Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday: "If you don't eat meat, what can you eat?"

Conscious food choices are what we love!

The choice of food, the preparation of the dishes and the act of eating with family and friends are all part of this process. Spending time with each of these steps enriches the relationship you have with food and the people you share it with.

Over the next few Monday's we're going to celebrate Meatless Monday by addressing some of the misunderstandings some nutritionists, chefs, airline companies and all of our lovely aunts have concerning meatless nutrition.

In an effort to bring the light to these influential humans, we're going to share three meatless recipes we love at the bottom.

Misunderstanding #1: If you don't eat meat, what can you eat?

Plant-based, meatless, or vegetarian diets are extremely diverse. While they do exclude all types of meat (red, white, blue or rainbow colored) they include everything else under the sun. Here is where the great divide starts, is it a choice or a restriction and does it even matter. For me it's a simple, not a restriction. I don't think it is ideal for anyone repress themselves in order to make the best choice for themself. I choose the meatless nutrition because of all the amazing doors it opens to me and the doors it closes too. To me, it's little like asking someone, "... if you don't eat metal screws, what can you eat?" But I don't want to digress from the main topic, let's take a look at what meatless diets do include.

Vegetarianism can be divided into three main groups:

a) Ovo-lacto-vegetarianism, also known as vegetarianism, consists of eating absolutely everything found under the Sun, except meat of any kind;

b) Lacto-vegetarianism, which is just like the above dietary system, except it excludes eggs;

c) Veganism, also known as pure vegetarianism, does not consume meat, eggs, dairy or any product originating from the body of the animal, including honey, etc.

Obviously, different combinations and variations exist other than the above mentioned.

The DeROSE Method recommends a well balanced ovo-lacto-vegetarianism dietary system because we consider it the most adaptable to any situation and is extremely diverse nutritionally compared to the meatless dietary systems. It provides all necessary nutritional elements in the most enjoyable way without rigid planning and without sacrificing sociability.

Check out this interesting article about What Happens When You Stop Eating Meat from our friends at Collective Evolution.

Here are three easy recipes we promised for a fun summer Meatless Monday!

BREAKFAST

BANANA OATMEAL

LUNCH

VEGGIE CARROT DOGS

DINNER

ROASTED TOMATO SOUP

Meatless Monday Gourmet: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Waffle Sandwich with Tomato Soup

Gourmet DeRose Method Greenwich Village NYC

INGREDIENTS FOR GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

4 plum or medium heirloom tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Olive oil spray (for prepping cooking surfaces, i.e. waffle iron or oven cookware)
Kosher salt
Waffle batter (for more ease and speed use slices of country white bread)
Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
2 ripe avocados, slices lengthwise
Heaps of Gruyere, Pepper jack, Swiss, and goat cheese (I like the logs with herbs)
Special equipment: waffle iron (many different styles but no need to get too fancy)

INSTRUCTIONS FOR GRILLED CHEESE

Roast the tomatoes: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet cut-side down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and wrinkled, about 30-45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high. Spray cooking surface with olive oil spray (if using sliced bread, brush one side of each bread slice with melted butter). Pour the waffle batter and close the griddle to cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until very lightly browned.

Here you can go off the beaten path to experiment a little. I took out the lightly browned waffles and placed them on a oven safe bake sheet, layered all the cheeses and tomatoes on top of one waffle, placed the second waffle on top, pressed them together without smashing too much and let the cheeses melt while in the oven set at 350 degrees F. 

Otherwise, the simplified approach is to use bread, placing buttered side down, layer in the ingredients generously and place second slice of bread with buttered side up, close waffle griddle and let cook about 5-8 minutes until golden brown (there is no problem opening the griddle to see how everything is progressing since waffle griddles can heat differently). Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Cut in half and serve.

INGREDIENTS FOR TOMATO SOUP

2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onion, medium dice
Kosher salt
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3 (28-ounce) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes in their juices, preferably San Marzanos with basil
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
Heavy cream
5 twigs of fresh thyme

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOMATO SOUP

Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and add the coconut oil, butter and diced onion. Cook covered, stirring occasionally (once a minute), until the onion is completely soft, about 10-15 minutes. (If at any point the onion looks like it’s beginning to brown, reduce the heat.) Add the garlic and optional red pepper flakes and cook covered for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. 

Increase the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and their juices to the pan. Roughly crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon and cook until they’re hot and beginning to soften, about 10-15 minutes. Add the broth or water and bring to a simmer. Cook at a medium simmer until the tomatoes begin to fall apart, about 15 minutes. 

Remove the soup from the heat and let cool uncovered for 5-10 minutes. Purée the soup directly in the saucepan using an immersion blender, or blend 3/4 of soup using a countertop blender, carefully puréeing the soup until smooth. Serve, adding about a tablespoon (or two) of heavy cream to each bowl as desired, and top with crushed black pepper and sea salt to taste.