September 20, 2010

Meatless Monday recipes

It's about time for some Meatless Monday recipe ideas!

Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative aimed at encouraging people to cut out meat one day a week for the sake of their health and the environment. Click here to find out all about it. My husband and I have been going meatless several times a week for awhile now, and it's no sacrifice whatsoever. The key to eating meatless is fresh produce and delicious recipes.

These two simple recipes have become staples in our household lately. They're both super-satisfying as a side dish or a main course, and they also go well together.

GREEK SALAD

Leafy greens of any kind - we like arugula or spinach best (does that make us elitists?)
one small chopped tomato or several cherry tomatoes sliced in half
one half chopped cucumber
one half small red onion, thinly sliced and chopped
crumbled feta
10 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian (you can use any Italian dressing or mix your own)
ground pepper

Mix and toss lightly with dressing. Go easy with the feta and kalamata olives in relation to the rest of the ingredients.


3 BEAN SALAD

One 16-oz can or 2 cups dried cooked kidney beans
One 16-oz can or 2 cups dried cooked garbanzo beans
2 cups cooked green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
chopped fresh or dried thyme
ground pepper

Mix first four ingredients in bowl, then mix dressing in separate bowl and toss well with beans and onion. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Last night my husband made the Greek Salad himself in about 5 minutes. He says it's the only way he likes cucumbers. If you're not convinced that eating more fruit and vegetables is good for your health, check out this article about how a low-carb diet might help you lose weight but is bad for you in the long run. Apparently we can't hear it too often, because according to this article, most Americans still don't eat nearly enough fresh produce.

Do you have any easy meatless recipes you'd like to share? Please let us know in the Comments section and I'll include them in the next Meatless Monday recipes post. And click here if you want to look through previous Meatless Monday recipes.

4 comments:

Suz said...

My favorite meatless recipe comes from a 1992 Pillsbury cookbook titled "Casseroles and One-Dish Meals" that I picked up at the checkout stand of the grocery store.

The recipe is called "Vegetarian Supper Combo":

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup uncooked regular rice
1/2 cup uncooked lentils
1 (14-1/2 oz) can chicken broth
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (15 oz) can black-eye peas, drained

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper, carrot, rice and lentils; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

4 (1-cup) servings, 340 calories each

withduckandgoose said...

i do meat free monday every week at my blog, and have an archive devoted to meatless recipes. i think it's a great idea and we should all try it more - not only for our health but for the planet!

nrhatch said...

We eat meatless every day . . . and have for the past 13 years.

We feel great and would never go back to eating meat.

Like Amy, I have quite a few vegetarian recipes posted on my blog.

One of our favorites:

http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/vegetarian-chili/

Angela said...

Thanks Suz- I love the idea of veggies, lentils, and black-eyed peas together, especially with that creative addition of Worcestshire sauce, one of my favorites from way back. It's so great to find these hidden gem recipes, isn't it?

withduckandgoose- I agree, it's such a simple way to be healthier and cut back on resources. Thanks for the link to your postings, I will check it out.

nrhatch- Good for you. I think being a vegetarian is the healthiest and most ethical diet of all, and all you vegetarians have created such great recipes for the rest of us, it's easier than ever these days. Thanks for the link, and I always love to try new chili recipes. Especially since I'm cooking more and more vegetarian dishes, and living in L.A., at least half of our friends are vegetarian so it's easiest to cook that way for parties and dinners as well.