No disrespect to Bart Simpson, but we’re pretty sure these days you can definitely win friends with a (highly Instagrammable) salad. Or any veg-centric dish for that matter. And that’s a good thing, according to Holistic Nutritionist Rachel Molenda. “Simply going meatless one day of the week can have a huge impact when it comes to human health and the health of our planet,” she tells us. Ready to embrace Meatless Monday?
If you’re a regular meat-eater (same), your biggest concern might be how you’ll hit your daily protein macros, but Molenda points out that “plant-based protein sources such as beans and legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans etc) and nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, hemp seeds) are great source of absorbable protein from each, along with a wealth of fiber, vitamins and minerals.”
Since just dropping a chicken breast on a plate and calling it a day isn’t any fun, we reached out to a few of Toronto’s favourite nutritionists to share some of their more inventive veggie-centric recipes. As an added bonus, none of their creations contain any soy-based meat alternatives, since “there are a lot of health implications that come with consuming soy, given that it’s often genetically modified (GMO), interferes with hormones and can lead to hormone imbalances and can interfere with thyroid function,” says to Molenda.
If you go back to consuming meat Tuesday-Sunday, it’s important to pay attention to where and how your meat is raised. “Look for high-quality sources by seeking out labels such as certified organic and grass-fed,” says Molenda. “Certified organic implies that it’s free of pesticides and herbicides, fed organic fed, free of antibiotics and free-range.”
@rachelmolenda‘s Meatless Monday: Spicy Black Bean Soup
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 1-1.5 cups corn
- 2 cans black beans
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 litre organic chicken broth
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1 handful organic corn tortilla chips (optional)
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- black pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- Prepare a large pot on the stove on medium-high heat with a drizzle of avocado oil. Add in the onions and then the garlic. Simmer until aromatic.
- Add in carrots and celery until somewhat soft (approximately 5-7 minutes) and sprinkle with sea salt. Add in black beans.
- Pour in chicken broth, followed by the cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes and pepper. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Put half of the soup mixture into a blender (approximately 4-6 cups) and blend for a second or two until somewhat blended. It should be both smooth but still have a chunky texture to it. At this point, you can add the corn.
- Enjoy as is, or top with an egg. If you choose to do that, preheat your event to 375 F and put soup into an oven-safe ramekin. Break egg into the middle of it. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes until its fully cooked.
- Enjoy with corn tortilla chips!
@keepupwithliv‘s Meatless Monday: Vegan Poke Bowl
- 2 cups watermelon
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Build your bowl with:
- Half an avocado
- Shredded Carrot
- Sesame seeds
- Combine all ingredients for the watermelon tuna and let marinate 15-20 minutes.
- While that is marinating start chopping and slicing the ingredients for the rest of your bowl. I like cucumber, carrot, zoodles, avocado and some cut up nori sheets, but feel free to add whatever else you like.
- Once your watermelon tuna is done marinating combine everything in a bowl and top with cashews and sesame seeds.
@tabitha.lavoie‘s Meatless Monday: Stuffed Sweet Potato
- 1 sweet potato, baked
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (or like oil … but avoid Canola or Vegetable Oils to keep your Omega 3s and 6s in balance)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sweet pepper, diced
- 5 kale leaves, ribboned
- 2 cup baby spinach
- 1/4 cup creamy dairy-free queso dip, for drizzling (recipe here)
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add in oil and all it to heat slightly
- Add in diced pepper and stir frequently
- After 3-5 minutes, add in kale, minced garlic and paprika. Continuously stir until the kale begins to get coated
- Once the kale starts to wither, add in spinach. Add salt and pepper as needed
- Heat your sweet potato as you’d like (microwave is fastest, or you can pop into the oven at 400F for 10 minutes)
- Once the sweet potato is heated through, add all your toppings and generously drizzle with the queso
- Finish with a sprinkle of hemp seeds
@eatwithraf‘s Meatless Monday: Thai Vegetable Curry
Rafia Kanji an integrative nutrition health coach, creating swoon-worthy gluten-free recipes and offering customized meal plans to her clients.
- 1 medium onion
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup of vegetable bone broth
- 2 tbsp red Thai curry paste (Thai kitchen brand is great)
- 1 can coconut milk (full fat preferred)
- 1 can chickpeas
- Dice and sauté onion in avocado oil
- Add chopped broccoli to pan once onion is translucent
- Add vegetable bone broth to pan
- Once liquid begins to simmer add 2 tbsps of red Thai curry paste and mix in
- Add entire can of coconut milk and stir in
- Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes
- Add can of rinsed and drained chickpeas
- Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
- Serve with brown rice and enjoy!