I love writing Meatless Monday posts. Every Sunday I allow myself a few moments to think back, and along with the recipes and dishes, warm memories float into my mind. I grew up with weekly extended family dinners, all twenty of us together, and so family dinners are important to me and I cherish the memories.
Something else I cherish are the many different cuisines I have been exposed to throughout my life. A combination of Mediterranean and North American foods were the basis of my diet as a child, but there was no shortage of ethnic restaurants in the border-city where I spent the first 20 years of my life. Indian, Ethiopian, Arabic, and Vietnamese restaurants scatter the streets, amongst many others, which made for an exciting culinary experience.
When I moved away to a teeny tiny little village in Central Ontario, Chinese food was the extent of the local cuisine, and so I learned to make many dishes at home. For the new few weeks I plan to take a little trip around the world and share some of my favorite vegetarian dishes from a variety of cuisines that I have made at home.
This week, I wanted to start with some delicious Ethiopian recipes. Ethiopian food is spicy, full of flavor, and literally saucy. The best part is the Injera, a wheat-free pancake-like bread (traditionally made with teff flour) that is served with the meals. All you need to start is a spice mix called Berbere. Don’t be intimidated, if you are missing an ingredient it will still taste great! Be sure to serve a fresh salad with the meal, it’s nice to have a bite of something fresh mixed in with all of the yummy flavors.
Injera Sourdough FlatBread (with Teff Flour) ~ Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté
Berbere Spice Mix ~ Veggie Belly
Ethiopian Sweet Potato Stew ~ Vegan Dad
Misr Wot (Lentil Stew) ~ Saveur
Gomen (Ethiopian greens) ~ Goodness of Food, From me to you
Bamya Alicha (Okra) ~ The Vegan Chickpea
Roasted Tomato, Olive, and Lemon Linguine ~ Daily Unadventures in Cooking
Dinner time in my home is usually quite chaotic, despite my best efforts. I feed a total of six people every night, my own little family, and my parents who are living with us. It is tough to please everyone and keep costs relatively low, so I often opt for a quick and simple pasta dish to fill everyone up and keep tastebuds happy.
Although we are not gluten-free around here, I try to limit how much gluten we consume when possible. Instead of white pasta or whole wheat (which my kids refuse to eat) I buy Rizopia brown rice pasta, it is a bit more expensive than white pasta, but I usually stock up when it’s on sale!
I have served this pasta to many different people, and the verdict is always the same – it takes exactly like white pasta, and often times people think it’s homemade! The trick with this pasta is to separate it right away and stir it quite a bit for the first few minutes to break it up, it is very starchy. My other recommendation is to rinse the pasta, which I would never do with regular pasta. (It also gets pretty mushy when it’s leftover and I’d love if anyone had a tip to avoid this).
For this weeks Meatless Monday recipe round up, I thought I would share some tasty vegetarian pasta dishes that can feed a crowd. I picked ones that I make variations of regularly, some have dairy and some are dairy-free. Many “cheesy” type pasta recipes that are healthy feature Nutritional Yeast, and I have learned the hard way that I have a severe sensitivity to it and am a bit concerned my kids may too, so I don’t cook with it. But I would recommend substituting the cheese with Nutritional Yeast if you can eat it, as it is extremely delicious.
(Note: This is not a sponsored post!)
Orecchiette with Mushrooms ~ Girls Gone Child
Parsley Pesto with Sundried Tomatoes ~ Elana’s Pantry
Baked Ziti w/ Spinach ~ Skinny Taste
Cacio e pepe ~ We Are Never Full
Spinach Kale Pesto ~ Cooking On The Weekends
Gnocchi di Zucca (Baked Pumpkin Dumplings) ~ Organic Tuscany Cookbook
Autumn has arrived in full force in my small Ontario city, and Hallowe’en is just around the corner. Pumpkins are growing abundantly on my property, and I am always happy to accommodate this by cooking up great sweet and savory pumpkin dishes.
The savory dishes can be a challenge. We are all so ingrained with the idea that pumpkin must equal pumpkin pie flavors that it can really test our palettes to eat it in other dishes. This is a shame because yes, it is flavorful, but it is also full of vitamins, and is low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat.
Give at least one of these pumpkin dishes a try today for Meatless Monday, and you’ll be converted! (As usual, the recipes using dairy can easily be converted to dairy-free!)
Pumpkin Risotto ~ Yummy Vegan
Pumpkin & Tofu Curry ~ Peas and Thank You
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta ~ The Motherload
Pumpkin & Cheese Patties ~ Witches Kitchen
Crusted Pumpkin Wedges ~ Proud Italian Cook
Black Chickpea Raw Hummus ~ My Sugar Is Raw
This week is going to be an interesting experiment for me, as I’ve signed up to participate in Tera Warner‘s 7 Day Raw Food Detox. I really like her take on detoxing. She teaches you about transforming your thoughts on food, and the importance of giving your body a much needed break.
She seems to have a balanced approach that is realistic and attainable to anyone willing to give the challenge a try. (Even using the word challenge goes against what she represents in my opinion.)
I will be eating plenty of raw fruits and veggies this week so I thought that for this weeks Meatless Monday post, I would round-up some raw vegan dishes that I can incorporate into my diet once my detox is over. Raw food recipes often intimidate me and to be honest, don’t always appeal to me visually, but these look like recipes that I would like to tackle.
(If you are feeding little ones, check out this resource from Warner’s blog sharing Raw Foods your children will love!)
Raw Vegan Lasagna Rolls ~ Rawmazing
Mediterranean Dolma w/ Green Tahini Sauce ~ Raw Food Recipes
Raw Seed Bread ~ Loving It Raw
Organic Stuffed Curry Mushroom Caps ~ G Living
No Oil Pesto ~ Gone Raw
Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Wild Rice Stuffing ~ Chow
I’ve mentioned before that Autumn is my favorite season. I love the change of every season, but I enjoy it even more when it involves bright Red Maple leaves falling from trees, cozy cardigans, and warm soups and pot pies.
Right around the time the leaves are beginning to fall rapidly, in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving. Much earlier than in America, our Thanksgiving lands on the second Monday of October.
Having a Meatless Monday will be tricky for those who look forward to a turkey every year, but today I am including some yummy vegetarian recipes that will work as side dishes or mains.
Enjoy planning your veggie-filled Thanksgiving!
Herb & Spice Roasted Veggies w/ Red Wine & Gravy ~ Picky Cook
Vegetarian Stuffing & Gravy ~ Girls Gone Child
Cranberry Sauce ~ Easy Vegan Meals
High Protein Garlic Mashed Potatoes ~ Oh She Glows
Carmalized Onion Gravy w/ Roasted Snap Peas & Green Beans ~ Sweet Beet & Green Bean
Easy Sweet Potato & Chickpea Spread ~ She Let Them Eat Cake
I LOVE sweet potatoes. They are versatile and it is super easy to sneak them into other foods to kick up the nutritional content a notch . They are jampacked with goodies such as vitamin C, manganese, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
Not only are they healthy, but they can add creaminess and richness to a dish that might only come from somewhere in the dairy family otherwise. Often times I will roast a sweet potato or two, mash them, and add them to a variety of dishes including – risotto for creaminess, soups and stews as a thickener, pot pies, pastas, etc… The possibilities are endless.
Last weeks Meatless Monday post featured a variety of Autumn-Inspired dishes, and this week I plan to keep the momentum going with the sweet potato. Though I use it year round, it definitely seems like appropriate timing to feature it, with the Canadian Thanksgiving just around the corner.
Below (and above) is a round-up of my favourite dishes made using sweet potato as its star ingredient!
Sweet Potatoes Mash ~ Healthy Happy Life
Cauliflower Sweet Potato Latkes ~ The Family Dinner
Sweet Potato Stacks ~ Smorgasbite
Sweet Potato Salad ~ Exclusively Food
Vegan Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas ~ Choosing Raw