Meatless Mondays—what do you think about this foodie trend? I do not always make my Mondays meatless, but I do enjoy many of the veggie-based recipes that people publish in celebration of Meatless Mondays.
As I thought about this post, I wondered where the whole Meatless Monday trend began. As I began my research, I guessed that it was a relatively new phenomenon. Just to confess my ignorance, I guessed that it probably started in the Hippie Generation during the Vietnam War. Turns out, I was wrong. Meatless Monday has been around for quite a bit longer, since World War I.
During the Great War, the US Food Administration, under the leadership of Herbert Hoover, urged families to reduce consumption of key staples—wheat, meat, sugar, and fats, to help the war effort. The government agency urged families left at home to have a “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” to support the war effort. These efforts combined with the call to plant a “Victory Garden” brought plant-based recipes to the table of formerly meat heavy tables. To support the effort recipe booklets and menus were published by the government and local newspapers to help the public in their patriotic duty. At the beginning of World War II Meatless Monday and Victory Gardens enjoyed a rebirth. (source: www.meatlessmonday.com, www.livinghistoryfarm.org)
The modern Meatless Monday’s is a result of marketer turned health advocate Sid Lerner in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Universities. The movement began as a awareness campaign to inform the public about “preventable illnesses associated with excessive meat consumption” (source: www.meatlessmonday.com).
Whether it is for environmental or health reasons, or just a way of trying new recipes, “Meatless Monday” has the benefit of adding fresh fruit and veggies to your diet. Try these meatless recipes tonight for dinner.
Cauliflower and Potato Curry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced
1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cauliflower florets
4 medium red-skinned potatoes, rough chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Add curry powder and garlic, and cook 30 seconds, stirring often. Add cauliflower and potatoes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until they start to soften. Add tomatoes, 1/4 c cilantro, 1/2 c water, and salt. Simmer, reduce heat, and cook, covered for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining cilantro and cook, covered, for 2 more minutes. Serve alone or over rice.
Japanese Udon Soup
1 package rice noodles*
6 ounces, firm tofu
6-8 carrots, thinly sliced
1 pint green snap beans
1 bulb baby pac choi, or bak choy, rough chopped
1/2 cup green onions, thinly chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed
2 to 3 large hard-boiled egg, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
*Rice noodles are sold in a variety of thickness and lengths. Use Ho Fan (Vermicelli) noodles, Ramen, Udon, or your favorite type from the Asian section of your Super Market.
Cook the rice noodles according to package. Rinse and set aside. Pour vegetable broth into soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to simmer. Add carrots, snap peas & green onions to broth and cook until tender crisp, 8 to 12 minutes. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, oregano, parsley & red pepper to broth to flavor. Add the bean sprouts, noodles and baby pac choi to the broth. Simmer 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately with chopped hard-boiled egg in soup.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chili powder
16 ounces tomato sauce
3 cups water
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3/4 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups zucchini, mushrooms & peppers
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/4 cup jalapenos, diced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
10, 8-inch warm flour tortillas or corn tortillas
For the sauce
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add flour and chili powder and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt until smooth. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste.
To make the enchilada filling
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until onion becomes translucent. Add zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and continue to cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cilantro, jalapenos, and chili powder. Add 1/3-cup sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour a 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce in bottom of prepared baking dish and spread across bottom. Divide the vegetable mix among the tortillas and roll tortillas to enclose. Place enchilada in baking dish with the seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour remaining sauce over the top of enchiladas. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake in preheated oven 40 to 45 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve.
Your Turn: Share your favorite meatless recipe! What’s your favorite meat substitute?