Meatless Monday: Lighter Fall Harvest Supper

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. 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 known to reduce the risk of disease and curb obesity, and it has important environmental impacts too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

It’s not even cold in New York yet, and I’m constantly craving apple baked goods and creamy pumpkin dishes. It’s OK to indulge in these fun and festive recipes every now again, but I’ve come to accept that I can’t enjoy apple pie and pumpkin risotto every day.

Luckily, there’s plenty of other seasonal fare that’s much lighter and equally comforting. Take Mark Bittman’s Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Chili Dressing, for example. The sweet potatoes caramelize to creamy perfection in just a little more than a half hour in the oven, and the onions become deliciously sweet. Toss them with spicy dressing and hearty black beans, and you’ve got yourself a filling, soul-soothing meal in less than an hour — no heavy cream or butter required.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Chili Dressing

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, preferably red, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili, like jalapeno
1 clove garlic, peeled
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups cooked black beans, drained (canned are fine)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing.

Put chilies in a blender or mini food processor along with garlic, lime juice, remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Process until blended.

Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day.

More Meatless Fall Harvest Recipes: