Recently, I’ve been thinking about how my love of all things cow/beef/chicken/lamb/pork has a negative impact. Picked up a couple books like Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”… Watched “Food, Inc.”… Bought Joel Salatin’s “Folks, This Ain’t Normal.”
The conclusion mostly being: IT’S A MINEFIELD OUT THERE. Everything is over-processed and over-labeled and over-lobbied to the point where you can’t get anything without secretly picking up pesticides, chemicals, and e-coli along the way as well. Oh, and if you do want grass-fed, organic, natural food? Better fork up, because that shit is expensive. Why? Because the government chooses to subsidize McD’s $1 menu instead of a natural, Monsanto-free zucchini in the produce aisle.
I do realize the irony of this “healthy” preachiness as I love greasy tacos which are probably made from greasy cheap meat, I revel in the animal-stylenss of In-N-Out, and no one, NO ONE loves Korean BBQ more than me. But because I love those things and I choose to eat them all the time, it just provides me with more of a reason to want the meat that I’m eating to be raised humanely and not be slaughtered covered in its own feces. If I didn’t enjoy meat and eat it so much, I might not care about how it’s processed and ends up as the glorious Umami burger on my plate.
Like Anthony Bourdain says, ““PETA doesn’t want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don’t want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don’t want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them less delicious.” And we don’t want less delicious.
Just learned from my roommate about Meatless Mondays. It’s a social movement where people pick one day of the week to not eat meat to improve overall health and decrease the negative impact one has on the environment from the pollution created by processing meat.
“Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.”
I have to ease into this no-meat thing though, so I haven’t gone the hard-core dairy-free, egg-free route yet, but maybe after I get used to not having so much animal flesh on a daily basis, I can eke in the no-cheese, no egg thing in there, too. Baby steps.
So.. Here are three recipes for a partial Meatless Monday from breakfast to lunch.. to … lunch again, I guess. I like eating grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, but that’s just me. All of these recipes were inspired by my mom’s gift of a freshly-baked loaf of wheat bran bread.
Breakfast: French Toast with Blueberry Compote
2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook 1 1/2 cups blueberries, sugar, and water until the berries burst, about 8 minutes, while stirring constantly. Pour in remaining cup of blueberries and cook for ten more minutes until mixture coats the spoon. Serve warm. Keep refrigerated up to 3-4 days. Leftover blueberry compote is really good on top of some Greek yogurt for breakfast, too. :)
2 slices of day-old multi-grain bread (mine was about 3/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
splash vanilla extract
Whisk eggs, milk, spices, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until fully incorporated. Pour into a pie pan. Place bread into pie pan one slice at a time, leave about 2 minutes on each side until the egg mixture is completely soaked up by the bread.
Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat and coat bottom lightly with canola or vegetable oil. Place bread in the pan and cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
Serve with powdered sugar and blueberry compote!
If you’re too lazy to make the blueberry compote, I love pouring agave nectar on top of my pancakes/waffles/french toast.
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwich
I don’t really understand the hate that egg salad gets… I mean, yeah, if we’re talking old-school deli style where the salad is dripping mayo and seeping through the Wonder Bread, but it’s eggy and full of crunch veggies, what’s not to love?
This is just an idea for Meatless Monday. I don’t have the actual recipe for the egg salad, but here’s a good, healthy one:
Dinner/Second Lunch(?): Caramelized onion, Havarti, Avocado Grilled Cheese
This is probably the heaviest, least healthy recipe of the three…
My roommate decided to caramelize onions and buy Havarti cheese…. YUMMMMM.
3 yellow onions
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Slice the roots off of the onions and slice lengthwise to desired thickness.
Coat the bottom of a wide, heavy saute pan with olive oil and heat on medium-high until oil is fluid and moving. Add the onions and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. If the onions start browning (aka burning) too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium low.
After fifteen minutes, sprinkle with some sugar to help the caramelization process. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste.
Keep a careful watch to let the onions brown and add more oil if necessary if they seem like they’re going to burn. Stir as the onions brown but not too often or they won’t get that nice, caramelized color to them. Cook for 30 more minutes, scraping the pan down and add a little balsamic vinegar to give it more flavor until the onions are richly browned.
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices bread
4 slices Havarti cheese
Slice avocado lengthwise and set aside.
Heat medium saute pan over medium-low heat. Spread butter onto one side of each slice of bread (I only used a little butter for each side to try to ease up on fattiness or you can even just toast the bread or stick it through a panini press with no butter to make it healthier) and place butter-side down in pan. Place one slice of cheese on each slice of bread. Place hearty serving of onions on one slice of bread and top with the other slice of bread and cheese. Grill until lightly browned and flip and cook until the cheese is melted.
Remove from heat, stuff with sliced avocados, and then stuff into your face! Mmmmmmm.
Happy Meatless Monday!