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)
I’m excited to share a new lunchtime creation: Avocado, Tomato & Cucumber Round. This was my first year growing an organic garden and I can not believe how many vegetables we are harvesting. So fresh from the garden today I decided to use some of our tomato and cucumber! This sandwich is healthy, delicious and light!
INGREDIENTS CHIVE SPREAD:
1/4 CUP VEGENAISE OR GREEK YOGURT OR MAYONNAISE (OR 2 TBS OF EACH)
1 TABLESPOON FINELY CHOPPED FRESH CHIVES
SALT AND PEPPER, TO TASTE
1 AVOCADO, PEELED, PITTED AND DICED
1 TOMATO, CORED AND CHOPPED
1 CUCUMBER, PEELED, SEEDED AND DICED
SQUEEZE OF LIME JUICE
2 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO
4 SLICES OF ARNOLDS WHOLE WHEAT SANDWICH THINS
1/4 CUP ALFALFA SPROUTS
To Make the Chive Spread: In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To Make the Avocado Salad: In a medium bowl, gently toss together the avocado, tomato, cucumber, lime juice and basil or cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
To Assemble: Spread the chive-yogurt mixture on all four round slices. Divide the sprouts between two slices of bread, and top with avocado salad. Cover with the remaining slices of bread.
Happy Monday! Today I decided to try something new and break away from our traditional morning Superfood Smoothie. This smoothie is packed with antioxidants and is delicious. Give it a try and see what you think. Kid tested and KID FRIENDLY!
1.5 cups combined organic frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
1.5 cups organic spinach
1 whole banana (peeled)
1 to 2 tbs flax or chia seed
1 cup water
I decided to introduce GREEN back into our daily afternoon snack, today’s choice: ROMAINE LETTUCE. For those of you who aren’t familiar, romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. Romaine lettuce is also a very good source of dietary fiber and 4 minerals. In order to keep the romaine from being too overbearing in taste I added an array of yummy fruit. If you are having trouble getting your kids to drink something GREEN, how about naming your drink something fun, like THE GREEN HULK. Use your creativity. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will change your child’s perception.
Also included in today’s smoothie were my new favorite Chia Seeds. I use The Chia Co. Chia Seeds are the richest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants.
This smoothie is smooth in taste and KID FRIENDLY.
2 large leaves of organic romaine
2 ripe bananas, peeled
1 organic orange, peeled and seeded
1/2 pineapple cored (can add more pineapple to increase sweetness)
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice
1-2 tbs black chia seeds
Today I was craving something fresh but not too sweet and decided to try a new combination. The Kiwi Watermelon Smoothie was just what I was looking for and is packed full of great nutrients. Kid tested and KID FRIENDLY!
I was intrigued by the use of both basil & lemon in the Frosty Basil Lemonade so decided to give it a try. Basil herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, Iron & flavonoids. Lemon has been known to clear the digestive system and purify the liver. This drink is light & refreshing!
3 cups (720 ml) water
1.5 lemons, peeled, halved, seeded
1/4 cup (50g) sugar or sweetener of choice*
1/2 cup (20g) fresh basil leaves
1 cup (240ml) ice cubes
*I tried to go light on the sugar and decided to add the full amount.
Asparagus Sauté is a healthy, quick, & easy recipe. I cooked this and served it over Quinoa. Quinoa is a grain and is a great replacement to rice. It is protein packed and rich in antioxidants.
2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1tbsp olive oil.
1 cup cooked Quinoa
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. And in vegetables.
Cover and cook until asparagus is bright green and still crisp (3-5 mins)
Uncover and increase heat. Cook until spears are tender and slightly browned (5-7 minutes).
Back in the days of eating meat, meatloaf was a staple in our household. In an effort to try and stick with familiar dishes, I decided to give this veggie meat-free loaf a try. It is surprising just how familiar the texture & taste is to a real meatloaf, tastier and healthier! This does take some prep time in the kitchen, so plan accordingly. It’s well worth the time invested. Quinoa is main ingredient in this dish. Quinoa is rich in protein & antioxidants. This is also a gluten-free dish. KID FRIENDLY! I served the meatloaf w/ mashed potatoes and broccoli.
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (I chopped mine in the Vitamix)
2 celery stalks, washed and shredded (I chopped mine in Vitamix)
1 c coarsely chopped brown mushrooms (I chopped mine in Vitamix)
1 c cooked quinoa
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup (I use Heinz Organic)
*I also used additional ketchup on the outside of the loaf..just a family tradition of ours.
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease a standard 8-inch loaf pan and set aside
Mash black beans in a large bowl and combine all ingredients until even
Transfer to a prepared pan and pat down firmly (shaped mine into a loaf)
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hours, until firm and brown on the outside.
Allow the loaf to cool and firm up before serving, about 15-20 minutes