MEATLESS MONDAYS

January 23, 2018

Apparently Presidents Wilson, Truman and Roosevelt found a way to galvanize the nation during the big world wars - they created voluntary 'meatless' days where the public had to sacrifice their taste for meat and make do with ingredients from their victory gardens. More than 55 years later, we're still facing military challenges, but certainly no shortages in our food supplies. The sad news is, in spite of having so much more of everything, including nutritional knowledge, our nation is suffering from an epidemic of obesity spawned by overeating, particularly in the form of fast food. And, at the heart of this obesity epidemic is our penchant for all things meat. Thankfully, 'Meatless Mondays,' a non-profit initiative seeking to create awareness about how to reduce our overall consumption of meat, has become a popular trend.

 

IT’S A SIMPLE IDEA…EMBRACE VEGETARIANISM ONE DAY A WEEK.

 

Not a hard thing to do for our personal health and the health of the planet. What are you thoughts on reducing the demand for industrialized meat in this country? In my opinion, Meatless Mondays are a great way to kick-start your week while giving you the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen with enticing vegetarian alternatives.

Here's a tasty sweet potato and black bean burrito recipe from one of my fav cookbooks - Moosewood Restaurant. This recipe is easy to make and very satisfying as the weather grows cooler and your body begins desiring more dense foods. Please use organic ingredients when possible.

 

SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN BURRITO RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

(from the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook)

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

  • 5 cups peeled cubed sweet potatoes (you could also use butternut squash in lieu of potatoes)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, ghee or grapeseed oil

  • 3 1/2 cups diced onions

  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh green chile

  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 4 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or three 15-ounce cans, drained - Eden brand is the one I use)

  • 2/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 8 eight-inch flour tortillas (I use almond, brown rice or amaranth tortillas)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven 350°F

Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with the salt and water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in a medium skillet or saucepan and add the onions, garlic, and chile. Cover and cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and cooked sweet potatoes and puree until smooth. Or you can mash it with a potato masher. The texture will just be different. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a large mixing bowl and mix in the cooked onions and spices.

Lightly oil a large baking dish. Spoon about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of the filling in the center of each tortilla, roll it up, and place it, seam side down, in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until piping hot.

Serve topped with fresh salsa, greek yogurt...whatever you like. Enjoy!

 

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