When it comes to being a vegetarian, I am the black sheep of the family. While my meat consumption has been steadily decreasing and my husband and I are avid Meatless Mondayers, most of our other dinners do include beef, chicken or fish. Not so with my sisters: my middle sister has been a vegetarian for over six years and my younger sister had joined the vegetarian ranks earlier this year.
And recently, my younger sister, inspired by the concept of Meatless Monday, had came up with a unique idea of taking the meatless concept even further and going vegan once a week. Since she already doesn’t eat meat, every day is a Meatless Day for her. So here’s another take on Meatless Mondays, from a vegetarian perspective.
I didn’t have the pleasure of enjoying the Vegan Pumpkin Chili that she had made, but the few delicious pictures she texted did leave me salivating. This dish has been added to my rolodex of Meatless Monday recipes.
The original vegetarian recipe is from the A Beautiful Mess website (also below). My sister made it extra delicious by adding eggplant (at the same time as onions) and vegan by skipping the cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
1 can pinto beans
1 can red beans
1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 can pumpkin puree
A pinch of cumin, cinnamon and red pepper.
In a medium/large pot heat the oil over low heat. Dice onion and bell pepper, mince garlic. Add to the pot and turn the heat up to medium. Saute until onion begins to soften. Chop chipotle pepper and add to the pot, if you like it spicy add a little of the sauce too. Add diced tomatoes with juices, pumpkin and all the spices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse the bean and add to the pot. Once everything is warmed through check to see if you need to add any salt or pepper.
Today is a Sunday and our dinner menu is, surprisingly, meatless!
This wasn’t planned, it kind of just happened when we were grocery shopping and decided to try the fried kale and goat cheese pasta dish I found on FoodGawker (and also to suffice my recently-developed kale obsession). We had already planned on doing tofu tacos tomorrow (Monday), and voila, two meatless dinners in a row!
In fact, that is not the first time that’s happened. Since implementing Meatless Monday I’m noticing that more often our meals don’t include meat. Just like with any other habit, once put in practice, eating less meat has subtly made its way into our lives. Habits, bad or good, tend to be that way. Flossing and working out becomes easier, the more I floss and work out. Food choices that at one time seemed lacking, like drinking non-fat milk or eating meatless dinners, are now part of life. And they taste better!
And it’s not just me. I recently came across research results showing that diners’ enjoyement of meatless dishes increased with frequency of consumption. For example, “liking due to ‘mere exposure’ increased significantly more with tofu, i.e. the more people ate it, the more they liked it.”
Yet another reminder that less is sometimes more. Especially when it comes to meat.
Breakfast for dinner is not a new concept: it’s fun, easy to make and also makes a great meatless option!
The choices are many: from french toast to just about anything starring eggs. If you’re craving a more traditional breakfast, there are many meatless sausages and links available, but in my opinion a fluffy omelette loaded with yummy veggies doesn’t even need meat, substitute or not.
Here are just a few breakfast menu categories for a delicious and unique Meatless Monday meal:
- For a dinner and a dessert in one, try french toast, pancakes or waffles, piled high with your favorite fruit and a sprinkle of powdered sugar
- For a more savory dinner, go for an omelette filled with cheese (and don’t stop at just one kind!), veggies and topped with slices of avocado
- For the adventurous cook in the audience, whip up a quiche (possibilities for filling are endless: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc) for a decadent and cheesy dinner
Still hungry? Add some hash-browns or roasted potatoes as a side and breakfast for dinner has never tasted better!
For this week’s Meatless Monday’s my husband, Nathan, decided to make an eggplant lasagna. While it sounded like a lot to take on, it simultaneously fulfilled two objectives. Firstly, it provided an interesting alternative to our Meatless Monday routine and secondly, it left me with a dish that would last me 3 to 4 meals, as my husband was traveling, and I don’t like to cook (and I love leftovers!).
Quickly glancing at the ingredients, we were off to the grocery store with ricotta & mozzarella cheeses, lasagna noodles and of course eggplant added to our usual shopping list.
When we got home and read the recipe with a little more attention, we realized that the recipe called for eggplant instead of pasta sheets, not in addition to. Having bought both we decided to tweak the recipe a little bit. It turned out delicious, easy to make and most importantly lasted me for a few nights!
Below is the original recipe from Food Network with Nathan’s magic touch/variations highlighted in orange: