November 30, 2009

Meatless Monday recipes

The Meatless Monday campaign is an effort to get people to give up meat one day a week, for their health and the health of the planet. Click here to go to their website and read all about it.

This week I've got some great reader suggestions for simple meatless meals.

1) Tom says he's mostly vegan and for people new to vegetarianism he suggests pasta meals as an easy option. One of his favorites is Trader Joe's rice noodles, sliced olives, cut small tomatoes, and minced onion. Sprinkle with vegan cheese and olive oil for a simple vegan meal. I agree with Tom that pasta is one of the easiest ways to make a meal so delicious you won't miss the meat.

2) Carla says her family eats meatless most days of the week even though they're not vegetarians. Most of their meatless meals revolve around legumes and grains in some form with added green and yellow vegetables. It's hearty and sustaining food, on top of being delicious.

3) Castal says one of her favorite meatless meals is a big pot of veggie and bean chili with a cast iron skillet of corn bread, served with either cheese or sour cream. Or just plain, because it's tasty as is. Castal says they eat meatless several times a week in order to use up their CSA box of fruits and vegetables. That's true in our house as well. We're eating less meat since we've been getting the CSA delivery.

4) Emily says Manicotti with Three Cheeses is a favorite at their house. Here's the simple (5 ingredients!) recipe: 12 manicotti shells, 4 cups shredded mozzarella, 8 oz. soft cream cheese with onion and chives, 3 cups marinara sauce, and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Cook manicotti according to package instructions. Grease a baking dish. Mix 3 cups of the mozzarella with the cream cheese, stuff the manicotti and place it in the baking dish. Top with marinara sauce, sprinkle with remaining mozarella, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake 10 more minutes. I'm going to make that on the next cold day, it sounds like great comfort food. And I can tell you right now it's going to be a favorite at our house as well.

5) And finally, Catherine at Vegan Good Life offers this recipe for portabella with vegan gravy. Scroll down the page for the recipe. She also brings up a great point: olive oil, shallots, and spices like rosemary and thyme do wonders for vegetables. I agree. Roasted with olive oil and spices is my favorite way to make veggies.

Thanks readers for all your great ideas!

What are your favorite meatless meals? Please share them in the Comments section and I'll include them in the next Meatless Mondays recipes post. And click here if you want to check out previous Meatless Monday recipes.


Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks Angela! I just had some roasted Brussel sprouts drizzed with olive oil for dinner and they were divine.

When ordering vegetables out, I ask them for seasoning and olive oil. Otherwise bland steamed veggies are almost guaranteed to show up.

Tom is a smart man to shop at budget-friendly Trader Joe's!

Kate Sommers said...

This may sound more like a snack but it's really satisfying even though it's so simple:
Take fresh cooked Basmati rice,
scoop into individual bowls,squeeze half a lime over the rice,some soy sauce and sliced avocado.
Serve with some steamed or stir fry veggies, a green salad and you have a quick and healthy meal.

Julie said...

re Kate's idea: last night we had rice (brown for parents, sticky white rice for the kid) topped with stir-fried onions, broccoli, mushrooms, carrot, sugar snap peas with Trader Joe's veggie birds' nests on the side. I was busy doing other stuff and not paying attention much and the onions cooked super long and carmelized. It was heavenly! I'm gonna do that again.

Angela said...

VeganGoodLife- Oh, I just LOVE brussels sprouts!

Kate - That sounds delicious- very Hawaiian!

Julie- TJ birds' nests? That sounds like something I've missed and will have to look for. Yes to carmelized onions! I have a recipe for lentils and bulgar wheat that is pretty bland but then you add the carmelized onions and it's heavenly...

Julie said...

Trader Joe's frozen birds' nests are SO DELICIOUS and also a great way to sneak veggies into the kid. He has no idea that he's eating kale! And
please post that lentil recipe, that sounds good. I'm going to make Brussels sprouts soon too and my son said he would try them. I'm guessing if I roast them with olive oil and garlic and topped with some kosher salt, he may even like them. I could eat them every day.

Angela said...

Julie- Here's the recipe for mjederah lentils:

Super simple, but really delicious. A great staple, and then you can keep it for several days as a side dish.

I'm going to look for those birds nests! Are they fresh or frozen?

Julie said...

Thanks for the recipe!
The birds' nests are frozen. They come in their own box of just birds' nests, or if you get the TJ veggie tempura box, there are about 4 in there mixed with the other veggies. Thank heavens for Trader Joe's, their frozen stuff is so great to keep on hand for a busy night and much cheaper than takeout. That said, it remains just a treat for us because everything is packaged in styrofoam and most of what we like is made in SE Asia, so no good from an environmental standpoint. Life would be so much easier if I didn't care about all this stuff so much! :-)

Angela said...

Julie- I feel the same way about TJ- it's a sort of love/hate relationship. I love that their food is cheap and delicious and there are a lot of good vegetarian options, but I hate their packaging! It's something I want to take up next year- is anyone working on persuading them to change their packaging, etc.? I hope you like the lentils- I love them with the carmelized onions, and my husband will eat them even without it, which for me is a little too bland.