Taking part in meatless mondays is a great way to eat lighter, go “greener”, and even save money. Basically, it’s committing to no meat for one day every week. I am going one step further and trying some vegan foods. I’ll admit that I have a serious cheese addiction, but that I am not minding the vegan cheese. My favorite non-dairy substitutes are almond milk(any brand) and the Daiya brand vegan cheese – the shredded mozzarella or cheddar seem to melt the best. But whatever you try, start with small changes you can live with and over time you will keep what you like/what works best for you!
Here are a few of my favorite vegetarian recipes:
Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes – have picky kids? my kids and their friends absolutely love these!!!
Ingredients: 5 or 6 medium sized Baked Sweet Potatoes, 2 cups cooked Quinoa, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (like Siracha, Valentina, Tobasco, etc..), diced onion, minced garlic, and salt, pepper.
Start by baking your sweet potatoes in the over with the skins on for about 45 minutes to 1 hour – depending on size. The skins will peel right off with your fingers once they are cool enough to touch. Meanwhile, cook your quinoa based on the directions on the back of the packaging. Most brands call for 1 part quinoa to two parts water. Add the quinoa, sweet potatoe (without skins), worcestershire, hot sauce, onion, garlic, salt & pepper to a bowl and mix well, mashing the potatos well into the mixture. Form patties, then dredge through bread crumbs, flour, or corn flake crumbs. Add olive oil to your skillet and fry the patties until golden brown on each side. I like to serve with additional hot sauce.
Red Beans & Rice
Ingredients: 2 cups red kidney beans (dried), 3 bay leaves, 8 cups vegetable stock (or vegetable boullion), salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, 4 cloves garlic, 1 large white onion, and rice. Optional: fresh parsley and hot sauce for serving
The night before soak 2 cups red kidney beans in water, cover the beans with at least an inch of water. The next day drain and rinse the beans. Get started cooling this dish about 2.5 hours before you want to serve the meal. Add the vegetable stock or water and boullion cubes to beans in a large stock pot on the stove, along with the onion, cut into fourths, the garlic cloves(crushed or diced), salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and bay leaves – bring to a medium boil, stirring occasionally and making sure there is enough liquid in the pot. These will need to cook for several hours, you want the mixture to become thick, almost a gravy like substance.
Serve over rice, top with fresh parsley and serve with your favorite hot sauce.