Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday…have you heard of it? Meatless Monday is a movement that was created to encourage individuals to take a look at their diet and cut out meat, one day a week. According to Meatless Monday going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. If you do eat meat on other days, Meatless Monday strongly recommends grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.

I would like to express that I have no intention of pushing any of my readers to be completely meat free, as I do have the mindset of “all things in moderation.” If you haven’t heard of this wonderful movement, I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.meatlessmonday.com.

Meatless Monday was a big motivator when I was first venturing into the “meat free” territory of cooking. It’s amazing how starting out one night a week “meat free” led to our whole week of dinners being “meat free” and now it’s just a way of life!

So, what are you having for dinner tonight? I will be cooking up my Extra Easy Spinach Lasagna! (click on the blue to be linked directly to recipe)

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

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Quinoa-Feta Burgers

I am excited to share one of my new “favorites” in Vegetarian dishes.  This recipe was found in one of my favorite magazines, Whole Living.  The June edition has a great spread called “Grill Talk” with delicious and healthy alternatives to beef.  This truly is a fantastic tasting burger and is packed with nutrients, protein and fiber.  I do hope you will give it a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 whole-wheat buns, grilled ( I used Arnold’s Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins)
  • Whole-grain mustard, for serving
  • Grilled onions, for serving (*see tip below)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mash beans into a thick paste and mix in shallot, carrot, quinoa, parsley, feta, salt, and egg whites.
  2. Form mixture into six patties and chill 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, directly on grill grates or on stove top, and cook patties until golden (add remaining tablespoon oil if cooking in batches), 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  4. Serve on buns with mustard, grilled onions, and romaine. (I served mine on Arnold’s Sandwich Thins)

*For grilled onions, drizzle slices with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill over medium-high heat, turning, until tender and charred, 6 to 8 minutes.

 Yield:  6

Extra-Easy Spinach Lasagna

I am always in search of ways to include the “SUPERFOOD” Spinach into our meals.  Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6, all offering many health benefits.  This spinach lasagna packed a delicious flavor and best of all, my kids LOVED it.    Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (15 ounce) container fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2% organic)
  • 3 cups Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara Sauce (use sauce of your choice)
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup water
Directions
  1. Mix ricotta cheese, spinach and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  2. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles and half the spinach mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining pasta sauce. Slowly pour water around inside edges of baking dish. Cover.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes Uncover. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes.

Yield: 8

Honey Dijon Chicken

Okay Omnivores, this recipe is just for you.  I decided to cook up one of our old family recipes that frequented the dinner rotation when we consumed meat on a regular basis.  This is KID FRIENDLY, healthy & delicious.  Enjoy.

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 tbsp each Dijon mustard and lemon juice
1 large shallot, minced (or 1 tbsp minced onions)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breast halves
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tsp each honey and cornstarch
*I doubled the above except for the chicken b/c we like things  extra saucy.

Directions
Combine apple juice, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, shallot, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken breast and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.  Add apple juice mixture.  Reduce heat to medium.  simmer, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Gently boil remaining liquid for 3 minutes, until slightly reduced in volume.  Mix sour cream, honey, and cornstarch in a small bowl.  Add to skillet.  Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and has thickened.  Pour sauce over warm chicken and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings