Meatless Mondays

by Khushboo on December 5, 2011

Ever notice how the speed of each week tends to be: Monday…Tuesday….Wednesday…Thursday…FridaySaturdaySunday! Another weekend gone in the blink of an eye and another Monday yet upon us.

As someone who has grown up always eating vegetarian on Mondays due to religious reasons, I’m loving the idea that the international campaign “Meatless Mondays” is rapidly growing in popularity across the world .  The premise behind this is cutting out meat one day a week .  Why Monday?

A)     The alliteration has a nice ring to it ;) ; and

B)      Monday is the beginning of the week – the start over point where you’re moving on from the previous week’s events and the weekend.  In other words, Monday is a clean slate.

Although I am a carnivore and see the benefits of following a non-veg diet, I tend to opt for vegetarian meals more often than not.  Whether you eat meat every day or not, I don’t knock it at all: different strokes for different folks!  However I do think there are so many valid reasons to consider eating vegetarian meals a couple of times a week:

  • Environmental: Between raising livestock, transporting fuel, and greenhouse gas emissions of meat production, Meatless Monday can help reduce our ecological footprint.
  • Health: Slashing our intake of meat also slashes the risk of health diseases like colon cancer, diabetes,  heart disease,  atherosclerosis, and obesity.  And let’s be honest, the basis of many vegetarian meals are vegetables, which are *ding ding ding* a powerhouse of nutrients.
  • Economical: As long as you’re not downing truffles, ever notice how the vegetarian dishes on the menu tend to be relatively cheaper than those containing meat?  Unless you’re completely unbothered about the source and quality of meat, it is a relatively expensive ingredient.
  • Ethical: Everyone deserves a day off…even animals.  I am generally not a fan of pets but at the same time, reading about animal cruelty is heart-breaking.  While ignorance is bliss and it’s easier to turn a blind eye, we can’t pretend that animal slaughtering doesn’t exist.

  • Ease: Following a vegetarian meal is easy…easier than cooking meat and trying to establish whether it is fully cooked or if it’s okay to consume past its expiry date.  And for those who argue that it’s difficult to eat enough protein with a vegetarian meal, here’s a recipe to for a Warm Quinoa Salad to help you out.

As much as I enjoy the texture of quinoa and appreciate just how much a superfood it is, cooking it used to intimidate me.  After last week’s batch, I’ve realized the key to fluffy quinoa:

  1. Quinoa to water ratio has to be exact: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water
  2. Once the water starts to boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat so to allow the quinoa to simmer. Don’t be tempted to mix it around or add more water and within 12-15 mins, your perfectly fluffy quinoa is ready.

And an added bonus for fellow volume eaters: a small dry quantity of quinoa expands like no other!

Warm Quinoa Salad - serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Veg broth
  • Green Beans, chopped
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Sweet corn
  • Yellow peppers, sliced
  • Onions, chopped
  • 1 cup Kidney beans
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • 2 tspns Cumin
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Combine the veg broth and quinoa in a pot and set over medium heat.  Bring to boil and then allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, sauté the green beans and broccoli in a heated skillet.  After 2  minutes, add in the mushrooms, peppers and sweet corn and cook for a further minute or 2.
  3. Remove the veggies and re-spray/oil the skillet. Sauté the onions till translucent, and then add in the cooked quinoa, the sautéed veg, cherry tomatoes and kidney beans.  
  4. Season the quinoa mix with cumin and salt and stir until well-combined.
  5. Towards the end, mix in the goat cheese crumbles
  6. Serve & enjoy!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra December 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Wow what a delicious recipe! I’m a carnivore too haha but ya gotta love the quinoa ;)

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goodformegirl December 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I have never seen the speed of the week more aptly described :-)

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset December 5, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Nommm quinoa… it is so so good for you and provides plenty of essential nutrients :) Great idea for this!

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jojo December 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

I love quinoa too!
It feels like you are eating pasta or rice (not exactly but sort of) but it has more nutrients and proteins!! Can’t get much better than that :D

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Khushboo Thadani December 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

Seriously–> it ticks all the boxes!

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Gayatri December 6, 2011 at 3:35 am

Must try this recipe. It looks delicious and packed with nutrients. Quinoa intimidates me too. In fact I’ve messed up so many decent recipes because I didn’t cook it correctly. Will try your method next time.

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Khushboo Thadani December 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

Yes please try–> i went through a long period of either overcooking it till mush or it still being crunchy! Thank goodness those days and long gone :D

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) December 6, 2011 at 5:03 am

I love the fact that meatless mondays are becoming more popular, even just from a health and environmental point of view it’s really great to see plant-based diets getting a good rap for once.

I also LOVE this recipe! Warm quinoa salads are my favourite, I just did a post about one too! Definitely picking up some sweetcorn and mushrooms to try this out tomorrow.

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Khushboo Thadani December 7, 2011 at 11:44 am

Let me know if you try it out- I’m sure you can substitute the goat cheese for some vegan cheese!…or even forego it completely!

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Snapshots of Happiness December 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Your quinoa sounds absolutely delicious! Nom Nom Nom.

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Ameena December 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm

We went from eating meat every day to not eating it at all (me) and maybe 1-2 days a week for Ali and Maya. Love that so many people have been trying to go meatless for environmental reasons as well! And the quinoa looks delicious.

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Khushboo Thadani December 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

Ah I didn’t realise you were veg! It really is about a change of taste buds- I grew up eating SO much non-veg and used to dread Mondays and the though of being forced to eat veg all day!

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Parita @ myinnershakti December 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I absolutely love quinoa, especially because of all the protein!

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Tara December 7, 2011 at 2:03 am

I appreciate when non-veg eat veg on Monday’s. It shows that they are and don’t see vegetarians as some kind of rare species, plus there are many benefits! Love the quinoa too. It’s one of my favorite foods!

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Khushboo Thadani December 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

I don’t see why people make a big deal about vegetarians–> it’s really not so difficult a diet to follow especially in today’s day and age: the options are huge!

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Simply Life December 7, 2011 at 5:32 am

love this idea- quinoa is one of my favorite grains!

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Errign December 7, 2011 at 7:09 am

Love the speed of the week :)

I love to do meatless days even though, I too am a carnivore.

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Maneka Chotirmall December 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

This is definitely a recipe I want to replicate! Love the addition of goat cheese->my favourite :) Do you know if you get quinoa in Mumbai?

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Khushboo Thadani December 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

I don’t think so…yes I’m “posh” and bring back from London ;) ! hahah

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