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:
- Quinoa to water ratio has to be exact: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Season the quinoa mix with cumin and salt and stir until well-combined.
- Towards the end, mix in the goat cheese crumbles
- Serve & enjoy!