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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian recipes’

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup
Butternut squash soup shows up on restaurant specials menus from now through Thanksgiving, and rightly so: it is special. Butternut squash is in season right now, and when roasted, the flesh softens and the flavor deepens, making it ready to be pureed into creamy fall soup.

But while butternut squash soup is special, it’s not especially difficult to make at home. It takes a little bit of patience (you’ll have to wait about a half-hour for the squash to roast) but once the squash is cooked, you just need to simmer with some liquid, season and puree. If you have a hand blender, the process is even easier  — a hand blender allows you to blend soup right in the pot — but if you don’t, you can use a regular blender. Be sure to puree the soup in batches; if you over-fill the blender you could end up with a mess. (Think soup volcano.)

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Meatless Monday: Roasted Squash Chili Mac

chili mac
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?

Chili-anything is usually loaded with meat. Chili dogs, chili-cheese fries and the chili that comes with nachos at a restaurant — always beefy. If you want to start a big fight, tell a chili enthusiast that vegetarian chili is legit. True chili traditionalists believe that chili is made with meat, or it’s not chili at all.

Rachael Ray’s Roasted Squash Chili Mac is an exception to the everything-chili-is-made-with-meat rule. It’s made with roasted butternut squash and chili spices like chili powder, cumin and oregano, plus cinnamon and nutmeg which pair well with the squash. It’s creamy and cheesy like mac and cheese should be, but there’s nary a beef clump in sight.

Bonus: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and bake it before you’re ready to eat.

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Meatless Monday: Baked Penne With Roasted Vegetables

baked penne
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?

So you don’t eat meat on Mondays. Or maybe you don’t eat meat ever. But tell the truth on this one — does eating less meat mean you eat more vegetables? Or do you subscribe to the pizza-and-beer-are-vegetarian philosophy? They are meatless after all, but mom was right about vegetables. You need to eat more of them.

Eating more vegetables shouldn’t be too hard; eat a salad with dinner, snack on crudite, or ask for a side of broccoli instead of fries. But eating more vegetables doesn’t mean that you now have to snack like a rabbit. You can easily add vegetables to the food you like anyway — pizza, lasagna, sandwiches — so you get a filling, comforting meal, plus all the good stuff that comes from vegetables, like vitamins and fiber and all that.

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Meatless Monday: Grilled Vegetables

grilled vegetables

Grill once, eat for days.

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?

Grilled vegetables, like whipped cream, is one of those ideas where the recipe, complete with ingredients, is right in the name. You whip some cream. You grill some vegetables. You may not need much more instruction than that. But I think it’s better to look at grilled vegetables as a strategy rather than just a recipe. If you grill some vegetables tonight, you’ll have your meals set for a week.

Throw whatever you’ve got in the garden on the grill, brushed with a bit of olive oil — peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplant, onions — season with some herbs and vinegar once they’re done and you have not just a meal for tonight, but the basis for several meals for the rest of the week. The key is leaving the vegetables on the hot grill long enough for them to get those fabulous grill marks, and also to make enough to last you a few days.

Once you have a big batch of grilled veggies, you can chop some up in to smaller bits and add them to omelets, frittatas or quiche for breakfast. For lunch or dinner, simply toss grilled vegetables with pasta and bocconcini, or layer the vegetables with hummus or soft cheese on ciabatta to make a better-than-any-restaurant meat-free meal. Add the grilled vegetables to greens for a hearty salad, or add some herbs and feta to make Ellie Krieger’s minted vegetable salad. Top pizza with grilled vegetables, layer some into lasagna or stuff them into quesadillas or burritos. The vegetables you grilled at the start of the week can be used to make a quick meal any time of day, save for dessert (try grilling fruit for that instead).

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Meatless Monday: Spicy Zucchini, Pepper and Potato Soup

zucchini soup

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?

There’s a new farmers’ market in my neighborhood and I was so excited for my first visit that I bought way too much of everything: 8 bunches of basil, 2 pounds of goat cheese, a giant loaf of bread and 6 zucchini. I had a plan for the basil: I made pesto and froze it; it’ll last me through the fall. But the zucchini was an impulse buy. I can’t get enough of it, even though I do get enough of it. My mom grows zucchini in her garden and shares it with me, I get loads of it in my weekly CSA and yet I buy several pieces every time I visit the farmers’ market.

When I’m flush with zucchini in the summer months, I eat a raw zucchini salad every day (no joke) — shredded zucchini, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and a few crumbles of goat cheese. I make zucchini frittata, stuffed zucchini and pasta with zucchini. That stuff is all great now, but I wanted a recipe that I could make during zucchini season and freeze it for when I can’t get them anymore.

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Meatless Monday: Grilled Vegetables With Tofu

grilled vegetables

Faster than fast-food.

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?

You’re busy. And hungry. You have 15 minutes to get dinner on the table because you have loads of other stuff to do. Here’s how it could go down:

Scenario 1: You drive on over to Taco Bell on your way home. You shout your order into the speaker, pay and wait 6 minutes for your giant bag of chalupas and gorditas to appear, drive back home, arrange the paper-wrapped tacos and such on the table with paper napkins and packets of hot sauce, and viola, dinner is served.

Scenario 2: You preheat the grill, and while you’re waiting, mix together a quick marinade of garlic, cumin, coriander, oil, vinegar and honey. Toss asparagus, peppers, mushrooms and sliced firm tofu in the marinade and grill them for a few minutes, till they’re tender.

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Meatless Monday: Monster Mushroom Burger

portobello mushroom burger

Like a burger, but better.

The portobello mushroom burger — the ubiquitous vegetarian summer picnic meal — isn’t really a burger at all. Which is to say it isn’t chopped meat formed into a patty, but rather a food found in nature with a natural hamburger bun size and shape. It’s perfect, really. Thank you, nature, for a food that’s shaped like a sandwich and requires virtually no work to prepare.

Bobby Deen’s Monster Mushroom Burger is one such “burger” that will let you picnic with your pals without having to participate in the pressing together of raw meat into patties. Giant, bun-sized portobello mushrooms are marinated in oil and vinegar, grilled and layered on a bun with a creamy herbed yogurt sauce, arugula, tomato, onion and roasted red peppers. If you’re inclined, add a slice of provolone or a smear of goat cheese and make it a cheese “burger.”

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Meatless Monday: Zucchini Parmesan Subs With Tomatoes and Basil

zucchini parmesan subs
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?

I’m kind of over Eggplant Parmesan. In the 15 or so years since I gave up meat, I’ve probably eaten it 300 times. It’s the default vegetarian option at almost every wedding or banquet I’ve ever been to. It’s often the only meatless meal on restaurant menus, and my family members — those who don’t try to convince me that poultry is vegetarian — make it for me at nearly every family event.

But just like chicken isn’t the only meat that can get the Parmesan treatment, eggplant isn’t the only vegetable that can get Parmesan-ed. Zucchini Parmesan is just as good as, if not better than, Eggplant Parmesan. The hearty vegetable (is it actually a fruit? I think so.) holds up well to the breading, frying and cheese-topping. You can substitute zucchini for eggplant in the traditional casserole, or make Zucchini Parmesan subs, topped with fresh tomato sauce and provolone cheese.

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Meatless Monday: Meat-Lover Michael Symon Goes Meatless (Sometimes)

michael symon

The meat chef goes veg . . . sometimes.

Chef Michael Symon, restauranteur, host of Symon’s Suppers, Cook Like an Iron Chef and ABC’s The Chew, and wearer of an “Eat More Meat” t-shirt (for real; take a look) has a new message: Eat more vegetables.

Chef Symon, who tops even ice cream with bacon, hosted an event at the recent Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on Meatless Mondays, and in January, shared his favorite meat-free recipes on a special Meatless Monday episode of The Chew. So is this meat man turning veg man? Not really. But even the most passionate meat-lovers need a break. “Life is about moderation, ” he tells Peggy Neu of the Meatless Monday campaign. “Even if I’m having beef for dinner, it’s probably going to be a 3-4oz portion with heaps and heaps of vegetables.” One day a week, sometimes Mondays, sometimes not, he cuts out meat to give his body  “time to do what it needs to do. ”

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Meatless Monday: Pasta Salad With Green Onion Dressing

pasta salad

Pasta salad: it's more than a side dish -- make it a meal.

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?

Sure, pasta salad is a picnic side dish. But why wait till Saturday afternoons to eat it? I don’t care what anyone says — pasta salad is dinner. You eat pasta primavera or fettuccine Alfredo for dinner, why not pasta salad? Is it just because it’s cold? Salads and sandwiches can be dinner, and they’re both usually served cold. Cold soups are for dinner, and sometimes — maybe not on the best days — cereal is dinner. It’s time pasta salad got a promotion. Yes, a scoop is lovely served with grilled picnic-y fare. But pasta salad makes a nice weekday meal on its own, too.

Roger Mooking isn’t one to doctor up a box of bow ties with a bottle of Zesty Italian; the Everyday Exotic host is known for  making everyday recipes, well, exotic. His pasta salad does call for bow ties, but it’s dressed with a homemade creamy green onion dressing. Red, yellow and orange peppers add color and crunch and toasted coconut mellows the bite from the onions in the dressing. Plus the unexpected sweet, crispy bits of are a welcome addition — you’ll wonder why you didn’t add toasted coconut to pasta salad sooner.

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