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Meatless Mondays Week 6!!

6 weeks into Meatless Mondays……..are you still hanging in there?? Meatless Monday’s have actually become second nature to me and writing my Monday blogs helps me to prepare for my meatless feast. I tend to overcook on Monday and so I end up eating vegetarian all day Tuesday as well! I’m not complaining! Especially around this time of year, I gravitate towards more vegetables anyhow. So…let’s get on with a delicious meatless recipe using one of my favorite ingredients, Quinoa!

Southwestern Quinoa
This recipe has the right amount of heat and great texture! Quinoa is truly a nutritional powerhouse, containing potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber and a balance of essential amino acids making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods! Best of all, this super grain is Gluten Free!! Yippeee!

Ingredients

1/2 poblano pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1 small crookneck squash
4 large garlic cloves
1 cup boiling water
6 sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
1 cup cooked blacked beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup minced cilantro leaves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

Roast the poblano and bell peppers, squash, and garlic on a baking sheet at 350 for 20 minutes, then peel and finely chop them (you don’t need to peel the squash). Pour the boiling water over the sun-dried tomatoes and soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain and finely chop after rehydrating.
Place the quinoa in an ultra-fine strainer and run under water. (If the strainer isn’t fine enough, the quinoa may slip through the holes.)
In a medium saucepan, mix together the quinoa, vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, and oregano (rub between fingers to release flavor); bring to a boil over high heat, then turn to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the grain has soaked up the broth. Meanwhile, place pine nuts on a roast pan and slightly toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 300. Remove quinoa from the burner and place in an appropriate-sized bowl; toss with olive oil. Immediately add all other ingredients, including the roasted vegetables, and pine nuts, and toss. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

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Meatless Mondays Week 5!

Delicious eggplant! I don’t think I could ever live without this hearty vegetable. I love grilling it and drenching it in olive oil and balsamic. I could eat that for days! Containing approximately 230mg of potassium for a 1 1/2 cup serving, and ranking low on the carbohydrates, this vegetable should be a dietary staple! The skin of eggplants also contain powerful phytonutrients that are helpful in warding off free radicals! Typically, if I’m making a sandwich I’m all about using the best quality, gluten free bread, but with this recipe, I decided to stick to the Italian roots and go with good ol’ rustic Italian bread! So go outside, soak up some sun and get your grill on!!

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds), cut into 12 1/4-inch-thick rounds

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan, or Asiago cheese (if using Parmesan, go for the real deal- Parmesan Reggiano!)

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

4 small pieces focaccia bread, or rustic Italian bread

5 ounces baby spinach

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided

Olive oil

Prepartion:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Place eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Coat both sides lightly with olive oil. Combine Parmesan (or Asiago) and mozzarella in a small bowl. Brush both sides of focaccia (or bread) with olive oil.
  3. In a sautee pan, drizzle olive oil over medium-to low heat, add minced garlic and sautee for 1 minute. Add spinach and sautee for approx. 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
  4. Combine tomatoes and 2 tablespoons basil in a small pot and cook on medium to low heat until warmed through.
  5. Place all your ingredients on the baking sheet with the eggplant and take it to the grill. Grill the eggplant slices until brown and soft on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Grill the bread until toasted, about 1 minute per side. Return the eggplant and bread to the baking sheet. Reduce grill heat to medium.
  6. Place 1 eggplant round on top of each slice of bread and layer 1 tablespoon tomatoes, 1 tablespoon wilted spinach and 1 tablespoon cheese on each slice of eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, spinach and cheese. Sprinkle each stack with remaining basil. Place the baking sheet on the grill, close the lid and cook until the eggplant stack is hot and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.

Enjoy your Meatless Monday Eggplant Sandwich!







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Meatless Mondays, Week 2!

It’s week 2 of Meatless Mondays! Below, I’ve included my ultimate favorite recipe from the Planet Organic Market- Sweet Potato Salad! This amazingly delicious salad is the perfect dish to bring along to a spring or summer picnic (in the hopes that this rain will ever stop!) Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and full of vitamin C, A and B6! I hope you enjoy this delicious healthy recipe as much as I do!

Ingredients

8 cups sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup mayonnaise or vegenaise (vegan mayo)

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup pecans, unsalted and chopped

3/4 tsp ginger, ground

1/2 cup celery, 1/4 inch diced

1/2 cup red onions, diced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp lemon juice

To Prepare

Steam potatoes until fork tender (about 20-30minutes) then cool.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss gently with cooled, cooked potatoes. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

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Meatfree Recipes!

Have you joined the movement yet? The Meatless Monday movement that is!? Well….Paul McCartney has joined the movement, Oprah has joined, Michael Pollan has joined…and now you can join too! Below is a full day of meat-free recipes for you to enjoy!

Breakfast Smoothie

1/2 cup water or non dairy milk (rice, coconut or almond)

1 scoop vegetarian protein powder (hemp, brown rice, or pea protein)

1 tbsp flaxseed oil

1 banana

1/2 cup fresh or frozen wild blueberries

Ice (optinal)

Blend all ingredients together

OR if you’re not the smoothie type…..

“Super” Toast

2 slices sprouted grain toast (ezekiel or stonemill house bread)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1-2 tbsp almond butter

1 banana

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Slightly toast the sesame seeds on low heat on stove top. Toast bread, spread with both the coconut oil and almond butter. Slice banana and add on top of toast. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Snack

10-12 almonds with 1 apple

Lunch

Veggie Wrap

1 organic ezekiel tortilla

1 tbsp hummus (my favorite hummus- roasted garlic hummus from sunflower kitchen)

1 tbsp pesto (my favorite pesto- kale and oregano pesto from sunflower kitchen)

1/2 avocado, chopped

1/2 cup cucumber, chopped or sliced

1/4 red pepper, sliced

handful broccoli sprouts

Spread hummus on tortilla and add veggies. Roll’er up!

Snack

1 cup organic plain yogurt or Kefir

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

Mixed all ingredients together

Dinner

Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza (from Vegetarian Times)

1 prepared Eziekel spelt crust

1 tbsp olive oil

1 3.5 oz log goat cheese, thinly sliced or roughly chopped

1 zucchini, peeled into thin strips

1 small red bell pepper, cut into rings

Sauce

1 6-oz can no salt-added tomato paste

2 tbsp finely minced onion

2 gloves garlic, minced

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp red wine or red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 400.

To make sauce- mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Spread sauce on pizza crust. Top with half the goat cheese. Spread zucchini strips over goat cheese, top with bell pepper rings, then add remaining goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Bake pizza for approx. 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly, directly on rack.

For dessert, I’m making this a simple one- WINE!! It’s definitely a great vegetarian option! 😉

Hope you enjoy your Meatless Monday recipes! I will do my VERY BEST to post a new Meatless Monday recipe every week to keep you motivated and inspired!

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