Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Meatless "Mondays"

One of my 2014 resolutions is to eat less meat by making one vegetarian family dinner a week vegetarian. Knowing that it won't always be possible for that day to be Monday (such as next week when we have plans to go out to a Colonial dinner where vegetarian options do not exist), I use the word "Monday" in quotes.

Ashley asked me if her lunches also have to be meatless. As she tends to have mac-n-cheese on Mondays, I really didn't think this was an issue, so I just told her it is up to her.

As a "bribe," Ashley has been told she can sleep in our bed on the nights she eats her meatless meals without a fight. I know she is 11, but for some reason she feels our bed is the coziest. Rather than having the fight every night, we have it tied to something specific. No, spaghetti dinners do not count. Must involve trying something new and eating it all.

I'll add to this post throughout the year.

2015: January 12: A recommendation by Candace Pottle for meatless enchiladas

November 24: I made a large batch of fake meat crumbles with black beans, corn and other veggies and ate it for three nights in a row (sort of makes up for last week).

November 17: I had made a large pot of chili and skipped Meatless Monday.

November 10: The problem with taking too long to update, is I don't remember what I made for dinner a few weeks ago.

November 3: I made ziti tonight. While that may not sound overly creative, it pushed Ashley in a new direction -- meals with cheese! The plan was to make lasagna, but I took too long to start cooking and, well, went with a different noodle, but many of the other ingredients instead.

October 27: Leftover beef stew. Yup, not meatless. Made up for it on Tuesday with spaghetti. Really made up for it on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with meatless fajitas.

October 20: I was a complete carnivore this week. I made a huge pot of tacos with real meat. Before long, the week was over. Oh, we did go out for Chinese food with a friend on the 20th and each ordered a chicken dish. 

October 13: Back by popular demand: make your own pizza night with meatless toppings.

October 6: Quinoa and veggies.

September 29: Quesidilla Monday with Don't Have a Cow "beef" strips. They liked the make your own aspect of dinner.

September 22: Spaghetti squash with butternut squash sauce and chickpeas. Umm...other than overcooking the squash, it was a good idea. Since it did not turn out well I had lots of leftovers for lunch.

September 15: Returned to a favorite: taco night.

September 8: As I was between trips (Roller Coaster Race and Ohio), I cleaned out the fridge. Sauteed veggies and put it over quinoa.

September 1: (Labor Day) Hot and sticky day. Grilling veggie burgers outside, picked up salads from Wegmans and adding corn on the cob. Keeping it simple. Hope to get more creative when the fall weather returns and I feel like turning on the oven again.

August 25: A little bit of this ... a little bit of that. I sauteed some butternut squash, black beans and tomatoes (or whatever I had on hand) and put it over spaghetti. Kind of a "clean out the fridge" sort of meal.

August 18: Back home from Montreal I kept it simple this week -- veggie burgers on the grill with corn on the cob and a salad. Summer meals should be easy.

August 11: We had lunch at Lola Rosa, a purely vegetarian restaurant in Montreal with my friend, Marlene. The website is in French, but the menu was in both languages. I had vegetable chili. Don had a hemp burger (which is what I had the last time I ate there). Marlene had nachos and a salad. Oh, we also split an order of poutine since we were in Montreal. This one was made from sweet potato fries, black bean sauce and cheese curds. Gotta have the cheese curds.

August 4: Eggplant Parmesan. Not bad, just time consuming. I made pasta in case it was not a hit. Ashley ate at a friend's house. Don and I enjoyed it. 

July 28: Quinoa with veggies. Not very original, but always a hit!

July 21: Eggplant meatballs RECIPE . I had this recipe at least a month before I finally made it. The eggplant has to be cooked, then pureed with a couple of other ingredients, then shaped into balls and cooked. Overall, it took over an hour. They weren't hard to make, just a bit time consuming.

July 14: We have fallen out of the habit of making new meals, especially on Mondays, but are making strides in having more meatless meals throughout the week, just not always on Mondays.

June 16: We are out of town and dined at a restaurant that does not have vegetarian options. Even their salads have either chicken or bacon (or both). On Tuesday I had a fried tomato sandwich. Will return to the habit when we are back home again.

June 9: Meat crumbles with butternut squash and tomatoes. Served over rice.

June 2: I don't remember. 

May 27: In honor of Ashley's birthday we had a picnic. All of the side dishes were vegetarian. I thought about making the guests eat veggie burgers, but decided to offer meat versions. I had a veggie burger. The next day Ashley had a black bean burger, too.

May 20: A repeat of Cinco de Mayo to use the leftover ingredients.

May 13: Returned to an old hit since we were already a day behind and didn't have time to be creative. Probably a good thing that we did since I later found out the oven was broken. (Since fixed by Don.) Meatless tacos cooked in a skillet with some butternut squash and tomatoes added in for extra flavor.

May 5: In honor of Cinco de Mayo I made Skillet Mexican Zuccini dish from a recipe forwarded to me by Robin. I added black beans to it and put it over rice. I gave Ashley the option of eating hers as a taco, and option she took.

April 28: Quinoa with sauteed broccoli and butternut squash. Ashley made the quinoa. Another hit.

April 21: I followed Diadra's spaghetti squash recipe (see below), but left out the egg whites and added cheese on top. It was a huge hit. The request was next time to add more fresh tomatoes to the top of the spaghetti squash before baking. A very light dinner.

April 14: I hit food rut already. Oh no! Must return to seeking recipes. I took meatless crumbles and put them in the crockpot. Added beans and corn to it for taco night. Yup, not original. I tried adding some veggies, but they turned our horribly. Suggestions for next week?

April 7: We had company over and ate leftovers. Yes, we fed company leftovers. Go tattle on us to Martha Stewart. I ate a veggie burger with my meatless meal, but offered beef burgers and portobello mushrooms to the rest of the family and our guests. The rest of the meal was meatless, even the vegetarian baked beans. Next week I hope to return to the meatless bandwagon.

March 31: It just didn't happen, and might not happen this week. On Saturday I bought some good chicken from The House of Meat that I do not want to go to waste. I've noticed I've been cooking more meatless meals, so I don't feel as compelled to have to do it on Monday. 

March 24/25: Dee gave me a recipe for Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples. I added rosemary to the recipe. It was a hit with everyone. Added bonus: we have lots of leftovers! Monday was busy, so Meatless "Monday" happened on Tuesday this week.

March 17: Tech week. Don did a fly through and ate leftover Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapples on pizza). Hmmm... Ashley and I made our own meatless pizzas. Tuesday I regrouped and we ate beef stir fry with leftover vegetables in a tahini sauce. The tahini sauce was a fail in Ashley's eyes. Glad she is trying new foods, but I can't convince her that sauces are okay, too.

March 10: Lazy night -- gnocchi with pasta sauce. I was surprised Ashley tried it, but she did. I love gnocchi, but until this week I could not even get her to try it. She won't order it anytime soon, but she did eat it.

March 3: I made Shepherds Pie, or some variation thereof. No one seemed to like it. It didn't help that I was lazy and made fake potatoes for the first time (and messed those up) and didn't have the right kind of soup, so I used what I had. On the plus, the family said to try it again sometime with sweet potatoes on top instead of instant white potatoes. They love sweet potatoes. Will try again in about a month. Will do Johanna's recipe next time, but with sweet potatoes.

February 24: I had a request for a meal with beans in it, so I made meatless tacos again. I was planning on making Shepherds Pie a la Johanna, but that will wait until next week. The tacos were devoured.

February 17: I actually made this on Sunday, and had the leftovers on Monday. I made a "Don't Be a Cow" chicken and butternut squash stir fry. My mistake was adding in Fava beans. Fava beans earned a thumbs down from both Don and Ashley, and even a nose scrunch by me. They ruined an otherwise quick and easy meatless meal.

February 10: Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce a hit with Don and I. Oddly a miss with Ashley. She went into it thrilled we were having spaghetti squash. Ended up realizing she did not like pumpkin THAT much, and she choked on some of the squash (or so she said). Might make it as a side dish some time.

February 3: I was all poised to pick up a spaghetti squash and make that, but Wegmans was out of spaghetti squash. Kind of kills the meal if it is missing the main ingredient. I made tacos with crumbled fake meat. We all devoured it. Ashley said she likes the texture and taste of the fake meat better than when I use real hamburger meat. 

January 27: Veggie Lasagna in the crock pot. At 2:30 I tossed spaghetti sauce, veggies, lasagna noodles, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta into the crock pot, set it on high and hoped for the best. It was very good, and devoured very quickly. We have left overs for Tuesday night.

January 20: Martin Luther King Day. We ate at Mimi's Cafe on the way home from Washington, DC. A vegetarian friend had warned us there are very few vegetarian options. As I am not a big salad eater (and most of their salads have chicken in them anyway) I postponed to Tofu Tuesday. On Tuesday I made Don't Have a Cow "beef" stir-fry with sesame noodles. Everyone ate every last bit on their plates and there was enough for dinner the next night.

January 13: Went out to a Colonial dinner that did not have any vegetarian options on it. They did have fish, but as I don't normally have fish, I did not have it that night, either. We did have spaghetti for dinner on the 11th in anticipation of not celebrating Meatless Monday on the real day.

January 6: Make your own pizzas -- I decided to go with an easy one to start. Don made the dough on Sunday. We chose our own vegetarian toppings. It was a success.

Future dinner ideas:
From Gabrielle:

From Diadra: Roast 1 spaghetti squash and shred one cooled. Spray the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan. Spread shredded squash in the pie pan. cover with a layer of sliced tomatoes. then top with sauteed veggies. I sauteed carrots, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach. Mix 8 egg whites and 1 whole egg and pour over veggies, top with 4 oz of shredded cheese. bake at 375 for 40-50 mins.

Also from Diadra: I have a great crock pot recipe for White bean and spinach burritos

From Corinne: Eggplant Parmesan

From Sandy: sesame noodles

From Tracey: Black bean soup, stuffed shells, you can leave the meat out I'd basically any soup and just add more veggies, roasted veggie sandwiches.

From Sue: stuffed shells, quiche, grilled cheese sandwiches, quinoa salad, potato leek soup, Mac and cheese, butternut squash and spinach Alfredo, stuffed portabello mushrooms

From Johanna: Veggie Shepherd's Pie--Yve's Veggie Italian Ground Round, but original would work too. The secret, I have found, is to doctor up the soy protein so it tastes like beef. I sauté onion and garlic (and mushrooms sometimes) then add the veggie ground round (last time I also seasoned it with a bit of steak spice!)...then add about a cup of water and your favorite gravy mix and voilà! The layer it up with some corn and potatoes...I also top with cheese...because I can. :) I actually fooled my carnivorous brother into having seconds!

From Ellen: lasagna lends itself to a hearty veggie version. Mexican food can easily be veggie with use of rice and beans and whatever else you like. You can do tacos, quesadilla

Also from Ellen: For soups, we use beans or lentils, and either use water or veggie stock. I start off with a little olive oil, sautée celery and onion and whatever other vegetable you like, add in canned beans or lentils and liquid. You can season it with salt and pepper, garlic, hot pepper flakes, fresh herbs (black bean/ cilantro). You can be very creative. Or you can roast veggies and make a soup with them and add barley. Or brown rice.

Also from Ellen: Another great idea is stir fry. You can make a yummy broccoli cashew stir fry and serve it over rice cooked with coconut milk. Sesame noodles is another idea.

Also from Ellen: Wraps with hummus, shredded carrots and red cabbage, shredded cheddar, tomatoes, and sunfliwer seeds. You can also do that in a pita.

Also from Ellen: I roast a lot of vegetables. We split an eggplant open, criss cross the side, brush with oil and add fresh rosemary and thyme. Roast until golden brown. Add goat cheese to top and melt.

Also from Ellen: Omelets and frittata's are great.

Also from Ellen: Roasted tomato soup and great grown up grilled cheese.

Also from Ellen: Veggie pot pie, spanikopita, stuffed grape leaves....there are a lot of good ideas:)

From Martin:

From Wendy: Try veggie tacos with rice and beans and all the fixings, pasta primavera with salad, tofu is easy and versatile too.

1 comment:

  1. Try baked potato night with a variety of vegetarian toppings.