Meatless Monday All Week Long

With just a little less than 6 weeks to go until my second marathon, I am determined to get my body running like a fine tuned machine and am eating vegetarian this entire week while paying close attention that my intake of protein, iron and zinc remains adequate.  (Well, I’m really shooting for just Monday through Friday as Saturday is a 16 mile run so I’m certain I’ll require a big fat bacon cheeseburger after that!)

For breakfast most mornings, I plan to keep it very simple- getting myself fed post-run while wrangling the kids out the door and to school on time is a challenge so the simpler, the better!  I also find that I yearn for protein after an early morning run and found the best delivery of that to be in a delicious and filling smoothie.  Easy enough to throw all ingredients in the blender (with a little help from my cute little sous chefs), hit Liquefy, pour into a glass and go!

Laura’s Easy Flax Berry Smoothies

1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup frozen berries of your choice (if using fresh berries, add 1 cup ice as well)
1 over-ripe banana
1 tablespoon flax oil

Put first 4 ingredients in blender.  Blend.  Stir in flax oil.  Put smoothie in cup and GO!  Doesn’t get simpler than that!
And other mornings, I’ll have this for breakfast: 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, a hard boiled egg, and one MorningStar Farms veggie sausage patty.  Don’t be scared, veggie sausage seems like a big, fat oxymoron but they are very tasty and very filling!

And my secret to perfect hard boiled egg is this: put cold egg in pot, cover with cold water, bring to boil, cover, and turn off heat.  Let egg sit in water, on stove, covered for 10 minutes.  Drain hot water, run egg under cold water and remove shell while still running the egg under the cold water (the force of the water helps remove the shells easily).

Amba's Falafel Sammich (photo credit: SF Gate)

For lunch today, I opted to hit my favorite new falafel spot, Amba in Montclair (I am the mayor of Amba on Foursquare, check it out and check in… go ahead… I dare ya…).  I always opt for their classic falafel sandwich- perfectly cooked falafel balls surrounded by cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and house-made hummus- it’s big, it’s messy, it’s perfect.  Best of all, it’s vegetarian!  (For my version of a homemade falafel sandwich, check out my Meatless Monday post from September 2011.)

If I’m not Amba for lunch this week, I’ll be at home enjoying Trader Joe’s brand Indian food.  I just started getting into Indian food so have not attempted to cook it on my own just yet but would love to re-create the above chana masala and palak paneer but Trader Joe’s makes it so easy and tasty, I don’t see why I ever would!

Unfortunately, and I mean this with no disrespect, it looks like this on a plate:

Which only means that my kids will never try it- more for me!

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, have you noticed the wide array and flavors of salt and pepper grinders they have going on lately?!  I picked up a gigantic bunch of kale at my trip to the Farmer’s Market this weekend, decided to whip up a batch of kale chips and used their smoked sea salt over the top.  Green, yummy, crunchy, smoky goodness with added benefits- kale is known to help minimize a muscle soreness and enhance recovery after a long run.  (For a kale chip recipe, please see my Meatless Monday post from 10/24/11.)

And for dinner tonight, I am making a crock pot chickpea, butternut squash and red lentil stew recipe I found at Eat, Live, Run.  I’ve made this concoction once before and it was incredibly tasty, with leftover to spare- hubby and I fed on this stew for 2 nights, and I even had a bowl to myself for one lunch!

My maid- I mean crock pot- hard at work!

I’ve mentioned my impending 16 mile run a couple times now, so of course that means I’ll need to get ready Friday night with a super duper carb-y meal: PIZZA!

Pizza night is always a family event at my house- the kids roll out their dough (which I buy pre-made at Trader Joe’s), add the sauce, cheese, toppings and together we enjoy a family meal.

Rolling/smashing/squishing/pounding the dough.

While the kids’ pizza is completely covered in cheese, slathered with pizza sauce and topped with bacon, mine has very little pizza sauce, very little cheese, and lots of fresh veggies.

Laura’s Tomato Basil Pizza

1 package whole wheat pizza dough (I buy mine from Trader Joe’s but here’s a recipe to make it from scratch)
Cornmeal
2 tablespoons pizza sauce
1 large red bell pepper cut into strips
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
Fresh basil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Remove pizza dough from package, let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.  Roll pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 10-12″ around, sprinkle pizza stone with cornmeal, place circle o’ dough on top.  Spread pizza sauce over dough.  Place bell pepper strips and corn around pizza.  Sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake pizza for 10 minutes, or until cheese is brown & bubbling.  Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes, spread tomatoes and basil over the top.  And enjoy!

What are your favorite go-to vegetarian recipes and/or dishes and/or restaurants?  Have you ever “gone vegetarian” for a specific amount of time?  Did it change your mood, energy, or digestive process?

12 thoughts on “Meatless Monday All Week Long

  1. Little Sis

    THAT looks like a pizza I can get down with. I’ve been doing weekday vegetarian for over a year, and have recently upped the ante by moving to weekday vegan. I have found both changes to increase my energy levels and improve my mood generally. I also sleep better (not so much gurgling I guess 😉 ). If you’re up for tofu, I press mine (between two plates on a towel with heavy cans above) for about an hour, cube it and fry in oil, turning to brown all sides. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and rice vinegar when cooking is done. Serve with brown rice and whatever green vegetable your family enjoys. We also do A LOT of beans around here. Let us know how your experience goes!

    Reply
    1. Laura

      OOOO, I like that recipe, thank you! Hubby is mainly vegan as he has been no-dairy for a year or so now, still hasn’t rubbed off on me yet though, I sooo love my eggs, cheese and yogurt!

      Reply
  2. todkehrli

    You’re about a month ahead of me! I’ve been doing Meatless Monday’s for about a month (though tonight we had chicken parm) and am contemplating a meatless week. A couple meals that went over well at my house were Pam Anderson’s vegetarian minestrone: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/minestrone-for-every-season-recipe/index.html and Giada De Laurentis’s pasta primavera: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/minestrone-for-every-season-recipe/index.html.

    Happy eating!

    Reply
    1. Jen

      Oh, and thanks for adding my new blog to your blogroll! 🙂
      (However, the name will be changing soon… perhaps tonight. Just keeping you on your toes! heh)

      Reply
      1. Laura

        Yay, new blog, thank you Jen! That Thai chili looks bomb and I’m all about one dish meals! And hubby is weekday vegan so it’s perfect for him!

        (Got the post with the new blog name- LOVE IT- and you’re officially all updated!)

        Reply
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