Inspiration for your Next Meatless Monday

A vegetarian diet is not for everyone. But is there a benefit to considering just one day per week when you do not eat meat? A number of organizations are introducing the concept of “Meatless Monday” as an option for healthier eating… and maybe a healthier planet. Here are some ideas for your next (or first) meatless Monday!

RIGATONI WITH ROASTED TOMATO VODKA SAUCE

THE CHARRED VEGETABLES GIVES THIS SAUCE A SLIGHTLY SMOKEY FLAVOR WITH MORE DEPTH THAN A TYPICAL VODKA SAUCE. TRY IT! I PROMISE YOU WILL LIKE IT!

INGREDIENTS

  • ½   medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 6   plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 3   large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
  • 1 lb. (450 g) rigatoni pasta
  • ½ cup (125 mL) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) vodka (see cook’s tip)
  • 1 oz. (30 g) Parmesan cheese, finely grated (½ cup/125 mL), plus more for serving
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes
  •  Optional: Chopped basil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Set the oven to broil and place the oven rack at least 5″ (13 cm) away from the heat.
  2. Separate the layers of onion and toss with the tomatoes, garlic, oil, and ¼ tsp (1 mL) of salt in a small bowl. Place the mixture on a broiler-safe baking sheet with the tomatoes cut-side up. Broil until lightly charred but not over-browned, 13–15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain.
  4. Add the cooked veggie mixture to a medium pot. Puree until smooth, 2–3 minutes. Add the cream, vodka, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, and remaining salt. Blend on high for 1 minute.
  5. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat for 7–8 minutes.
  6. Serve the sauce over the pasta and top with grated Parmesan and chopped basil, if you’d like.

Yield:

  • 8  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 320, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 4.5 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 200 mg, Carbohydrate 46 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugars 4 g (includes 0 g of added sugars), Protein 9 g

Cook’s Tips:

Vodka adds a bit of heat and a slight sharp bite that balances out the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes and richness of the cream. You can omit it, if you’d like.

GREEK ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

Greek Zucchini Fritters

WE’RE BIG FANS OF THESE TASTY, VEGETARIAN FRITTERS. FETA AND ONION ARE A WINNING COMBO THAT PAIRS BEAUTIFULLY WITH A FRESH, BRIGHT YOGURT SAUCE. BE STILL MY HEART!

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (125 mL) low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped dill
  • 1   garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 cups (500 mL) packed, grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3   green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  •  Oil for brushing

DIRECTIONS

  1. For the yogurt sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
  2. Set the Deluxe Electric Grill & Griddle (You can use any, this is just the one I use) to ‘CUSTOM’ for 8 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Depending on yours, it could vary slightly on heat and time.
  3. For the fritters, combine all the ingredients, except the oil.
  4. When preheated, brush the plates with the oil. Spoon ¼ cup (60 mL) of batter onto griddle; repeat with remaining batter to make 8 fritters; flatten each slightly with the back of a spoon.
  5. Cook until deep golden brown, 3–4 minutes per side. Serve with the sauce.

Yield:

  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. nutrients per serving (2 fritters and 2 tbsp/30 mL sauce): Calories 180, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 115 mg, Sodium 370 mg, Carbohydrate 18 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugars 4 g (includes 0 g added sugars), Protein 12 g

Cook’s Tips:

For even more flavor, you can make the yogurt sauce in advance. This gives the dill more time to bloom, deepening the flavor.

SHAKSHUKA WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES

Shakshuka With Zucchini Noodles

SHAKSHUKA IS A POPULAR DISH IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA THAT’S MADE WITH EGGS, TOMATOES, AND SPICES. IT’S PERFECT FOR BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH, BUT IT CAN BE SERVED ANY TIME OF DAY. SIMMERING THE EGGS GIVES THEM THE PERFECT RUNNY YOLK THAT EVERYONE LOVES. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2   medium zucchini
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1   jalapeño pepper
  • 1   small onion
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Garlic Rub
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
  • 2   medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil, divided
  • 1 can (8 oz. or 213 mL) tomato sauce
  • 8   eggs
  • ½ cup (125 mL) loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Spiralize the zucchini using the fettuccine blade on the Veggie Spiralizer, snipping the noodles. PPlace the zucchini noodles on a cutting board lined with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt to release excess moisture.
  2. De-stem the jalapeño and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut the jalapeño into chunks.
  3. Place the jalapeño, onion, garlic, and cumin into the Manual Food Processor and process until coarsely chopped. Remove and set aside.
  4. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Place them into the processor and chop until pureed.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil in a 12″ (30-cm) skillet over medium heat for 3–5 minutes. Add the zucchini noodles and cook until the noodles are softened, about 3–5 minutes. Remove the noodles from the skillet, place them into a colander, and press them with paper towels to drain.
  6. Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Cook the pepper mixture until softened, about 2–3 minutes.
  7. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, and zucchini noodles. Cover and simmer for 5–6 minutes.
  8. Gently crack 8 eggs into the skillet, spacing them about 1″ (2.5-cm) apart. Cook, covered, until the eggs are just set, about 4–5 minutes. (The egg whites should be firm and the yolk a little runny).
  9. Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle parsley on top.

Yield:

  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 250, Total Fat 17 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 370 mg, Sodium 740 mg, Carbohydrate 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Sugars 6 g, Protein 15 g

Cook’s Tips:

Zucchini noodles give off a lot of moisture when cooked. Draining the liquid before and after cooking will keep the dish from getting too watery.

ORANGE-GINGER TOFU STIR-FRY

HAVEN’T TRIED TOFU? TRY THIS RECIPE. THIS VERSATILE VEGAN STAPLE IS LIKE A BLANK CANVAS THAT ABSORBS THE FLAVOR OF OTHER INGREDIENTS. DRAINING THE TOFU AND COATING IT IN CORNSTARCH HELPS DEVELOP A DELICIOUS CRUST WHEN YOU SEAR IT.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pkg (14 oz. or 350 g) extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil, divided
  • 1   zucchini
  • 1   red bell pepper
  • 8 oz. (250 g) fresh snow peas
  • 2   green onions
  • ½ cup (125 mL) water chestnuts
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) whole roasted cashews, chopped (optional)
  • 1 1″ (2.5 cm) piece fresh gingerroot, peeled
  • 1   orange
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) reduced-sodium, gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) agave nectar or honey
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 2   garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut the tofu into 1″ (2.5 cm) squares. Line a Flexible Cutting Mat with paper towels. Place the tofu on the mat and top with another paper towel. Place something heavy, like a sheet pan on top to drain excess moisture.
  2. For the sauce, grate the ginger to measure 2 tsp (10 mL). Grate the orange to measure 1 tbsp (15 mL) of orange zest. Juice the orange with a juicer. Add the ginger, orange zest, juice, and remaining sauce ingredients to a small batter bowl and whisk until combined; set aside.
  3. Uncover the tofu and place it in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch and salt; toss to coat.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil in the 12″ (30‑cm) Stainless Steel Nonstick Skillet over medium-high heat for 3–5 minutes. Add all the tofu and sear for 2–3 minutes. Flip and sear for an additional 2–3 minutes, or until it’s browned on two sides. Remove the tofu from the skillet.
  5. Trim the ends off the zucchini and cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut the top off of the bell pepper, and remove the seeds and veins with the Scoop Loop®. Cut the pepper into quarters. Slice the zucchini, bell pepper, and snow peas with the Quick Slice.
  6. Thinly slice the green onions; set aside the greens for the garnish.
  7. Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the whites of the green onions, zucchini, bell pepper, and snow peas; saute for 4–6 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add the water chestnuts, tofu, and sauce and stir to coat. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  8. Serve the stir-fry over cooked rice. Top with the reserved green onions and cashews.

Yield:

  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 330, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 440 mg, Carbohydrate 55 g, Fiber 6 g, Sugars 19 g, Protein 15 g

Cook’s Tips:

You can substitute the tofu with 1 lb. (450 g) of chicken tenderloins cut into 1″ (2.5-cm) pieces.

ROASTED VEGETABLE TOASTS WITH WHITE BEAN HUMMUS

Roasted Vegetable Toasts with White Bean Hummus

THIS VERSATILE RECIPE CAN BE SERVED AS AN APPETIZER OR THE ROASTED VEGETABLES CAN BE SERVED WITH PASTA, TORTILLAS, OR SALADS. THE WHITE BEAN HUMMUS IS A GREAT DIP FOR VEGGIE CHIPS, TOO.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1   yellow squash or zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 1 pkg (8 oz/250 g) white mushrooms
  • 1   medium green bell pepper
  • 1   medium red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, plus additional for spritzing
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 6   slices rustic Italian bread
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 oz (125 g) crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
  • 1   lemon
  • 1 can (15 oz or 540 mL) reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
  • 1   garlic clove
  • ⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Cut the squash in half crosswise and then lengthwise. Slice into half-moons with the Quick Slice. Slice the mushrooms with the Quick Slice. Add the vegetables to a large bowl.
  2. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds and veins with the Scoop Loop™. Cut the bell peppers into 1″ (2.5‑cm) pieces, then add them to the large bowl.
  3. Add the oil and salt to the bowl, and use the Small Mix ‘N Scraper® to combine.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to the Half Sheet Pan and spread them into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned.
  6. Use the Kitchen Spritzer to spray both sides of bread generously with oil. Toast the bread in the oven for 3–4 minutes after vegetables are done.
  7. For the hummus, use the Microplane® Zester to zest the lemon to measure ½ tsp (2 mL); set aside. Juice half of the lemon with a juicer to measure 1 tbsp (15 mL). Combine the lemon juice, beans, oil, garlic pressed with the Garlic Press (best $22 bucks I have spent), and salt in the Manual Food Processor (my most used kitchen tool). Process until combined (the hummus won’t be completely smooth).
  8. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Grate the parsley over the top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Gently toss the vegetables.
  9. Spread the hummus evenly onto the toasted bread and top with vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese.

Yield:

  • 6  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. Nutrients per Serving: Calories 320, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Sodium 450 mg, Carbohydrate 34 g, Fiber 7 g, Sugars 5 g, Protein 13 g

Cook’s Tips:

You can use these roasted vegetables in so many ways—try them over cooked orzo, in a salad, or in a quesadilla.

WHITE PIZZA

White Pizza

THIS WHITE PIZZA IS ANYTHING BUT BORING. I’VE ADDED A BIT OF SUN-DRIED TOMATOES FOR AN EXTRA FLAVOR BOOST. BAKING ON A STONE ENSURES A CRISPY, DELICIOUS CRUST.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ lb. (250 g) prepared pizza dough
  •  Cornmeal for dusting
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 2   garlic cloves, pressed
  • 4 oz. (125 g) mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup/250 mL)
  • ½ oz. (15 g) Parmesan cheese, finely grated (¼ cup/60 mL)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 4–5   chopped basil leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the Pizza Stone ( LOVE THIS!!!!!!!! And ALL baking stones) on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) for up to 30 minutes (see cook’s tips).
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten with your hands. Starting at the center and working outwards, turn and stretch the dough into a 12″ (30-cm) round disk, forming a lip around the edge. Fold the dough in half twice.
  3. Transfer the dough to a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal and unfold.
  4. Combine the olive oil and garlic; brush on the dough. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Spoon on dollops of ricotta. Top with chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  5. Transfer the pizza onto the stone in the oven and bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted, about 12–15 minutes. Top with basil just before serving.

Yield:

  • 6  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 320, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Sodium 470 mg, Carbohydrate 37 g, Fiber 0 g, Total Sugars 2 g (includes 0 g added sugars), Protein 13 g

Cook’s Tips:

Pizza crust gets even crispier when cooked on a preheated stone. If you don’t have a stone that can be preheated, add a few extra minutes to the cook time.

Check out your local pizzeria or supermarket for fresh or frozen dough.

Leftover dough? Tightly wrap and freeze it. You can thaw it overnight in the fridge or let it sit on the counter for about an hour.

Enjoy! Cheers!!!!

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