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Author Topic: Meatless Mondays?  (Read 3875 times)

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Meatless Mondays?
« on: January 13, 2013, 12:53:26 PM »
DH and I would like to start cutting meat out of our diet more. It will start us being healthier and we'll save on our grocery bill. DH isn't super excited at the thought, as we're a very meat-and-potatoes family, but is willing to give it a try. His request was that the food "can't look too healthy", lol, so maybe stuff that is like a soup or casserole?

If anyone has any yummy recipes that they're willing to share, I'd appreciate it!
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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 01:03:16 PM »
I've got several. Let me know if any of these strike your fancy and I'll find the links :)

- Thai Soup
- Leek-Potato Soup
- Can't-believe-it's-not-meat pie
- Stir-fry
- Mexican or Jamaica-Style rice and beans
- African Groundnut Stew
- Southwestern Corn Chowder
- Eggplant Pasta
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice


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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 01:12:06 PM »
DH and I would like to start cutting meat out of our diet more. It will start us being healthier and we'll save on our grocery bill. DH isn't super excited at the thought, as we're a very meat-and-potatoes family, but is willing to give it a try. His request was that the food "can't look too healthy", lol, so maybe stuff that is like a soup or casserole?

If anyone has any yummy recipes that they're willing to share, I'd appreciate it!
As a former (and probably future) vegetarian/vegan I usually advise people embarking on this lifestyle change, to stick with (a) dishes you already like and (b) meal style yo are already familiar with.

so --- if you are basically meats-n-potatos people, maybe stick with a meal that resembles a MNP (meat N potato) meal - e.g., some kind of cooked veg, some kind of cooked starch, and a protein, and not a vegan-style "garbanzo stew over quinoa" which is really good but if you aren't used to that kind of meal you will probably end up hungry ...

so you might try to make lentil or nut or mushroom "burgers" with steamed brocolli and whole grain couscous.

(there are some ideas here including two recipes that I've made a million times)

I like a hearty soup as a "main dish" - so you can go with a vegetarian split pea or red lentil soup and serve it with a hearty sour dough bread and a side salad. or a vegan morrocan harira soup (it has vegetables, lentils and garbanzo beans)

my variation on Harira (Moroccan soup)
1 each (all peeled and finely chopped or grated) :large onion, celery root, parsley root, kholrabi, fennel carrot, 1 kilo of pumpkin, few stalks of celery with leaves (don't worry if you can't get them all).

1 cup hummus, soaked overnight
1 cup brown or black lentils (i don't soak them, but they can soak for 1-2 hours)

1 small can tomato paste
1 bunch corainder, finely chopped

spices: 1/2 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp black pepper, salt

additions: 3 tablespoons flour and/or few handfuls of thin noodles (optional)
2 tsp or more fresh lemon juice

1. gently fry the onoin in olive oil for a few minutes. add remaining vegs, stir for a few minutes then cover the pan and lower flame, let veg cook for about 15 minutes. add remaining ingredients (except additions). add about 6 cups of water (about one inch over the contents of pot). bring to a boil, lower flame, let cook for about 1-1.5 hours.

2. mix flour in about 1/2 cup of water and add to pot. let cook a few more minutes. if desired, add noodles now. and cook a few minutes.

3. add some lemon juice - about 2 tsp.

note: you can add cubed beef or chicken parts at the beginning

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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 01:12:59 PM »
I'm a vegetarian, so everything I eat is meatless. There are a few things that I eat that my meat eating DS will eat too.

You could make pizza. I put garlic and mushrooms on mine, sometimes I add a little broccoli. Or you could just do straight up cheese.

Pastas are really easy to make meatless. I put spinach and shredded carrots in my spaghetti. You can use any veggies that you like.

I also make "chalupas". Crispy tortilla. Top with refriend pinto beans, cheese, lettuce and tomato. I put avocado on mine. Side of mexican rice.

Pinto beans take me forever to make, but I can eat them for every meal. So I make a big pot and then separate it into individual serving sizes.


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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 01:41:19 PM »
Cicero and SiotehCat beat me to it. Go for familiar things that are easy to make without meat.

Familiar meals--if you like chili, try meatless chili. If you like spaghetti, try it with a meatless sauce. Same for lots of other pasta dishes.

I've found with some people who are used to seeing meat and potatoes and vegetables on their plates that a casserole doesn't look like enough food. It can have the same ingredients as their favorite meat, potato and vegetable meal, but without those three piles on the plate, it just doesn't look "right" to them. There's only one blob of food on the plate instead of three or four.

So, don't ignore casseroles and soups and stews, but try to have two or three other things to eat with them--salad, bread, rolls, a separate side dish of vegetables. Or serve an appetizer as a first course--veggies with humus dip, followed by meatless lasagne and salad and bread, followed by baked apples. Splitting the meal into "courses" sometimes helps with the psychological factor, too.

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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 02:04:42 PM »
We do meatless once a week. Been doing it for years. Like your DH, mine isn't keen about vegetarian so I cook meatless instead, the difference being that I'll use meat broths or even meat for flavoring.  and it is also not the meals that I skimp on fats.

Here's some of our favorites.
Butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sauce
Three bean stew with cornbread dumplings
Eggplant mozzarella stacks
Red beans and rice but I still add a little ham or sausage for flavoring
Black bean tostadas
Bean & Cheese enchiladas or quesidillias with gaucomole
Pasta primaVera
Baked potatoe soup (topped with a little bacon)
Mushroom rissotto
Curried lentil soup
Pasta puttenesca (though it does have anchovies)
Chili relleno bake

Here's a link ton a site that has some nice recipes.  If any of the above interest, I'll post the recipe or instructions.


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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 04:02:46 PM »
If you are looking to reduce meat rather than cut it out completely, another option is to make dishes which have meat in, but use less meat.

For instance, if you are making something which you normally make with mince (ground?) beef, such as spaghetti bolognese, use 2/3 meat, 1/3 red lentils. Over time you can gradually reduce the proportion of meat.

As a student, I ate very little meat, as it's more expensive than pulses etc. I found that even a very small amount can make a big difference to the flavour of a dish-adding a little bacon, or chorizo, or one or two bite size pieces of chicken can give you a meaty flavour without actually having much meat, and this may be easier to adjust to than having a compleatly meat-free meal.

You might also find it useful if some of your meat free dishes are compleatly new to you, so you don't compare them directly.


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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 07:23:00 PM »

A dish I made recently - A very hearty chickpea stew. It's filling and flavourful.

3 cups canned chickpeas
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 tomatoes, diced
1 t ground cumin
1 t garam masala
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t cumin seeds
1 t mustard seeds
salt and pepper
1 T lemon juice
chopped cilantro
olive oil

Toast the seeds in the pan until fragrant, and remove. Saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, saute briefly. Add the spices (including seeds), stir for a moment or two, add the chickpeas, yoghurt, tomatos and lemon juice, and mix well. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped cilantro.


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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 01:23:44 AM »
Tips from a vegetarian who cooks for many omnivores:

1. Make a lot of dishes that are "naturally vegetarian": stuff that wouldn't have meat in it anyway. Take this opportunity to try out some new ethnic foods. There are tons of traditional dishes that are delicious, fabulous, healthful, and meat-free.
- stuffed shells
- pizza
- falafel
- curry (mmm)
- dal

2. Use dishes that are based in egg/dairy. Your husband is probably resistant to eating lots of "rabbit food" (either because he isn't wild about vegetables or because he's worried that he won't be satisfied). Egg and dairy aren't the best choices for health, but they are tasty and can help with the transition from "meaty" to "meatless."
- souffle
- cheesy pasta dishes (lasagna, stuffed shells, alfredo sauce)
- savory custards
- quiches
- om rice (sounds bizarre, but so happy-making)

3. Be really careful about your use of fake meat. It can either go very very well or very very badly, and it can be expensive. I have had the best luck with Quorn brand. Because of your motivations, and because it's only one meal a week, I would skip it if I were you, or only have one faux-meat meal a month. Try the Quorn meatballs. They're great with spaghetti, they're great Swedish-style, they're awesome in a sandwich, and they'd probably be good in a chafing dish. When it comes to crumbles, I like Smart Ground. I had a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore gobble down my leftovers without realizing that they were vegetarian. (I was not present at the time to stop him.) Gardien has some wonderful things as well. Their "chicken tenders" are just delicious.

4. Have a focal point/anchor for your plate. A lot of people assume that vegetarianism is tough because they see vegetarians ordering a few things a la carte or eating only side dishes. Many vegetarians find that frustrating as well, but would rather eat sides than starve. camlan made this point. Even if you make a one-pot meal, try to have some sides so it feels more like a "real" meal. For instance, if you have curry, then get some frozen naan or make rice. If you've got half a cucumber and some yogurt in your fridge, make a quick raita. If you're having lasagna, add a salad, garlic bread, and wine. You could also try a stuffed vegetable (fill it with grains and aromatics) with your sides.

If you want resource suggestions or more specific recipes, please feel free to send me an email. I love feeding people, even indirectly.
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Re: Meatless Mondays?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 11:51:04 AM »
We eat meat but we do enjoy meatless meals.  Here's a peasant favorite from Egypt with a few time-savers thrown in.  This is hearty enough to satisfy most meat and potato people.  Please excuse the lack of measurements.  This is a real seat-of-the-pants dish.



Lentils (we combine the two by using a lentil pilaf mix.  The commercial mix we use is actually vegan)

Small cut macaroni.  (elbows or small shells are just right for this)

Good marinara sauce

One medium onion, thinly sliced and fried into little, brown squiggles. 
Hot sauce.

Cook the rice, lentils and macaroni according to package directions.

Combine in a bowl.

Add the marinara sauce. 


Serve on plates or in bowls.

Top with fried onions and hot sauce to taste. 

Believe me, this is one of the easiest things to make and one of the best things o eat when you've been outside on a cold day.