Going Vegetarian (only once a week)

Meatless Mondays have really taken off in the last few years. Going vegetarian for one day a week traditionally started during World War I as a means of encouraging rationing  of key staples in order to help the war effort. But 7 decades later, “Meatless Mondays” have become a worldwide movement to encourage healthy and sustainable eating. My office cafeteria has started promoting Meatless Mondays with some unique (and delicious!) vegetarian options; no meat, anywhere in sight.

Since last summer (and despite the name of this blog), I’ve been trying to keep up with weekly Meatless Mondays as a way of cleansing/eating healthy especially after typical overindulgence on weekends (I can’t be the only one). In my quest to learn tasty and healthy vegetarian cooking, I’ve found 2 recipes that I absolutely love and would like to share with you today. You know, in case you too get inspired to save a chicken or cow on Mondays…

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie:

Shepherd's Pie, via Simply Recipes. It's easy to make this vegetarian!

Shepherd’s Pie, via Simply Recipes. It’s easy to make this vegetarian!

Ingredients:

1.5-2lbs potatoes (I like the red skinned ones)

Fresh chives

1 can of peas

1 can of whole corn kernels

2-3 peppers (I prefer yellow and orange)

1 large Spanish onion

2 field tomatoes

Garlic salt

Milk (to taste for mashed potatoes)

2 tbsp butter

Yves Ground Round (available at most major grocery stores, by the tofu)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Peel and dice potatoes (I leave the skins on when I use red potatoes), placing them in a boiling pot of water
  3. While potatoes cook, dice peppers, tomatoes, onion and chives
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, mash together along with the butter and milk (put as much or as little as you like, depending on how mashed you want them to be). Add chives and garlic salt to taste
  5. In a large pan, saute the onions and peppers until they begin to crisp up slightly. Add peas and corn kernels, and continue mixing.
  6. When all veggies are cooked but still crunchy, add the tomatoes and the package of Ground Round. Continue mixing until the Ground Round breaks apart and begins to sizzle
  7. In a casserole dish, evenly add a layer the ground round + veggie mixtures. Add an evenly-distributed layer of the mashed potatoes on top, making peaks throughout using a fork
  8. Place in oven for 25-35 minutes, or until mashed potato peaks begin to brown

And there it is! Easy Shepherd’s pie that tastes great, is home-cooked and healthy, and fills you up like no other. And, there are minimal dishes involved (always a plus)!

Quinoa-stuffed Peppers:

(recipe slightly modified, from Taste of Home)

Quinoa and peppers make for a delicious, meatless dish! Via Taste of Home.

Quinoa and peppers make for a delicious, meatless dish! Via Taste of Home.

Ingredients:

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
1/4 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
each medium sweet red, yellow and orange peppers
4 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons sunflower kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the broth, water and bay leaf to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Discard bay leaf.
  2. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and discard seeds. In a large kettle, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse in cold water; invert onto paper towels.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the carrots and onions in oil until tender. Add the quinoa, sunflower kernels and seasonings; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through. Spoon into pepper halves. Place in a baking pan coated with cooking spray, ensuring that the peppers don’t touch each other. Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 20-25 minutes or until peppers are tender. 

Delicious and easy, this recipe works very well with a side salad. It’s a light dinner or lunch option that utilizes those spices most recipes don’t call for, and also has quinoa as a main component (remember how much I love quinoa!)

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2 thoughts on “Going Vegetarian (only once a week)

  1. I can vouch for the Shepherd’s Pie! And it was super easy to make…well it looked easy…since you made it while I sat there drinking wine… Also, I almost “typoed” and put Sheppard’s Pie…

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