Meatless Monday was on hiatus primarily because I was over thinking it. Stymied and frustrated I wallowed in self-pity because I wasn’t creating recipes that I deemed ‘blog-worthy’. Then I called bullsh*t on myself.
The thing I loved about Meatless Monday was that it was supposed to be easy and fun, Part of living a mindful life in being in the moment and accepting what is. I stopped doing this when it came to posts. This week I decided throw myself into the fire and whip up whatever I had handy.
This was inspired by a book I love, Culinary Artistry its a cooking concept book that talks about flavors and the science behind what foods and spices marry well. I’m not a cook who loves to follow a recipe to the letter, so this appealed to me. The result is what is this week’s Meatless Monday recipe.
The farmers market had asparagus on the cheap. In my fridge I spied a head of cauliflower, capers, lemons and spring greens.
Warm Cauliflower and Asparagus Salad with a lemon caper vinaigrette
- Cauliflower florets
- Juice from one lemon
- Capers (2 ounces with juice)
- 1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
- 1 TSP dijon mustard
- 1/2 shallot minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- handful parsley chopped
- one small onion sliced
- Steam florets and asparagus for two minutes until just tender.
- Quickly sauté veggies with garlic and sliced onions for three minutes with one tablespoon olive oil.
- Plate veggies on spring mix and dress with vinaigrette.
For the Vinaigrette
- Whisk shallots, mustard, lemon juice, capers, remaining olive oil and parsley
It was easy and delish. Next time I might add quinoa or brown rice or mushrooms for some heft, but a really big serving of this left me very satisfied.
Sometimes you have to step away from something to know you really want it.
Happy Meatless Monday!!!
Today was rainy and chilly. I love a warm meal on a cold evening. But it doesn’t have to be loaded down with things that aren’t good for you. I took a variety of cubed squashes and golden beets tossed them with greens and some homemade dressing and had a great dinner that was satisfying.
- Mix of your favorite root veggies – I used butternut, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot and golden beet
- Olive Oil mister (
- Fresh spices your choice (I used sage and thyme)
- Salt & fresh black pepper
- Salad greens- (use the beet greens too! )
- This is my basic salad dressing recipe and I love it.
- Olive oil
- Quality balsamic
- Dash of honey
- Dollop of dijon mustard
- Splash of soy sauce (this is the secret umami ingredient)
- Blend or whisk everything*
* To save time I make my salad dressing in my wooden salad bowl and then toss with everything. I also cuts down on having to wash one more thing. I know. Lazy yogi.
** Rub a clove of garlic around the wooden salad bowl a few times for some flavor. (I learned this from a now cancelled cooking show Master Chef)
Happy Meatless Monday!!
I had kale, chickpeas and onions and a jar of tahini dressing I scored from Food 52.
May I present one of the easiest weeknight dinners.
- Chickpeas – one can
- Kale – 3/4 lb finely chopped
- Garlic – 3 cloves minced
- Red onion – thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup liquid (your choice I used lemon juice and veggie broth)
- Olive oil
- Cumin – large pinch
- Dried coriander or cilantro (really whatever is handy)
- Lemon juice – one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare chickpeas in pot. Add cumin, a smidge (splash) of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Cook chickpeas until liquid is almost gone.
- Heat large skillet over medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Sauté garlic, cilantro and onions until translucent.
- Add kale, liquid and sauté until kale is cooked through.
- Toss with chickpeas.
- Garnish with dollop of tahini dressing
Easy and tasty. It’s not a huge meal, but after the holidays it’s nice to have a light, warm meal.
Hope you enjoy!
There’s nothing like a cup of soup to set the world right. There are so many great things about soup:
- It can be an entire meal
- It can be rich and creamy
- It can be slim and lean
- It freezes well
This recipe was inspired by Veggie Belly! The trick of adding a pinch of baking soda to keep the spinach green.
Spinach is delicious and so good for you. It has a healthy dose of vitamin A and is known for being high in iron. Remember Popeye the Sailor who got his super strength from spinach? Well, brain pickings.org had some interesting information about the cartoon hero. I always wondered why he ate so much spinach…
Popeye, with his odd accent and improbable forearms, used spinach to great effect, a sort of anti-Kryptonite. It gave him his strength, and perhaps his distinctive speaking style. But why did Popeye eat so much spinach? What was the reason for his obsession with such a strange food?
The truth begins more than fifty years earlier. Back in 1870, Erich von Wolf, a German chemist, examined the amount of iron within spinach, among many other green vegetables. In recording his findings, von Wolf accidentally misplaced a decimal point when transcribing data from his notebook, changing the iron content in spinach by an order of magnitude. While there are actually only 3.5 milligrams of iron in a 100-gram serving of spinach, the accepted fact became 35 milligrams. To put this in perspective, if the calculation were correct each 100-gram serving would be like eating a small piece of a paper clip.
Once this incorrect number was printed, spinach’s nutritional value became legendary. So when Popeye was created, studio executives recommended he eat spinach for his strength, due to its vaunted health properties. Apparently Popeye helped increase American consumption of spinach by a third!
– Via brainpickings.org
- olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- onions – 1/2 cup chopped
- garlic cloves – 2 peeled and minced
- potatoes – 1 cup peeled, diced
- spinach – 4 cups tightly packed fresh, tender leaves
- fresh oregano – 2-3 sprigs (or freshly dried oregano)
- baking soda – A pinch of optional
- button cap mushroom tops – 15 large
- dried mushrooms – 2-3 soaking in 4 cups of hot water (for at least 30 minutes)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a medium, heavy bottom sauce pan with the olive oil.
- Add the onions, and sauté on medium heat until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté on medium heat till they brown, about 5 minutes.
- Then add the potatoes, a pinch of salt and 4 cups mushroom water.
- Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until the potato cubes are cooked.
- Add washed spinach leaves, oregano and salt to the pot (keeping in mind you’ve already added a little salt to the soup in the previous stage).
- Immediately add a pinch of baking soda to the spinach; this will keep the spinach green when cooking; but this step is optional.
- Boil for about 1 minute or till the spinach is wilted.
- Turn off the heat. Using a hand/immersion blender, puree the soup till smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup into a regular blender and carefully puree. If the soup is too thick, add ½ cup water and blend again.
- Serve warm, with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
It’s soup yoga!!!
Sometimes you have to hold it around your hands and take a big warm sip.
A good stir fry is an easy meal. Grab what’s in the fridge and toss it in a pan! Green beans are great in a stir fry. The trick is to make sure they are steamed for a few minutes before they hit the pan. They stay crisp and soak up flavor.
- green beans 1/2 lb
- onion roughly chopped
- shitake mushrooms 1 c sliced
- fresh garlic minced 2 cloves
- fresh ginger 1 T
- scallions chopped 3 stalks
- sesame oil 2 T
- soy sauce (or Tamari) 2 T
- veggie stock 1/4 c
- water 2 T
- juice from one lemon
- Steam green beans for 2 minutes (you can also blanch them if steaming isn’t for you).
- Set green beans aside.
- Begin to saute the onions and garlic in a pan with the oil stir for two minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, ginger and saute for three more minutes.
- Add the stock and soy sauce. Cook for three minutes until the liquid reduces by half.
- Add the green beans and scallions.
- Add water (if necessary).
- Add lemon juice.
- Cook for two more minutes and serve!
I had mine with a salad and carrot ginger dressing (my all time fave dressing, seriously. If I were 6 years old, I’d marry it)
That said, serving this over brown rice or quinoa would be tasty too.
Try a veggie stir-fry for friday instead of ordering take-out. It’s cheaper, tastier and better for you!
What’s in your favorite stir fry?
“Only the pure in heart can make soup.”
– Ludwig Van Beethoven
This soup looks creamy and it has a creamy flavor without adding milk. I think if you wanted an even heartier flavor you could add orecchiette pasta. Those pasta cups would gently cradle this roasted flavor goodness.
Go for it!! Make soup!
- 2 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste, for seasoning tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup freshly chopped basil
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes.
2. In a large stockpot, heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and vegetable broth. Stir in the oven roasted tomatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the stockpot, or transfer soup to a food processor or blender to blend. The soup should be smooth, with a few tomato chunks. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm.
Note-be careful when transferring the soup to a blender or food processor. You may want to wait until it is at room temperature to blend. Blend the soup until it’s more smooth than it is, but not to a silky purée (You want to keep some of the chunky tomato flavor).
Soup. Soup. Soup.
I don’t know if I had latkes on the brain or what, but wham- I had an urge to make a sweet potato pancake. However instead of apple sauce and sour cream, I opted for a healthier topping made with apples and cucumbers! Ingredients For pancakes (yields 6-8 pancakes)
- 1 sweet potato grated
- 1 small onion grated
- 3 tablespoons egg substitute or 1 egg
- 2 heaping T of quinoa flour (or whatever flour you have handy)
- 1/4 t baking powder
- 1 t cumin
- small handful chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T olive oil
Apple Cucumber Salsa
- 1 apple
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/4 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 small handful cilantro
1. To make the pancakes combine all ingredients with the exception of the olive oil, only use 1 T. Reserve the rest of the oil for cooking (or use a non-stick spray) 2. Drop batter into a hot pan that has either the olive oil or the non-stick spray 3. Cook pancake on each side for 4-5 minutes or until browned Salsa preparation
- Roughly chop all ingredients
- Pulse in food processor until mixed but not mushy
Scoop a spoonful of salsa on each pancake and enjoy!!
I just read an article about the damaging effects of dividing time between a computer, phone, tablet and TV. It apparently shrinks the brain. So I’ve decided to put my phone away while I bounce from laptop, TV and kitchen while I type this post. I already feel smarter.
Earlier this week the mail delivered a treat. I’m now the proud owner of a spiralizer. Oh sure, many people have been using this for years, but since it’s new to me dear reader, it’s now new to you. This gadget has already changed my life. It transforms veggies into ribbony strands and curly shapes. And trust me, this isn’t just cool, the shapes allow for dressings and sauce to cling.
I spent my weekend enjoying this amazing east coast ‘pre-fall’ weather, bike riding, doing yoga and spiralizing everything I could get my hands on. On Friday I made a spiral cucumber, carrot, red onion salad. I added a bit of my lemon tahini dressing and tapped my toes as I chomped away. And since I’m pretty real with you when I write, I’m not ashamed to say that when I woke up at 3am for water, I had a large bite. I may or may not have had said salad for breakfast on Saturday.
Or do. I can take it.
No matter what your feelings, I’ll still share this easy Meatless Monday recipe.
- squash zoodles (you can also use a mandolin- but I can’t really be trusted with one)
- cherry tomatoes
- red onions, very thinly sliced
- mushrooms sliced (I used shitake, but hey grab whatever you have)
- garlic minced (3 cloves)
- spinach or any greens that are handy
- olive oil- three tablespoons
- splash quality balsamic
- salt, pepper and white pepper
- lemon juice from one lemon
In one pan sauté all of the veggies and ingredients except the zoodles.
- Heat the pan (with 2 tablespoons olive oil) over medium heat first add the onions, then garlic, then the mushrooms.
- In a second pan heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and quickly toss the zoodles for two minutes.
- Combine the sauce and zoodles
- Serve immediately
Fair warning. Stay tuned for spiralizer recipes. If you see me running through the farmers market with loaded down with veggies and laughing with crazy eyes, keep movin’. It’s safer that way.
Happy Meatless Monday!!
I know it may be hard for you to give up meat completely. Like everything else we learn, it takes practice. I have had my own struggles with going meatless. The reasons that we may or may not choose to eat meat is person. But I do think it should be a choice that we make. Being informed about what we are putting in our mouths is our responsibility. My practice has led me to examine my decisions about my carbon footprint.
By actively choosing to cut out meat one day a week, you are taking a step to help the planet. That small act of kindness may not seem like a big deal, but it is. So, try it. Cut out the meat one day a week. I’m hear to help!
Before I dive into the recipe, check out this interesting video from MeatlessMonday.com
- mushrooms of your choice- I used shitake and baby bella (about 2 cups)
- onions – chopped
- garlic- three cloves minced
- mushroom broth- one cup
- juice from one lemon
- splash white wine (optional)
- olive oil- one tablespoons
- flour- one teaspoon
- Italian seasoning- one tablespoon
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- salt and fresh black pepper
- Tagliatelle enough for 4 people (or any wide flat pasta)
- Get salted pasta water going in a large pot
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat
- Add garlic and onions. Sauté until onions are translucent
- Stir in flour and spices until it becomes ‘roux-like’ (smooth and pasty)
- Add mushrooms and broth- stir. Add optional splash of wine
- Add lemon juice and three tablespoons of parsley
- Stir once more and turn off heat
- Cook tagliatelle
- Drain pasta (reserve a few tablespoons of liquid if your sauce is too thick)
- Toss pasta in skillet with sauce
I gobbled this immediately and can’t wait for leftovers…