A favorite recipe is one of the treasures of life. Shared between friends, across continents, and over generations of family. The recipe in the photo is one of my favorites that I've been baking since I was about 13. I love this recipe so much, and have made this delicious bread for so many people over the years, it's the type of thing I would want to save in a fire. It's that important to me. Luckily, I've baked it thousands of times so I pretty much know it by heart.
I love doing these Meatless Monday posts with all your input, as readers share their favorite easy meatless recipes. I've always thought that everyone has at least a few simple recipes they've come up with, and how great it would be if we could all swap each other's ideas. No cookbooks or myriad complicated ingredients.
Meatless Mondays is a campaign that encourages people to cut out meat just one day a week. Click here to visit their site and find out about how you'll improve your health and the environment just by taking that small step. According to the website, going meatless just once a week can reduce your risk of chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
Here are a few more of our favorite veggie meals, plus some reader suggestions:
1. Quesadillas. Last week our CSA had squash blossoms again, which I'd never seen before this summer, and I tried their delicious quesadilla recipe. It involved sauteing onion, garlic, and pepper, and then adding the squash blossoms until they wilt and putting aside. Then fill a flour tortilla with grated jack cheese and the vegetables and grill on each side until lightly browned. So get creative! You can make quesadillas out of just about any combination of veggies and cheese. A simple option is just onions, garlic and peppers and any kind of cheese. I once had mango quesadillas that were delicious.
2. Kale salad. This is my favorite warm salad, and it's delicious if you like kale. Saute the kale in garlic and olive oil until it's tender (you might have to use a little water or broth). Arrange on a plate and top with balsamic vinegar, salt, toasted pine nuts, and crumbled goat cheese. I could eat this several times a week. It's filling enough for a light meal.
3. Swiss chard with sweet potato. This is one of my staples from when I was single. All you do is bake a sweet potato until it's soft and saute swiss chard in olive oil. Then mush up the sweet potato with butter and a little orange juice, and top the chard with balsamic vinegar. The flavors should all blend together. The friend I got this from actually put the chard on top of the sweet potato, but I usually do it side by side. It's a delicious sweet/bitter combo.
4. Fake caesar salad. This is a great simple main dish salad. Combine romaine lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, parmesan cheese, fresh pepper and crushed garlic. Toss with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.
Now, some reader recommendations:
5. Alea from Premeditated Leftovers shares this copycat recipe of The Olive Garden's minestrone soup. She's says it's a flexible recipe that's a great way to use up small amounts of vegetables.
6. Ellen at Within My Means offers this unusual quiche variation: cherry tomatoes, lots of cheddar cheese, and reconstituted mushrooms, plus the secret ingredient, freshly grated nutmeg.
7. Julie suggests this simple potato soup: saute onions, garlic, and celery in a bit of olive oil plus any other herbs or vegetables you like or need to use up (she added a bit of broccoli to her last batch), then add diced red potatoes with the skin on and enough vegetable broth to cover. When potatoes are cooked, use a hand-held blender to blend it a bit, leaving some chunky bits. In a regular blender, you can blend just half of it and add to the chunky part.
8. And Lisa at Kindermusik With Friends offers this quick, convenient option: Wrap black beans or refried beans into a whole wheat tortilla with any leftover rice or veggies and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Top with grated cheese and serve with salad, tomato and onion.
Readers, thanks for all those great ideas! I'm only sorry I won't have time to try all of them. Please share YOUR favorite meatless meals in the Comments section. And click here to check out meatless recipes from previous weeks.