Monday, February 20, 2012

Meatless Monday ~ Root Vegetable Deluxe!

Meatless Monday is a movement to get Americans to eat less meat and more veggies through the simple expedient of not eating any animal products one day a week.  It's a great way to segue into vegetarianism or even veganism, or just make a small but real difference in your health and the environment.  To that end, on Meatless Mondays here at Soy Chai Bookshelf I will talk about anything related to food and vegetarianism, from cookbook reviews to to recipes I've created (don't hold your breath) to bragging about the delicious vegetarian feast I just whipped up to discussing in a (hopefully) not-too-judgemental way why vegetarianism is a great choice.  I would also love to host guest posters on the topic, so if you're interested in being featured, send me an e-mail at jlmarck at gmail dot com.

I seem to constantly find myself commenting on the sparsity of my Meatless Monday posts, and this Monday is no exception.  Alas, yet again I had nothing prepared but aha!  I found myself preparing a show-off worthy vegan meal and decided to share.  As we all know, I've never been able to make that jump into full-on veganism but one of my great pleasures is a delicious and healthy vegan meal, so I thought I'd show you that meat-free doesn't have to mean yum-free.  I present to you my Meatless Monday dinner:

What you see above is an all-beet burger by Isa at Post Punk Kitchen, topped with garlic Vegenaise, with a side salad of baby romaine and poppyseed dressing, and a tall glass of sweet carrot and apple juice. Can you say yum?  I sure can.

The burger has a base of shredded beats, lentils and brown rice, and is moist and browns up nicely.  I'm sure it would be delicious on it's own, but it's even better with garlicky mayo (what isn't?!).  You can click the link above for the recipe.  The salad's pretty self-explanatory (though the dressing is stellar), but let's take a minute to talk about juice.  People in the know say that juice is best when fresh.  Not just taste-wise - that's obvious - but in terms of nutrients as well.  Most of the vitamins and whatnot are lost in the pasteurizing and bottling of store-bought juice, but are retained if you press the juice yourself.  Fresh juice is pretty much the purest form of vitamins, without the impact of fiber on your digestive system.  Don't get me wrong - fiber is great - but with a beet/rice/lentil burger, trust me, I'm getting enough.  Normally I drink fresh juice first thing in the morning, because the nutrients give a great boost and ease the digestive system into action for the day, but carrot juice just seemed to compliment the beet burger so well.  I won't lie - it takes a lot of produce to make a glass of juice (two pounds of carrots and one large apple made about twenty ounces) but the benefits make it worth it, at least a couple of times a week.

Never fear - I don't have a "perfect" diet.  Right now, I'm watching Gilmore Girls and avoiding preparing for tomorrow's classes, but I have every intention of enjoying one of these babies later:

I've never had them before but they were calling to me at grocery store and I couldn't resist.  Coconut milk ice cream is amazingly delicious (the texture!) and who doesn't like an ice cream sandwich?

My point is, it's all about balance.  Though yummy, my dinner is also very healthy, and sometimes it's nice to indulge.  Except for the lack of dairy fat, my ice cream sandwich's main redeeming quality is it's yumminess.  That's how I strive to eat - by striking a balance between the healthy and the indulgent.

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