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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:59 PM

Meatless Mondays in Los Angeles

...there is a post regarding the Los Angeles City Council doing a resolution about recommending that people have a Meatless Monday meal.


SO, in responding to that post, a couple of DUers have asked, recipes? Ideas? Thoughts?

I figured that those here would have some quick thoughts, ideas, favorite meatless recipes to suggest.

My first thought and post was that last evening, the refrig was bare anyway, so we had spaghetti and meatless sauce (yes, from a can), veggies, garlic bread (as I said, toast with margarine and garlic powder).

I posted to that post that folks might want to check in here, for suggestions.

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Meatless Mondays in Los Angeles (Original post)
SoapBox Nov 2012 OP
cbayer Nov 2012 #1
cbayer Nov 2012 #2
set intentions Nov 2012 #5
Warpy Nov 2012 #7
Little Star Nov 2012 #3
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #4
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #8
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #10
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #6
Cairycat Nov 2012 #9
Retrograde Nov 2012 #11
SoapBox Nov 2012 #12
no_hypocrisy Nov 2012 #13
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2012 #14

Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:05 PM

1. I like this. It's a campaign about education and encouragement, not a law telling

people what they can and can not eat (I am still seething about the ban on foie gras, but that's another topic).

We go meatless at least once and often twice a week. This has been a big step for my meat and potatoes english husband, but now he doesn't mind at all. As long as I feed him something tasty and do it every day, he is a happy camper.

I'm not going to choose a specific day of the week, but I can see restaurants, take out places and grocery stores making hay with this, which is a win-win, imo.

I will add a recipe in another post. Thanks for starting this thread.

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:06 PM

2. Quesadillas with Roasted Poblanos & Onions (Rajas)

Quesadillas with Roasted Poblanos & Onions (Rajas)

Serves four as a main course, six to eight as an appetizer.

2 small fresh poblano chiles
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1-1/2 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 8-inch flour tortillas
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 oz.)
1/2 cup sour cream

Roast the peppers:
Turn a gas burner to high and char the poblanos directly over the flame, turning them with tongs as soon as each side becomes fully blackened, about 6 to 8 minutes per pepper. (If you don't have a gas stove, you can char poblanos similarly over a hot grill fire or lay them on a foil-lined baking sheet and char them under a hot broiler, turning them with tongs).

Immediately after roasting, put the poblanos in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skins. When they're cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off with your hands or a small paring knife. Pull out and discard the stems and seed clusters. Slice the peppers into 1/4-inch-wide strips and put them in a small bowl.

Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 150°F (or its lowest setting).

Make the rajas:
Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the poblano strips, season with a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are heated through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe the skillet clean.

Make the quesadillas:
Heat 1/2 tsp. of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add one tortilla and scatter over it a quarter of the cheese, a quarter of the poblano mixture, and a quarter of the cilantro. When the tortilla smells toasty and the bottom is browned in spots, in 1 or 2 minutes, fold it in half, pressing it with a spatula to flatten it. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make three more quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with the sour cream on the side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 8; Protein (g): 10; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Carbohydrates (g): 15; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 450; Cholesterol (mg): 35; Fiber (g): 1;

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Response to cbayer (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 03:09 PM

5. Meh. Try corn sprouted tortillas instead.


Flour tortillas (besides the usual refined flour aspect) seem nasty to me.

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Response to set intentions (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:55 PM

7. Few places do flour tortillas well

The good ones here in NM are all made within the state. The best ones are at a restaurant here in town and they make a fortune selling bags of warm flour tortillas. Those are so good you don't need to eat them with anything, just warm and right out of the bag.

However, corn tortillas have superior flavor. My own preference is for blue corn tortillas, but they're hard to find all the time.

Mexican food is great for meatless meals. A tortilla with refried or chili beans, cheese, and a bunch of veggie toppings becomes a truly great taco. Veggie soups with red chile instead of tomato are truly great. Peppers stuffed with cheese are fantastic.

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:44 PM

3. When the weather is chilly or cold outside....

Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli with Italian bread and a side of salad.

Wegmans has a excellent recipe:

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:08 PM

4. I think this is an utter waste of time by a council that has some serious work it is ignoring

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:35 PM

8. True, but I imagine it took all of 5 minutes to take the vote.


Better this than honoring some corporate hack for supposedly doing some good in the community that really only costs the city in lost tax revenue, serving no other purpose than providing a photo op and bragging rights. They do WAY too much of that. Have you ever watched one of their city council meetings??

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:39 PM

10. Yes...they are well choreographed

and there had to be much more than 5 minutes invested in it.

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 03:36 PM

6. Eggplant Parmesan,

garlic bread and a green salad.

Eggplant Parmesan

• olive oil, for baking sheets
• 2 large eggs
• 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
• 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus
• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, for topping
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• coarse salt
• pepper
• 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (2 1/2 pounds total)
• 6 cups Marinara Sauce
• 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside.
3. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water.
4. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
5. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets.
6. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more.
8. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400°F.
9. Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
10. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella.
11. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
12. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes.
13. Let stand 5 minutes before serving

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:59 PM

9. Here are some vegetarian dishes that my teens will eat

Naturally they like some of these better than others, but I've been doing two meatless meals a week for several years.

Obviously, cheese pizza and mac and cheese, from scratch
black beans and rice
Hoppin John (increase herbs & add hot peppers if desired)
quesadillas or burritos with refried beans, cheese, salsa & cilantro
vegetable curry
veggie fajitas with strips of bell pepper, crookneck and/or zucchini squash, black beans and corn
leek & potato soup
cream of broccoli soup
hummus in pitas
I do a pasta w/beans, (onion, garlic, zucchini, black olives, tomatoes, bowtie pasta and Italian herbs) - my husband and I like it pretty well but the kids are not big fans

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:25 PM

11. A lot of European peasant cuisines have plenty of meatless dishes

Last edited Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:11 PM - Edit history (1)

because meat was a luxury and because the Catholic tradition forbade meat on Fridays, in Lent, and on numerous other days of abstinence. Some specific ones that come to mind:
-Spanish tortillas - nothing at all like Mexican ones, these are more like fritattas, made with eggs and sliced potatoes, sometimes with onions or roast peppers. There's the whole fritatta/omelet family, for that matter
-dough stuffed with stuff: ravioli made with cheese or mushrooms or squash or spinach' cheese or saurkraut pierogi
-noodles with stuff: pasta with tomato sauce or garlic sauce or herb pesto, mac and cheese, kasespaetze, lasagna. Along the same lines there's risotto with mushrooms or squash.
-porridge: at least one Friday a month my mother made a rice/hot milk concoction, sort of like Jook. Polenta is essentially a porridge, and can be used as a base for various toppings
-bread and stuff: pizza with vegetable toppings, flamm (an Alsatian concoction similar to pizza, but with no tomato sauce), crostini, grilled cheese sandwiches, Welsh rarebit

Then there's India, which has a vast array of vegetarian dishes.

One of my favorite meatless stews, especially this time of year, is American. Zuni Stew, from one of the Green's cookbooks, is winter squash, beans, and corn cooked together, with tomatoes, peppers and onions, and served with corn tortillas.

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:58 PM

12. Gotta say...

I love the recipe ideas...what a great resource the C & B group is for new ideas.

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:43 AM

13. There are a gazillion recipes for beans.

And so many variety of beans.

They fill you up. They taste good. Protein. Time-released energy. Lower your blood pressure.

What's not to like?

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Response to SoapBox (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:04 PM

14. One of my favorite cookbooks is

The Vegeterranean:Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Malu Simoes and Alberto Musacchio. They run a vegetarian hotel/restaurant near Perugia where I once stayed. I was so impressed by the cooking there that I bought their cookbook (which I had to buy from Amazon in the UK).

One of my favorite recipes is Cannelloni di Ricotta con Sugo di Pomodoro (Riccota cannelloni with tomato sauce)

It uses pasta one makes for oneself; a few notes before I start. The first rule of pasta dough is you do not talk about pasta dough -- sorry, that's another set of rules. The actual first rule is the flour should be measured by weight, not volume. The second rule of pasta dough is you cannot overknead it. I am assuming that you have one of those pasta rolling machines. If you don't, you can roll it by hand -- which is a good way of developing the muscles in your forearms.

9 oz (250 gm) all purpose flour
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

(Keep the extra egg whites -- if the dough is too dry, you have some liquid to add. If it's too wet, add flour. Yes, that is not too much egg.)

Put the flour in a mound on the table and make a well in the center. Put the rest of the ingredients in the well and start mixing them together. When a proper dough has formed, knead it for about 5 minutes. Wrap it in plastic film (or put into a covered bowl) and let it rest for at least 15 minutes -- half an hour is even better, and 2 hours is not too long. This rest is to allow the flour to absorb the liquid. The dough will be far easier to work with if you rest it.

Assuming you have a pasta machine, cut the dough into two or more pieces and run it through. The first few times through, fold the dough on itself and and keep running through the number 1 setting until you have a smooth dough (three or four times should do). Then increase the setting and run it through each one. Number 6 should probably be the last setting.

If you do not have a pasta machine, take out the rolling pin and start rolling. You want to end up with dough so thin you can see through it. Cut it into strips the length of the baking tin and about 3-4 inches wide.

Put a large pot (I have a four liter one which works well) of water on to boil. Have a largish bowl of ice water next to the stove. (I can easily run through a dozen or two of ice cubes in doing this.) When it has come to the boil, add one to two tablespoons of salt. Put in four to six pieces of pasta at a time to cook, which will take 30 seconds to a minute. After it is cooked, put it in the ice water to shock it. Drain it (I have a cotton tablecloth made of what is essentially thin canvas which does this very well.)

While the dough is resting, make some tomato sauce -- here is a recipe from the same cookbook which is both quick and easy:

28 oz (800 gm) can of peeled or diced tomatoes
1 small carrot, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 small onion, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 small celery stalk, cleaned and halved
1 sprig fresh parsely, rinsed
3 basil leaves, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Run the tomatoes through a food mill and discard the seeds. If you do not have a food mill, purée the tomatoes. Combine the ingredients in a pot and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Taste -- if the sauce is too acidic, add pinches of sodium bicarbonate and simmer for another five minutes.

At this point, you have two choices. You can either fish out the aromatic vegetables and discard. Or you can purée the lot. The first gives you a sauce with a really nice red color. The second gives you an orangish sauce with (IMHO) a better flavor.

While the sauce is simmering and the dough is resting, make the filling:

12 oz (350 gm) ricotta
1 large egg
1/4 tsp black pepper (I assume that, like civilized people, you grind your own)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (also best if you grate your own)
1 oz (30 gm) grated Parmigano Reggiano or Perorino Romano or Asiago or some combination
Zest of 1/2 small lemon

Beat the ricotta with a fork until it is creamy. Add the other ingredients and mix until smooth. (This also makes a nice filling for ravioli or tortellini.)

You are now ready to assemble the cannelloni. Before you start, grate another two ounces of Parmigano Reggiano (or whichever hard cheese you used for the filling) and cut 8 oz fresh mozarella into 1/4-inch (5 mm) cubes.

Using a piping bag or a spoon, place two tablespoons of the filling along the long end of each piece of pasta. Roll up the pasta and place it into the baking tin. Continue doing this until you run out of pasta or filling or space in the baking tin. Dot each cannellono with the mozzarella cubes, ladle the sauce over each of the cannellini, and spread the grated cheese on top.

You can now freeze this (cover it with plastic wrap or foil and add an additional 15 minutes to the cooking time), store it in the fridge for cooking later that day, or cook it right now. When you are ready to cook it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and cook it for half an hour.

I just discovered that someone adapted this recipe for lasagna and posted it on-line at http://divvyupdining.blogspot.com/2012/07/summer-lemon-zest-lasagna-is-that.html

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