I have been trying not to eat meat on Mondays for the past few months. I believe in the goals of the Meatless Mondays movement, for lack of a better term.
I really really really love eating meat, but giving up my carnivorous desires once a week is not only better for my health, but also it helps to reduce my carbon footprint. Take it from Mark Bittman. Here's his Ted Talk on it.
And so, in an effort to be civicly and culinarily responsible, here are four recipes that I love and use on days I want to cut the meat. *cry*
Soba noodles are the perfect summer dish. Serve with your choice of pea leaves, sugar snap peas, scallions, Shiitake mushrooms, or whatever other veggies you love with your asian food. Chilled Soba Noodles (Serves 4) Ingredients: -16 oz Dried Soba Noodles -1/2 cup Soy Sauce -1 cup Water -2 Tbs Dashi Powder (can be found in most asian markets) -1/2 cup Sake -1/4 cup Sugar Procedure: -Boil water in pot. Add soba noodles. -Cook for about 8 minutes or until desired doneness. Shock in ice water to chill. -Combine soy sauce, water, and dashi powder in bowl and whisk until combined. -Add sake to a saute pan and flame up to cook out alcohol. -Add sugar to sake and dissolve. -Add sake and sugar mixture to soy sauce mixture and whisk to combine. Be sure to whisk out any clumps. -Chill and reserve. -Toss noodles in soy dashi mixture. -Garnish with seasonal vegetable of your choice. Talde is located at 369 7th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, (347) 916-0031, taldebrooklyn.com
Even as a meat-eater, I drop by BDJ for a quick sandwich once in a while. Here's a recipe where you wont even miss the meat. BDJ's Eggplant Parm (Makes 4 Sandwiches) Ingredients: -2 large purple eggplants -1/4 cup virgin olive oil -2 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce (or your favorite store bought brand) -3 thinly sliced garlic cloves -2 stems finely chopped rosemary -1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella (Daiya and Follow Your Heart are excellent brands) -1 container Vegparm (available at your local Whole Foods) -4 ciabatta rolls Procedure: -Slice the eggplant into 1/2" pieces. -Coat the slices with a small amount of olive oil on both sides, and sprinkle a little salt on top. -Place the slices in a baking pan lightly coated with olive oil. -Press the rosemary and garlic into each slice of eggplant (distribute evenly). Rosemary is strong, so careful not to use too much. -Season with salt and pepper to taste, then pierce each slice of eggplant with a fork. Let this sit for a few minutes. -Pour approximately 5 tablespoons of tomato sauce onto each slice, then sprinkle 5 teaspoons of cheese on top. -Bake for 30-35 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. -Remove from the oven, sprinkle with vegan parm. -Slice your favorite ciabatta in half, and pop into the oven for a minute or two. -Remove the bread and coat each side with tomato sauce, -Place your eggplant parm between the two slices, cut, serve, and enjoy. BDJ Chelsea, 259 West 23rd Street, New York City, 10011, 212-229-2595, http://blossomdujour.com
This is a quick and easy way to get your veggies in and fill up. You won't believe how filling one of these cakes is. Also, add a bun and some pickles and you have a fabulous veggie burger. Kashmiri Tikki (Yields 10 cakes) Ingredients: -4 large beets -1 large potato -1/2 tbsp turmeric powder -1/2 tbsp chili powder -1/2 tsp garam masala -1 tsp coriander powder -1 tsp mango powder -1 tbsp lemon juice -3 green chilies, chopped -1 tbsp ginger, chopped -3 tbsp chick pea flour -4 bread sliced, soaked in water and squeezed -1 tsp black pepper -1/4 cup oil -Salt to taste Procedure: -Boil the beets and potato and then grate them in a bowl. -Add all ingredients and mix everything well. -Shape the mixture into round patties or tikkis. -In a pan, add oil and pan fry until they are crisp and lightly brown. -Serve with mint chutney. -Chef Beck garnishes his with crispy lotus root as well. Benares-Tribeca, 45 Murray Street, New York, NY, 10007, (212) 766-4900, http://www.benaresnyc.com
I have been taking cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education, to really brush up on my kitchen skills and also, you know, to be a better blogger for you guys. Anyway, when I got the idea for the article, I asked ICE instructor and owner of Cinnamon Snail, Adam Sobel, for some ideas. This is a delicious way to start your day. Cereal is optional! Vanilla Sesame Milk (Makes 1 quart) Ingredients: -2/3 cup unroasted sesame seeds -1 cup water -2 t. vanilla extract -1 T. coconut butter (natural unrefined) -3 T. maple syrup -1t. sea salt -3 cups water Procedure: -Place the sesame seeds in the pitcher of a high-speed blender and cover them with 1 cup of water. Let the seeds soak for at least 20 minutes, or up to an hour. (This allows the seeds to expand making the blending process much smoother). -Blend the seeds and water at a high speed for 40 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for another 40 seconds until as smooth as possible. -Pour the sesame milk through a very fine mesh strainer or strainer bag to remove any grit. ICE (Institute of Culinary Education), 50 West 23rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10010,
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