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Jan 7, 2011 10:17 AM

Meatless Mondays

My family and I are carnivores. But we've decided to eschew all meat at the beginning of the work week for Meatless Monday.

Anyone else doing this? I'd love to talk with other Hounds who do it or would like to give it a try. And naturally, SHARE RECIPES!

Last Monday we did Le Puy Lentils with vegetables and Israeli Couscous for dinner. Thinking about doing something a little heartier next week.

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  1. Heartier than lentils???

    Perhaps a vegetarian shepherd's pie would be good. Frittatas are also good, as eggs are good replacements for meat if you're used to a meat-eating diet. Curried chickpeas are also going to fool anyone into being satisfied.

    2 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      Ha! I think the lentils seemed less heartier because they weren't in a rich broth. They were cooked in stock with some sherry vinegar but I wouldn't call that hearty. I think my husband wants to be able to really SOP up something with a baguette. ;)

      We were thinking curried chickpeas for this next Monday but I'd like to avoid a tomato base if possible. That leaves out traditional Chana.
      Vegetarian shepherds pie is a great idea...

      1. re: isadorasmama

        Nigella's sweet potato and chickpea curry doesn't have tomatoes and it's seriously yummy.

        So are these chickpea burgers which you can totally play with to suit your tastes, 3 of my friends and I make them all the time and ours all come out very differently but all good:

    2. interesting.

      My grandmother used to do something similar. Mondays were always soup days. As she put it, "It helps wash out your belly from all the crap you ate over the weekend."

      1. Thank you for this endeavor! Vegetarian lifestyles can help change the world, even if it is only for one night out of the week.

        I think that a key issue to cooking vegetarian is to not make it necessarily feel like it's a vegetarian dish. I've been veg for over 10 years, and whenever I bring food to pot lucks and family affairs, people do not even seem to notice my meatless dish as something apart from the rest.

        Pastas are always delicious and a white wine sauce or creamy/cheesy sauce will give you husband something to sop up without feeling like he's missing out on a real dinner.

        Tacos and enchiladas are also easy to make familiar without the use of any meat. You can even buy fake meat if you want (Morning Star and Boca make some great options for "meal starters").

        Also, you can make a pizza with a salad and some garlic bread. I'm sure the kids will like this, and you can even have the whole family build the pie together with fresh vegetables and fun cheeses. (To avoid tomato sauce, you can use olive oil or a bechamel sauce). Or you can do one of my favorites: Asian pizza.

        I hope this helps! There are a lot of yummy, healthy options out there that do not require feeling hungry or uncomfortable!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Veggie Liv

          Keep the ideas coming!
          For what it's worth I was a vegetarian for several years. Macrobiotic for a stretch, too. My body really thrives on meat, though. But I adore vegetables and want to make an effort to incorporate them into my diet much more in 2011. For instance, I had hummus and pita with a side of stewed garlicy broccoli raab for lunch today. So good!

        2. Any chance you can grill some portobello mushrooms? They are really substantial, meaty.

          1. I have on deck Sarah Moultons recipe for falafel w/a shredded salad. i might even (depending on how my day goes!) make homemade pita!

            the recipe is in her 'everyday family dinners' book. it's not online but i just checked her site and there is another recipe for a baked polenta that looks great! I would make that w/some hearty sauteed veggies, like a mix of mushrooms or broccoli rabe

            13 Replies
            1. re: ediecooks

              That sounds fabulous. Did you fry or bake the falafel?

              I'm not sure what to make tonight. I had been thinking some sort of cauliflower curry but I might do something with pasta to appease the kids. ;) At least one of them, anyway. I have one very adventurous eaters and one that's....not.

              1. re: isadorasmama

                Sara's sauteed falafel patties from Sara's Secrets are really easy and tasty. Great with tahini sauce and some veggies in pita, and cook up very quickly since they aren't individual balls.

                They aren't authentic since the recipe calls for canned chick peas, but it's a snap for a quick week night meal.

                1. re: bear

                  bear, do you have link for this? i couldn't find sauteed falafel patties when i googled this. thanks!

                    1. re: toveggiegirl

                      Sara also has a recipe using canned chick peas. I don't have the book with me, but I'll gladly paraphrase it tonight. I can't seem to find it online, either, and I can't remember the exact name.

                      1. re: bear

                        I can't find it either.
                        The falafel recipe I like is from Joan Nathan's book, "Foods of Israel Today". It calls for dried chick peas but you can use canned and drained ones. You just have to make sure not to process the chickpeas too much. You want the texture to be chunky not mushy, so add them after processing all the other ingredients. The same adjustment could also probably work for Sara's recipe. Here's Joan Nathan's recipe if you are interested. You can use (much) less oil and just pan fry. If you are having trouble cooking them all the way through, you can finish them in the oven.

                        1. re: bear

                          Ok, i know the recipe you are referring to is in "Sara's Secrets", but she also has a recipe in "Everyday Family Dinners" for Falafel Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing (which sounds like a good combo to me) and you can see that recipe online on google books.

                          1. re: toveggiegirl

                            Yes, that sounds like the recipe that I used to make the pockets. Very easy, and tasty for a quick meal. She also has the more authentic one that you posted above, but I haven't tried that one yet. Joan Nathan's recipe sounds great.

                            1. re: bear

                              I just checked my copy of Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals and the falafel patties are the same recipe as in toveggiegirl's google book link, but here she calls for shaping them into four burger-sized patties. She suggest serving them in pita with tahini sauce, which I did. I also added lettuce, tomato and raw onion to the pita.

                              I served them with tzatziki instead of tahini sauce once and they were equally delicious.

                              1. re: bear

                                Sounds great! Thank you for checking the recipe and reporting back.

                                1. re: bear

                                  Patties! That's how you can saute them. Thanks for that info.

                                  1. re: funniduck

                                    I made her falafel patties the other night and they were excellent. I found an easy link here

                  1. re: ediecooks

                    i'm all about polenta with a hearty wild mushroom ragout.