Monday, August 9, 2010

Meatless Mondays

There's a good piece on NPR today about Meatless Mondays here. Unless you're already stricter than that, I think it's a great idea. Whether you're concerned about your health, the environment, your budget, or your waistline, eating a bit less meat is bound to help.

I find that the trick is to make meals where you just don't miss the meat. For example, make a big salad, or breakfast for dinner (minus the bacon, if you can bear it). Vegetable curry, or pasta primavera, or pad thai with tofu make great Monday night dinners.

Tonight, I made rice and beans to celebrate finding fresh tortillas (and with them, the location of the mysterious missing Baltimore Mexicans!) and peach salsa to celebrate the bounty of peaches right now. Add a little sour cream and some cheese, and boy, what a delicious meal!

Beans:
Either cook some dried beans according to package directions, or rinse a can of black beans. Heat up a skillet with a little bit of oil, and add the cooked, drained, rinsed beans. As they heat, start mashing them up and slowly stirring. You can add a little oil or broth or water to thin them if they're thicker than you like. I like to top mine with some sour cream and cheese, but that's being decadent. :-)

Rice:
In a pan, heat a little oil. Toast 1 cup of long grain white rice for a few minutes in the oil. Then add some stock (I used chicken, I know it's meatless Monday but I didn't have veggie on hand!) or water. Add onions, diced jalepenos if you like, and some of this glorious amazingness (which is sadly not gluten free):

Then simmer for about 20 minutes. Toss in tomatoes a few minutes from the end if you like. I also added some frozen corn.


Peach Salsa:
From "Real Food Has Curves".

FRESH PEACH SALSA
There are no tomatoes here, just sweet peaches. Tomatoes are firmer and almost meatier; by contrast, peaches offer a luxurious richness. That said, if you can’t find a good peach, go for plums, apricots, or nectarines. Try this easy salsa on top of a baked potato with a dollop of sour cream or alongside some rotisseried chicken picked up at the market. Keep connecting the taste of those peaches to pleasure in your brain.
1½ pounds ripe medium peaches, pitted and diced (about 4 or 5 peaches)
Up to 1 medium fresh jalapeƑo chile, seeded and minced
½ cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced (see Note)
½ cup red onion, diced
3 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves, 2½ tablespoons stemmed thyme leaves, or 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
Stir everything together in a serving bowl. If you want to make the salsa ahead of time, omit the salt and store the mixture, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days. Salt will leach liquid from the mixture, turning it watery during storage—so stir in the salt at the last minute.
Note: To seed and core a bell pepper, stand it up on your cutting board with the stem end facing up. Holding the stem, use a large knife to slice one side off the pepper, leaving the seeds attached to the core. Continue making more slices around the pepper, always leaving the seeds and core intact. Once all the wedges have been removed around the pepper, slice off any white membranes on their insides, discard the core, and prepare the pepper as directed in the recipe.



MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Available on the Internet here! Thanks, Amazon. 

1 comment:

  1. I def add the water, and also highly recommend a couple sprinkles of cumin when heating/mashing beans like that. I often skip the extra step and use a can of refried, then add water and cumin to make them super awesome.

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