Meatless Monday: Dinner of Sides

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

For tonight’s dinner, don’t fuss over a fancy entree, stick to sides instead– they’re usually everyone’s favorite anyway. From orzo salad and coleslaw to grilled corn and insalata caprese, there are plenty of fun summer recipes to mix and match. A plateful of potato and mac salad may be overkill, so keep it healthy with at least one veggie-focused dish.

Michael Symon’s Greek feta and cucumber salad goes with just about everything. Crisp, tangy and refreshing, this 10-minute side will have you be coming back for more many times this summer. Something starchy like potato or mac salad would pair nicely. If you’re a pizza lover, I strongly suggest Chuck’s tomato cheese tart — it’s perfect for this time of year and the combination of tomatoes, dijon and swiss makes it sweet, spicy and creamy all at once.

What are your favorite sides?

Greek Feta and Cucumber Salad

2 English cucumbers (also known as seedless or hothouse)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil

Slice cucumbers as thinly as you can. A mandolin or vegetable slicer will make quick work of it. Toss together the cucumbers and a large pinch of salt in a mesh strainer set over a bowl. Combine the feta, oregano, garlic and shallots in a separate bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk in the olive oil. Drain off and discard any water that has released from the cucumbers. Toss together the cucumbers and the dressing. Serve.

More Meatless Side Ideas: