March 4, 2010

Meatless Monday

While I have flirted with vegetarianism all my life I admit I enjoy eating meat. In university, I worked my way through Linda McCartney's Home Cooking, but by graduate school, and after being diagnosed with anemia, I started to eat meat again. I hoped with a more thoughtful approach.

Where does this come from? Did it live a "good life" before coming to my plate. I am trying to instill these same ideas in my girls. I am also working to reduce the meat we do eat. We try to mix it up. Fish, poultry and red meat are not strangers at our table. I am fully aware of the horrors of factory farming. I want to eat more meatless meals and slide a little away from our routine. My goal this year has been two meatless meals added to our weekly repertoire.

My catalyst is three-fold, really: compassion for living things; impact on our health; and the impact meat consumption has on the environment.

In my quest for ideas, I learned of Meatless Monday:
Meatless Monday, along with Wheatless Wednesday, were initiated as a World War I effort by the U.S. Food Administration to encourage Americans to "do their part" in aiding the war effort by reducing the consumption of key food staples. In 2003 the effort was recreated by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future to help Americans adapt to a healthier lifestyle. With an endorsement in 2009 by Sir Paul McCartney - and in turn Gwenyth Paltrow at GOOP - a movement is being built. (Check out the Meatless Monday website for lots of great ideas.) We have added to that "Soup Saturday" (a vegetarian soup) - which I can see morphing into "Salad Saturday" come summer (hopefully inspired by our own garden).

My family - mostly my husband and youngest daughter have made a few groans - but no real complaints. My challenge is two in the house with soy allergies - that makes it tough - and keeping it varied. Lots of lentils in the cupboard!

red lentil soup

So, what vegetarian fare scores high on your table?

18 comments:

amandaginn said...

-Anything with black beans (burritos, omelettes, rice bowls)
-Veggie Pizza with alfredo sauce and ricotta
-Spinach lasagna (Alice Waters' recipe)
-Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Tamara said...

Good for you! Any little bit helps. I have a bunch of veg recipes on my blog if you care to check them out. Let me know if you are looking for any specific type of recipe and I will try to help!
Tamara

Shannon said...

My husband and I finally went vegetarian last year for reasons very similar to the ones you listed. We wanted to be healthier, act more consistently with our ethics, and reduce our negative impact on the environment. Here are a few recipes that keep showing up on our table:

-Chana Masala is delicious, and this easy recipe is perfect (http://www.thimble.ca/?p=853)
-White Bean & Garlic stew (http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/04/white-bean-and-garlic-stew.html)
-Lemony Chickpea Stirfry (served with brown rice) (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/lemony-chickpea-stirfry-recipe.html)
- I've found veggie tacos to be more delicious than the meat ones I grew up on.. I line the bottom of the shell with refried beans before I heat the shells, then top with black beans, brown rice (cooked with veggie broth), cheese, sauteed peppers and onions, lettuce and tomatoes.... so good!

I hope you and your family finds lots of wonderful vegetarian meals together!

Anna in Atlanta said...

Current meatless favorites are a Chickpea Curry (recipe is called Crack of the Bat Curry, found it online) and a Edamame-Carrot-Sesame one-pot noodle dish I adapted from Vegetarian Times. I'm always looking for new things to try. Thanks!

Tracy said...

These are great! Thank you!!!

lisa s said...

great topic tracy ! and great ideas here in the comments.

i'm a huge fan of black bean and corn salads
also love stuffed peppers [with rice and cheeses and mushrooms, etc]
curried tofu with raisins and cashews and celery is really good to. hot or cold.

Missy said...

Being a 16 year veggie veteran, there are a lot of faves out there. Veggie loafs are some of my favorites and a good way to get nut protein. Some recipes are all over the Net, but there is a great customizable page over at Vegan Lunch Box. Link: http://www.veganlunchbox.com/loaf_studio.html

Maggie said...

I love a vege curry, but my absolute favourite is a mushed avocado and kale salad, hmm hhm. Rice paper rolls with vege filling are awesome too, you know the fresh spring roll things.

f. pea said...

Indian food! Check out Neelam Batra's classic book, "The Indian Vegetarian." No tofu at all!

Corrie said...

my fam try to implement a vegetarian dish or 2 into our week as well.
Vegetarian Lasange with salad on the side. vegetarian rissoles/burgers. marinated tofu salad, just to name some of the ones that we do.
Enjoy them...they add change o everyones diet and teach the kids not to be so realiant on meat.

robin said...

veggie lasagna is delicious. also, there are many pasta dishes that you can add tons of veggies to that really increase the flavor experience. people who are afraid of carbohydrates need to know that eating less meat, really decreases your calorie and fat intake, so you need not be as afraid of yummy carbs, balanced with other healthful foods, of course!

Elise said...

This eggplant soup/stew is so rich and flavorful you won't miss the meat. And it makes for great leftovers. I usually throw in a cup of rice so it is not really a soup, more like a flavorful rice dish.

http://erqsome.typepad.com/gallant_duck/2008/11/spicy-peanut-and-eggplant-soup.html

Tracy said...

you are all wonderful - thank you! such great ideas and inspiration here.

Jennifer Lorton said...

Hi, I was so happy to read your post. I've been vegetarian for about 30 years now, and vegan for about the last 1 1/2 years. Vegan was tough, but I feel like I'm getting the hang of it now. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know that I jumped on the Meatless Monday band wagon too and most every Monday I do a Meatless Monday post. Lot's of yummy stuff to eat and think about. Please stop by and check it out. http://blog.jenniferlorton.com Best of luck and happy eating!

Entre Nous said...

Just give me fresh string beans boiled with salt pork...sigh... its been a long winter.

sarah said...

I returned to the veg diet when I started dating a strict vegetarian - I find that some good chopped and sauteed mushrooms made an excellent replacement for ground beef - and often use artichokes where chicken normally goes.

Mushroom Pakrikas, Leek and Squash lasagna... those are my two favorite things right now. I figured out how to make the lasagna in the crock pot and it saves energy, too. :)

Di said...

With a reformed vego in the house we try not to go overboard on meat, and buy organic or free range as often as we can (sometimes we cave in to convenience or cost).

We are a little bit constrained in the vego options by one allergy to eggplant, and dislikes of mushroom and capsicum (bell pepper) by other family members.

We do have some regular meat free (and some very low meat) pasta dishes that are popular with all the family, but I would like to expand my cooking skills to include more bean and legume based dishes.

Thanks for the all heads up re Meatless Mondays!

Lisa Sharp said...

We do Meatless Monday. Our favorite meatless meals are different types of pizzas and quesadilla.