Meatless Monday: Flavorful Fall Recipes

FROM MEATLESS MONDAY: “It’s officially fall! And the perfect time for apple picking, visiting the pumpkin patch and exploring the local farmers’ markets for seasonal vegetables, like broccoli and eggplant. Trying new meatless recipes is a great way to utilize all of the ripe fruits and vegetables coming into season. We’ve gathered delicious plant-based recipes from our Meatless Monday bloggers and influencers featuring fall produce. Enjoy the hearty tastes of fall!”

Hope you find something here that appeals, even if it’s not autumn where you live!                  ~Becky

Eggplant Cannelloni with Wilted Spinach and Ricotta — Reblog for Meatless Monday

It’s all about improvising when looking for healthier alternatives! This is a perfect dish to include for vegetarian options or if you are trying to cut back on wheat. It couldn’t be any easier than with beautifully, char-grilled eggplant to form the ‘tubes’ for a light and fresh, ricotta and spinach filling. Finally top with […] […]

via Eggplant Cannelloni with wilted spinach and ricotta — poach me quick – healthy recipes | nutrition — My Meals are on Wheels

NOTE: I rarely use recipes exactly the way they’re presented and often tweak a bit. With this one, I baked the thin eggplant slices at 400 degrees with lots of olive oil until tender. For the spinach, I just barely blanched in hot water and didn’t mix in with the ricotta mixture, assembling separately. Either way, hope you enjoy!     ~Becky

Favas are My Fave: Meatless Monday or Any Day!

Cooking vegetarian usually requires exploration of various legumes, like beans, peas, nuts and lentils. One of my absolute favorites is the fava bean, which goes by various names, including broad bean. Research says that these may be found fresh, canned, frozen, and dried and in various colors.

Favas are packed with protein, fiber and iron. The texture is somewhat creamy or buttery, and the flavor is earthy and nutty, making them a great choice for eating in both warm and cold dishes!

At this point, I’ve only used the brown ones and in the dried form. Sometimes they’re challenging to find, depending on the shopping options. On occasion, I order then online, and those that have already been blanched and peeled (such as Bob’s Red Mill) save a great deal of time. I don’t cook them for nearly as long as the package suggests. If you want to peel your own, check out this video of French chef, Jacques Pepin, showing you an easy method.

Favas pair nicely with asparagus and tomatoes, and I’ve come up with a ‘recipe’ of sorts with various options. This can be eaten warm or cold, but I think that the flavors tend to intensify a bit after it has been refrigerated.

Fave Fava Salad

INGREDIENTS and METHODS:

Fava beans, blanched and peeled (optional additions: cooked or canned garbanzos/frozen green peas, simply rinsed in cool water)

Asparagus, blanched or steamed and cut into bite-sized lengths (although longer spears add visual appeal)

Tomatoes, sliced or diced; halved if using cherry tomatoes

Scallions/green onions, thinly sliced (white and green portions), chives (snipped),or garlic (minced); garlic may be cooked with the beans, if you wish

Seasonings: choose from mint, tarragon, dill, salt, pepper

Option: place the above mixture over a bed of spring mix lettuce, arugula, spinach or baby kale

Heartier version: add cooked and cooled orzo pasta or couscous

Cheese additions, such as Parmesan, Feta, Pecorino, or your favorite vegan cheese

Dressing choices: olive oil whisked with lemon juice or a balsamic vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar, oil, and a touch of sweetener

NOTES: When preparing the beans and asparagus, be careful to avoid overcooking and letting them become too soft, especially if you plan to eat this chilled. Ingredient amounts are totally up to you, depending on the end quantity, flavors and the look desired.

If you haven’t sampled them before, I hope that you’ll give favas a try. Let me know what you think!     ~Becky

 

 

Celebrate Internationally with Meatless Monday!

 

Plan ahead for Monday, December 10! Meatless Monday is partnering with Slow Food to celebrate their annual Terra Madre Day with a Meatless Monday meal. Take part in an international day of celebration by cooking up a plant-based dish and sharing it on Meatless Monday with family, friends, and colleagues. Click on this link for all the details!

Meatless Monday: Tomato Onion Tart with Olive Oil Crust

This recipe from Marcy Gaston (MS, RD, LN) at Food and Nutrition Magazine looks so yummy…you may want to give it a try! She blogs at cookingsustainably.com  ~Becky

A fully baked Tomato Onion Tart with Olive Oil Crust shot from above.

Photo: Marcy Gaston, MS, RD, LN

Looking for another way to eat tomatoes since they’re in season and ready to be served? Of course, you can always opt for the classic BLT. Heck, I like bacon as much as the next person, but sometimes you need to give tomatoes a holiday from bacon (or vice versa). This is also a perfect recipe for a brunch or light dinner.  It isn’t heavy and if served with a nice salad, it will make a complete meal.

The catch? You have to use fresh, ripe tomatoes. You know those heirloom varieties sold at the farmer’s market? Yeah, those. Buy some and use them for this recipe. It will make a huge difference in the end product.

Now, if you look at the title, you’ll see I mention an olive oil crust. Yes, instead of butter, I made the tart pastry with olive oil and yogurt. Why? Well, I like butter. Trust me. Butter is my friend and I’m always happy to use it. But sometimes I like to see if anything else can replace butter. Nothing is a great substitute for butter, let’s be honest. The tart pastry is not flaky; it’s mealy. BUT it tastes great and works really well in this recipe. I do not suggest using this tart pastry for pies. It just won’t taste right and you’ll be frustrated. But this is a savory tart and it works.

Tomato Onion Tart with Olive Oil Crust

Ingredients

Olive Oil Tart Pastry:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 13 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 13 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Tart

  • 1 sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives (or your favorite olive), pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ pound fontina cheese, sliced into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 4 medium to large tomatoes, sliced
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (olive oil, water, and yogurt). Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. If mixture is too dry, add a little water. If it’s too wet, add a little flour. It should come together like a regular pastry dough (slightly soft but not sticky or crumbly).
  3. Flour the counter and roll the dough into a circle bigger than your tart pan. My tart pan is 11 inches, so I rolled the dough into a 12-inch circle. The tart pastry should be about 1814-inch thick. You don’t want it too thick. The pastry might break apart, and that’s perfectly OK. It’s a tart pastry, the most unruly and forgiving of all pastries.
  4. Transfer the pastry to the tart pan and tuck the dough into the pan. If it breaks apart, just fill in the holes with the extra dough. Press any of the overhang against the top of the pan. Make sure the sides are enforced well with dough.
  5. Slide the tart pan onto a baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes. Basically, you are giving the crust a head start in baking.
  6. Remove the tart from the oven and fill it with the tart ingredients. First, layer the onion and olives on the bottom of the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the sliced cheese on top of the onions. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with sliced tomatoes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.