Monday, September 6, 2010

Meatless Monday!

I wanted to depart from writing for one day a week on this blog, and since food/cooking is a huge deal for moms, it seemed natural for me to do a recipe day. Now, I am not the fanciest cook on the block, being busy and under a fairly tight budget, but I do manage to crank out three nutritious meals a day, as well as at least two satisfying snack times. So, it seemed this was my best option.

Introducing my new feature: Meatless Mondays!

Meatless Monday has a long history, being first rooted in the war effort during the first World War, a time when people were encouraged to conserve resources at home to supply the front with basic needs. Now, organizations have taken this idea back up, promoting the adoption of "Meatless Monday" in all homes in order to improve health and help relieve the planet of the massive drain represented by our modern meat intakes.

I'm not a vegan, but I am a vegetarian all week long, and on Mondays I do try to avoid animal products in spirit with this ideal. Veggies and grains are, in short, easier on the planet to produce and more economical for feeding large populations.

So, on Mondays, I will try to give simple, tasty and easy veggie meal ideas. They will not always be vegan, but I will try to keep them veggie-heavy. So, if you are a vegan, vegetarian or a meat-lover who just wants to get more variety, I hope you will enjoy this feature - and feel welcome to contribute!

Starting off very simple this week with a staple of veggie dietary planning, Hummus, a necessity for most non-meat eaters due to its ease, low cost, protein/fibre richness and wonderful taste:

2 cans drained canned chick peas, or equiv in soaked dried peas
water as needed
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
parsley

Optional: Black pepper, diced red pepper, tahini.

Place your chick peas in a blender or food processor with the lemon juice and oil. Add seasonings gradually, continue blending. If the mixture gets too dry, add water and extra oil. (You can use the water from the can of chick peas, but this adds extra sodium.) When smooth, pour into bowl. Add parsley to the top as a garnish. Refrigerate covered. Serve with pita, pita chips, or a veggie platter. Also delightful as a spread for sandwiches.

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