Meatless Mondays is a campaign that began in 2003 by Sid Lerner, founder of the Mondays Campaigns, in association with the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. I don’t practice Meatless Mondays, but I do try and eat meatless at least once or twice a week. I know that plant-based diets are healthier and I actually enjoy exploring vegetarian recipes and broadening my horizon. Let’s dive into a few of my favorite vegetarian recipes!
Winter Vegetable Couscous
My girls have always loved the winter vegetable couscous I learned to make in France. It is comfort food for them and since it makes a large quantity, it is easy to share. It’s almost more of a grocery list than a recipe but it is so good. The smell of all of those veggies simmering together with the warm spices is a sure cure for the winter blues.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
- 1 medium turnip, peeled & cubed
- 3 medium white potatoes, peeled & cubed
- 1 bunch green onions or 1 small white onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small parsnip, peeled & cubed
- ½ head of small cabbage, chopped
- 2 small zuchinni, cubed
- 12-15 baby carrots, ½ inch slices
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 1 carton chicken broth
Put all the ingredients in a Dutch oven or crockpot. Add water to the top (3-4 cups). Simmer overnight or all day on low.
30 minutes before serving, add 2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Serve over steamed couscous.
I like to add butternut squash to mine, if there’s room in the pot. I also like to add raisins to my couscous when it steams, but I’m the only one in the family who likes it that way.
Baked Feta Pasta
Another great recipe that has become famous thanks to Tik Tok and the internet is Baked Feta Pasta. Apparently it was started by a Finnish blogger and has become so popular that it’s hard to find blocks of feta. I couldn’t find any blocks this past week, so I just piled the crumbles up and pressed them down. It works just as well!
Here are a few hints to making this dish. Use a small baking dish that fits the tomatoes and feta. I used a 9 x 12 pan and it worked fine. Use full fat feta cheese. Look for sweet cherry tomatoes. This would probably be a great summer dish with cherry tomatoes from the garden or farmers market. Use pasta with ridges or grooves to grab all that cheesy sauce. I had bowtie pasta in the pantry and it was a great sauce catcher. Add fresh basil before serving. Don’t add salt – the feta cheese is already salty.
- 8 oz block feta cheese or an equal amount of crumbles pressed together
- 16 oz (2 pts) sweet cherry tomatoes
- 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
- 8-16 oz pasta, cooked (reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water)
Toss cherry tomatoes with ¼ cup olive oil in the pan and stir in chopped garlic. Place block of feta cheese in the middle. Pour remaining ½ cup of olive oil over the feta, then top with seasonings and spices. Bake 25-35 minutes. Mash feta and tomatoes and add the cooked pasta and keep stirring until the pasta is well coated. Mix in some pasta water if it seems dry. Top with chopped basil.
Best Pizza Ever?
Another great meatless recipe I really enjoy is one that my good friend (and editor) Ginger recently told me about. She said it was the best pizza she and her husband had ever had, which is a pretty stellar recommendation. It is Chrissy Tiegen’s recipe for Garlicky Roasted Squash and Ricotta Pizza. It is very, very good and I do love ricotta on a pizza.
I have a couple minor suggestions to Tiegen’s recipe. You might use oven roasted garlic rather than the garlic cooked in oil. I think I could control the “doneness” of the garlic a little bit better. Full disclosure, I also used cooked butternut squash cubes rather than the recommended delicata squash since I couldn’t find any delicata. I don’t think the quality of the pizza suffered one bit from my switch out.
Check out Tiegen’s cookbooks (included in my list below) for more of her fabulous recipes. I’ve also listed other cookbooks I recommend that are vegetarian or at least have lots of meatless options. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!