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?
Living in New York City, it’s easy to get lazy about cooking at home. Most people I know live on takeout (when they’re not dining out). It’s so tempting though; I have easy access to amazing food to suit any craving. I can get standard American fare, Mexican and Italian, of course, but more exotic options like Ethiopian or Peruvian are just as easy to come by. Takeout isn’t always indulgent or expensive either; there are plenty of healthy places (smoothie/juice bars, vegan cafes, raw food restaurants, or restaurants that serve variations on oatmeal or yogurt) within walking distance from my office and apartment, and most are really affordable or have plenty of cheaper options.
So why cook at home at all? My kitchen is ridiculously tiny, it’s a pain to carry loads of grocery bags home and cleanup isn’t exactly a breeze (I have a dishwasher but it only opens halfway because the fridge is in the way). But the answer is simple: I cook at home because I like to. After a long day at work, cooking a meal actually helps me decompress. And there’s no better feeling than making a meal that tastes better than something I would have picked up at a favorite restaurant.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Cauliflower With Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes in almost any shape or form are an edible treat because they’re so versatile and loved. Whether boiled, steamed, baked or fried, we can always turn to potatoes for comfort, particularly when the weather drops to a cooler chill. Plus, they are easy on the pocketbook, which make them as close to perfect as you can get.
This is the season of the sweet potato, a celebration of the humble root in its sweeter form, and we’re ready to cook them up with a vengeance. To start, a favorite snack or side dish we love to indulge in is Sweet Potato Pancakes (or fritters). The delicate sweetness of the potatoes crisped up to a golden fry is not only easy to make, but a great treat when you’re craving comfort foods.
Continue Reading Sweet Potato Fritters
Bal Arneson's Kidney Bean Stew
I cleaned out my kitchen this weekend — the ‘fridge and cabinets and everything. When I did, I discovered that I had about 100 pounds of dried beans. Some I bought in bulk and stored in glass jars because I like the way they look, and I assumed I’d use them up quickly. And more still came from a bean share I get through my CSA; we’re able to order grains, beans and flour from a small organic farm in western New York called Cayuga Pure Organics. My intentions were good when I placed the order, but when I received the beans, I got lazy and stashed them instead of cooking them. So now I’m faced with enough beans to run me out of my apartment. I’ve vowed to cook every last one.
Last night I made a giant pot of Bal Arneson’s Kidney Bean Stew (1 bag of beans down, about 45 to go). The recipe calls for canned beans and you can well use those, but since I possess so many dried beans, I used those and added them after the spices but before the sweet potatoes (I simmered the stew for about 40 minutes to cook the beans before adding in the sweet potatoes, then followed the rest of the recipe as written). My plan was to make a big pot of beans and eat some for dinner over rice (I’m a huge fan of this Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley), then bring the rest for lunch on (Meatless) Monday, and Tuesday, too. So far, the plan is working well.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Kidney Bean Stew With Sweet Potatoes and Oranges