10 Oct

The farmers market may be over here, but I’ve still seen some beautiful summer squash floating around the grocery stores. If you, like me, are not ready to let go of this warm-weather staple, then hold on one last time with this delicious, fall-ready dish. I served it with purple hull peas from the farmers market, but it would be equally delicious with any fresh or cooked legume. I recommend black-eyed peas or pinto beans.

I originally shared this squash recipe at Tasha Does Tulsa, but I thought it would make a great Meatless Monday post, so I beefed quinoa-ed it up with some more photos.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

2 patty pan squashes, scrubbed
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
¼ cup of low-sodium vegetable broth (or more or less to taste)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 massive clove of elephant garlic, minced or pressed (or 1-2 cloves of regular garlic)
1 jalapeno (or other pepper), minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
Nutritional yeast to taste

1. First thing is, of course, to prepare your ingredients (chop, dice, etc.). It will save you a lot of scrambling. Also, marvel at the massiveness of your elephant garlic cloves.

Then preheat that oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash however they will fit, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the tasty thing with little resistance.

Remove the top (I cut a circle and scooped). Use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out the innards of the squash very carefully. Chop or mash the innards and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, fill a small or medium saucepan with the rinsed quinoa and water in a two-to-one ratio. If you cook an entire cup of quinoa, you will have lots of leftovers, but that’s the way I like it. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. You can also do this in advance.

4. Heat some vegetable broth in a sauté pan and add the onion, cooking until translucent. Add in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for another minute. Add the squash innards for two minutes, until softened. Add the tomato and between ½ and a whole cup of the cooked quinoa and cook until everything is heated through. Pour in extra vegetable broth a little at a time if the pan gets too dry.

5. Scoop the quinoa-squash mixture into the patty pan shells as full as you’d like. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle nutritional yeast on top. Place the squash on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until squash are heated through.

6. Enjoy!

Serves 2.

This is a tasty, deceptively easy meal. You can adapt this for different kinds of squash – acorn would be a good choice. But please, don’t tell me summer is over yet. Let it linger a little longer.

These foods are all heart-healthy and help protect against cancer. They also taste so delicious that I would slap my momma if she lived closer and wouldn’t slap me back.

Meatless Monday Meal Idea

19 Sep

Tomorrow is Monday. Whether or not you eat meat, you can make a hugely positive impact on the planet by skipping animal flesh one day a week. Learn more by visiting the Meatless Monday website.

I kick off my new feature with one of my favorite quickie dinners: Pete’s Harbor Special from the amazing Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook. This recipe features things you may already have at home, and if not, you can easily (and cheaply) procure them.

The following makes one serving, but feel free to double, quintuple, or whatever it.

Start by slicing a cleaned-and-dried medium zucchini into 1/4″ thick pieces, either straight or on a diagonal.

Next, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium to medium-high heat. (My stove runs really hot, so I never go above medium for sautéing.) When hot, add the zucchini slices and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme.

Cook until the zucchini is golden-speckled on both sides, about 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pan. You can put them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the extra oil.

Meanwhile, heat I cup canned vegetarian refried beans (bonus: they’ll be fat-free!) in a small saucepan with one clove (or three, if you’re a fiend like me) of garlic. You can also do this in the microwave if you’re in a hurry.

Spread the beans in a thin layer on a warm plate. Top with zucchini, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add salsa.

Add grated cheese or nutritional yeast, or just eat it as is for a delicious, healthy, vegan meal.

I enjoy salad on the side topped with a little corn. It’s also great with some corn chips.

If you make this dish, send me a picture! Also, definitely check out the book. It’s full of delicious, simple, healthful recipes.