Posted on July 23, 2012
The Greenists are on vacation. Please enjoy this recycled post.
Meat-Free Monday doesn’t have to involve a fancy recipe or a lot of work. Sometimes, it’s nice to just have a simple, throw together meal. Back in my single days, my favorite easy meal was what I called mixing bowl salad.
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like — a salad so big that it’s made and served in a mixing bowl.
Mixing bowl salad varies depending on mood, and the contents of the fridge, but (in addition to lettuce) can include any combo of the following:
- roasted red peppers
- fresh peppers
- left over veggies, quinoa or rice
- slivered almonds
- the broken bits from the bottom of a bag of tortilla chips
- crumbled hard boiled egg
- sun dried tomatoes
- dried cranberries
- sunflower seeds
My favorite dressing combo is some oil and vinegar mixed with a little sea salt, pepper, and tons of oregano.
The point is to make a salad that you can totally pig out on. I promise, you won’t miss the meat.
Posted on June 11, 2012
Now that summer weather is here, the last thing I want to do is heat up my kitchen by turning the oven on. My favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon is grilling up some veggies for the week. I slice a variety of veggies – usually yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant – toss them in a high heat friendly oil and throw them on the grill. I make a huge batch and cut them up for calabacitas, or leave them in long flat strips and layer them with cheese and sauce like a noodle-less lasagna.
It doesn’t get much easier to go meat-free.
Posted on May 7, 2012
We are not strangers to the wonders of rice and beans here at The Greenists. When it comes to meatless meals, it doesn’t get much more simple or inexpensive. Combined, rice and beans provide a complete protein as well as essential nutrients and soluble fiber. Plus, they’re easy to make and super yummy.
To take the stress off meal time, we’ve been making a big batch of rice and beans a few times a week and planning our meals around how we can dress them up. Calabacitas are my favorite addition and so easy to make.
I soak dried beans overnight. I do two packages at once and like to combine small red beans and pinto beans. I brown one chopped onion in olive oil in the bottom of a big pot and add the beans and water to cover them, bringing the whole thing to a hard boil for a few minutes. After boiling, I transfer them over to my crockpot and cook on high for four hours before taking it down to low for another three or four hours, until the beans are soft.
While the beans simmer in the crockpot, I add salt and spices like turmeric, cayenne pepper, chili powder and ground coriander, and a pinch of baking soda to “de-gas” them. I also add vinegar and 1/2 a bottle of (gluten-free) beer.
I know this sounds involved, but two bags of beans will last us most of the week, so a little bit of effort on a Sunday afternoon has a great payoff.
When the beans are close to done, I boil up a pot of rice, pre-heat the oven to 450 and get started on the calabacitas.
Posted on April 23, 2012
Whether you’re a hardcore vegan or you’re just the type who likes to mix it up and skip the meat every now and then, tempeh is where it’s at. Tempeh is made from soy, but unlike its trickier-to-get-right and often maligned cousin, tofu, it uses the whole soybean. It’s basically just fermented beans formed into a cake. To use, it can be crumbled, sliced or grilled like a patty. Like tofu, it takes well to marinades. The reasons to go with tempeh, however, are its superior texture (in my opinion; it’s not squishy like tofu) and its vastly superior nutritional profile: Tempeh, because it employs the whole bean, is loaded with both protein and fiber. Oh, and it tastes good. Read more…
Posted on April 2, 2012
I’m a big fan of my slow cooker. It’s so versatile and it’s the perfect tool to use to whip up a hearty, yet meatless batch of Red Beans & Rice for Meatless Monday! This is a zesty, healthy twist on the classic Red Beans & Rice dish, leaving out the sausage all together. The beauty of this is you dump in the ingredients and walk away. What could be better than that? It’s easy, and easy is good, especially on a week night! So let’s dig in for Meatless Monday
What You’ll Need:
1 cup of long grain brown rice (Note: You could use white rice if you wanted to, but brown is much healthier.)
2 cups of dried red kidney beans that have been soaked overnight
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of chives, chopped (Note: I used dried chives this go around, but you can use fresh as well.)
1-2 tablespoons Cajun or Creole Seasoning
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of sea salt (Note: Omit this if your seasoning contains salt.)
4 cups of water
In the bottom of your slow cooker spread the rice out in an even layer.
Next add the kidney beans on top of the rice.
After the kidney beans add the red onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and chives.
Sprinkle the seasoning, smoked paprika and salt evenly over the vegetables and rice and then cover with the water. (Remember to omit the salt if your seasoning already has salt in it.)
Cook on high for 4-5 hours until rice is done and beans are tender, or 5-6 hours on low.
Serve with hot sauce if desired. A nice side dish for this is Spicy Baked Chard. A slice of sour dough bread might be nice as well.
Notes: This recipe is Vegan as written. The possibilities with this recipe are endless. You can substitute black or pinto beans in place of the red. Haven’t got time to soak the beans or simply forgot? If that’s the case you can add in two cans of red beans about 30 minutes before servings so that they heat through. Sometimes I like to add in other vegetables to up the nutritional punch. Zucchini, squash and/or carrots are really great in this mix. If you really want to spice things up add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper on top of the Cajun or Creole seasoning, which I do often. Also you could add a vegetarian sausage if you prefer, but I like to use the smoked paprika for that sausage taste as I’ve never been a fan of the sausages used in Red Beans and Rice.
Posted on October 10, 2011
As soon as we start to get a chill in the air, I become a comfort food addict, and nothing hits the spot for me quite like a big bowl of noodle soup. This is one of my favorite quick meals. You can use single serving packets of noodles if you’re making a meal for one (I like Thai Kitchen Lemongrass & Chili), or make a batch of rice noodles and use vegetable broth if you want more servings and less packaging.
The secret to turning this simple soup into a meal is to add fresh, frozen, or canned veggies to dress up the noodles and broth. It’s a great way to use up appropriate leftovers. Sometimes when I’m making dinner, I chop up some extra veggies to save for soup for my lunch the next day.
Add adzuki beans, lentils, or TVP for protein. It’s such a filling and satisfying meal, that you won’t even miss the meat.
To add variety, I also mix and match ingredients like:
- Fresh basil
- Fresh cilantro
- Green peppers
- Fresh lime
- Bean sprouts
- Grated radish
- Fresh ginger
- Sriracha sauce
- Crushed red pepper
- Julienne cut string beans
- Bok choy
- Shredded cabbage