August 31, 2009

More Meatless Monday recipes

What is Meatless Monday? Click here to find out about the international movement to get people to eat vegetarian just one day per week. Simply put, it's better for the environment, better for your health, and better for your wallet too. You might even like it so much you'll start going meatless when it's not even Monday.

Two weeks ago, when I offered up our favorite quick and easy vegetarian staples, many of you wrote in with your favorites as well. So I've decided to make this a regular series. First, I'll tell you more of our easy vegetarian meals. Then, I'll share some reader suggestions that sound delicious.

Here are a few more of our favorites:
1. Vegetables and rice. A staple from back in college. Saute your favorite vegetables (I usually use broccoli, mushroom, and carrots) with garlic, ginger, and a little soy sauce. Serve over brown rice and top with grated cheese.
2. Quiche. Mushroom and spinach is a favorite, but asparagus, zucchini, and broccoli are all good.
3. Veggie burgers. The options are endless here: make your own, go with the traditional Garden Burger brand, or try one of many Trader Joe's varieties. Our current favorite is called Vegetable Masala Burger, with Indian spices.
4. Southwest salad. Toss romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, cilantro, corn, jicama, and pepper jack cheese (or as many of those ingredients as you have) with ranch dressing. Top with tortilla strips (or crumbled chips) and avocado.
5. Tarts. Tomato tarts are delicious, but you can get more adventurous and try mushroom, onion, or any other vegetable that's in season.
6. Vegetarian chili. Use chilis and add black beans and kidney beans to chili beans. Make it spicy or mild to your taste. Corn is another good addition.

And here are some reader suggestions:
7. Chickpea fritters. Try this link suggested by Betsy at Married With Luggage. She likes them served over green beans with yogurt sauce. You can make almost anything into patties, fritters or burgers. Click here to try The Frugal Girl's zucchini patties, which I just wrote about a few days ago. They're delicious. And "Tango Goddess" says she keeps veggie, garbanzo, and black bean burgers in the freezer for an easy delicious meal.
8. Hodge Podge. This original recipe comes from Olivia who lives in Atlantic Canada. She says to boil fresh vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and beans were what she had on the stove that day) and then spoon in the traditional butter and cream, or her preference of cream cheese. Add fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and you've made Hodge Podge. I can't wait to try it!
9. Baked portobello mushrooms. Ellen from Within My Means offers this simple option: drizzle portobellos with olive oil and balsamic, top with cheese, cherry tomatoes and bread crumbs, and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
10. Farfalle pasta. And this simple pasta recipe is a favorite of "saymoi." Toss pasta with Muir Glen crushed tomatoes, garlic, and white beans. Add chopped fresh basil and goat cheese at the end.

Readers, thanks for all your terrific suggestions! These are the kinds of meals that don't require expensive ingredients or complicated recipes, but have become staples over the years for their simplicity and deliciousness.

What are your favorite meatless meals? Just a few ingredients, something simple you can describe in one or two sentences. The sort of thing I've been listing here. Please share them in the Comments section.


Alea Milham said...

Our favorite is this copy cat version of the Olive Garden's Minestrone Soup:

I like the fact that I can use it to use up lots of bits of veggies 1/2 cup of zucchini, 1/2 cup of carrots, etc. It is also very flexible. I have replaced the can of diced tomatoes with 4 cups of fresh tomatoes, and the kidney beans with black beans. It is just a great all around flavorful, hearty meal.

The only draw back is that it makes a lot.

Kate said...

I love all the vegetarian ideas you've posted. Keep them coming!

Ellen said...

I'll be looking forward to this series! Keep it up!

Ellen said...

My tip for a great tasting and unusual quiche....a friend gave me a whole nutmeg when she bought some for herself. I usually make quiche with cherry tomatos, reconstituted dried mushrooms, and lots of cheddar cheese. I found grating a bit of nutmeg on the top of the quiche before cooking adds great flavor.

Non Consumer Girl said...

What a great idea.

I have decided to undertake a meatless meal a week!

Keep up the inspiration...

Tanya said...

I'm from Atlantic Canada as well and let me tell you, HODGE PODGE is great!! My mom made it all the time when we were kids...I think I'll make it this week :-) The best veggies are the ones fresh from the garden - nothing like fresh carrots pulled from the garden. Snow peas are good in hodge podge too.

Angela said...

Alea- Thanks for the great idea- we love soup and I love to make it. We don't mind eating something several times, and it seems to get better and better.

Kate- Glad you like them- I will definitely keep up the posts, as long as I keep having ideas.

Ellen- That sounds great. I want to try fresh grated nutmeg. I love it with anything with spinach, like quiche or souffle, so I think it would be good in a lot of things.

Non Consumer Girl- Great, let us know if you find any easy favorites. Good luck!

Tanya- I can't wait to try it- I guess it really is a favorite in your area. Thanks for commenting!

Thanks everyone for your ideas and comments- keep 'em coming!

Unknown said...

Yesterday, it was colder so I made potato soup: onions, celery, a bit of broccoli because it was lying around and garlic sauteed in olive oil (add other herbs to taste), then add diced red potatoes (skin on) with enough vegetable broth to cover (please, don't use chicken broth!! :-). When potatoes are cooked, use a hand-held blender (or carefully put in a real blender) to blend it a bit. I like to leave some chunks of potato and not have it be perfectly smooth. I served this with The Frugal Girl's English muffin bread and it was such a lovely meal.

Lisa Cheney said...

Wrap refriend beans, or black beans, into a whole wheat tortilla. Thow in left over if you wish - rice, diced veggies, etc. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Sprinke with grated cheese. Serve with salad, tomato, onion. This is my easy, inexpensive, comfort "convenience" food that is very quick to prepare on crazy nights. Staples are always in the pantry as a back-up when waiting for CSA delivery or Farmer's Market day.

Angela said...

Julie- That sounds delicious. I am definitely going to try it, and will include it with the next Meatless Mondays post.

Lisa Cheney- that's a great idea. I'm going to start thinking of tortillas as a staple, and use them instead of bread sometimes. I'll include this with the next Meatless Mondays post- thanks!