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TIP OF THE DAY: Meatless Monday

veggie-burger-morningstar-230
A delicious veggie burger for Meatless
Monday. Photo courtesy Morningstar.
 

Meatless Monday is a global movement that began in 2003, launched in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It is now active in 34 countries and growing, with appeal to different constituencies:

  • Environmentally concerned citizens who want to cut back on the damage that raising animal crops does to the planet.
  • Nutrition advocates who aim for a diet lower in cholesterol, a harmful animal fat.
  • Vegetarians and vegans, who support ethical treatment of animals and want everyone to eat less (or no) meat.
  •  
    But it doesn’t go far enough. Eating “meatless” still allows the consumption of dairy products including cheese, which are part of the same cycle of environmental damage and cholesterol.

    Instead, go vegan. You don’t give up much more, and the options are equally delicious.

     

    Just a few examples:

  • Asian vegetarian dishes
  • Pasta Primavera
  • Portabella and other veggie burgers
  • Vegan lines like Field Roast’s delicious vegan meat products and Vegetarian Plus, gourmet vegan entrées
  • Vegan sushi
  • Vegan wrap sandwiches (recipes)
  •  
    Here’s a tasty family recipe from Hannah Kaminsky: vegan cheesesteaks.

    All you need are vegan cheese and vegan steak. Given the growth of top-quality vegan foods, that’s not hard to find.

    Hannah favors Daiya vegan cheese for the burger. “A pivotal player in the vegan cheese game,” she writes, “no other dairy-free shreds have achieved mainstream approval, initially making a splash back in 2009 as the very first meltable vegan cheese option.” Today, the company sells vegan slices that imitate the flavors of cheddar, Swiss and provolone.

     

    “These are not fine cheeses you’d want to eat plain, on a cracker or otherwise uncooked,” says Hannah. “Where they really come to life is under a hot broiler, melted down to gooey, creamy, and yes, stretchy sheets. Mild but with a pronounced tang and satisfying salty accent, they’re appropriately rich, imparting an addictive sort of fattiness upon any dish.”

    In her recipe, soy curls—available in natural foods stores—soaked in mushroom broth stand in for the steak, “tossed with lightly charred onions and roasted peppers, all smothered under a blanket of that prize-worthy provolone cheese. Altogether, it’s the kind of dish you could use to convert meat-lovers, cheese-lovers, and generally picky omnivores alike.”
     
    RECIPE: VEGAN CHEESECAKE

    Ingredients For 3 Sandwiches

  • 1-1/2 cups (about 2.8-3 ounces) dry soy curls
  • 1-1/2 cups mushroom broth
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup reserved mushroom broth
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 hoagie rolls, split and toasted
  • 9 slices provolone-style Daiya cheese
  •   vegan-cheesesteak-hannahkaminsky-230
    Vegan cheesesteak for Meatless Monday. Photo © Hannah Kaminsky.
     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the dry soy curls in a large bowl; cover with warm mushroom broth and let soak for 15-20 minutes, until the soy curls are fully re-hydrated and tender. Pour off (but reserve) any excess liquid.

    2. HEAT the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté, stirring often, until aromatic browned around the edges. Add the bell pepper, oregano and pepper and continue cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are wilted and soft; about 5 minutes.

    3. REDUCE the heat to low, sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir to coat. Gently pour in 1/4 cup of the reserved broth along with the soy sauce, bringing the mixture up to a simmer. After another two minutes, remove the pan from the heat.

    4. ASSEMBLE: Divide the soy curl filling between the three toasted rolls and lay three provolone slices on top of each. Run them all under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is perfectly melted and gooey all over. Dig in immediately!
      




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