But that being said, I have made a conscious effort to eat less meat products. I don’t eat beef, that’s been 15 years now, and I eat very little pork……sigh….I do love bacon. I can eat turkey ham, turkey dogs, even turkey burgers, but turkey bacon just ain’t bacon! So my meat consumption mostly comes from poultry, with seafood coming in second. I could eat pasta 3 or 4 days a week and be happy, no meat necessary, just make sure I have plenty of cheese! My problem comes from my less than enthusiastic interest in some vegetables, I like grains, I like beans, but I am a little picky about my veggies, but I have been trying.
This week I have been inspired by my friend Stella from The Witchy Kitchen she wrote a wonderful article over at her blog called The Rational Vegetarian,please stop by and read it! So Stella, thanks for being that little voice in my head when I am shopping, you have me thinking more about what I buy, organic and vegan are words that are in my vocabulary and shopping list, so this post is for you.
I have been wanting to make cranberry beans for some time now, my first purchase ended up getting moldy before I could use them…so sad. I thought for my first attempt at these beans, I would go with a classical approach. I started out by boiling the beans for about 30 minutes, I then sauteed them with Garlic, Olive Oil, and seasoned them only with Salt and Pepper. A rustic bowl of beans, and while I knew a little bacon would have really kicked them up, I stayed true on these beans, and was rewarded with a tasty satisfying dish.
Along with my Cranberry Beans, I also had found Brussels Sprouts on the stem at my farmer’s market and decided to give those babies a try. I again took the classic approach with my Brussels sprouts, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, mix well and place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
The spouts started to caramelize nicely and the roasted garlic added such a nice element to the dish, but these sprouts were inconsistent in size, and I found them to be a little more fibrous and tougher than regular Brussels Sprouts, but they were still delicious!
Next I moved on to a seasonal relish, I had purchased fresh cranberries at the Farmers Market in Collingswood, and I didn’t want to just make cranberry sauce with them, so I thought I make more of a relish or chutney with them. I used what I had on hand and was rewarded with a delicious Cranberry Chutney.
2 cups fresh Cranberries
1 apple diced
1 pear diced
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup pistachio’s or walnuts
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
Add all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and serve as an accompaniment with roasted vegetables or roasted meats. I even used it with my cranberry beans for a contrast in flavors!
I needed a little something for dessert, and I had a few acorn squash on hand, so that seemed like a perfect choice. I cut the squash in half , seeded and cleaned it (saving the seeds to roast later) I cut it into sections and tossed the squash with brown sugar and cinnamon. I would normally have added butter but I wanted to keep this vegan.
Candied Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash cleaned and cut into sections.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Toss the squash sections with the other ingredient in a bowl to coat well, transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the squash has nicely caramelized.
This squash was like eating candy, simple and delicious. I do have to say my wife was not happy with the texture, it was soft.
I was also quite surprised to find my precious once again at the farmers market, I stuffed them with Ricotta, you can find my original recipe here. You know I couldn’t resist them, it will be a long cold winter!
I hope you enjoyed my Meatless Monday, it is the responsible thing to do. I encourage everyone to go with out meat at least one day a week, 2 or 3 would even be better. Not only will it be better for you, but it will be better for this planet we call home.
Thanks for stopping by!