Meatless Mondays: First in a series

Hi everyone! Welcome to Meatless Mondays – a place to find recipes that others have tried – and LIKED! It’s difficult to try to incorporate vegetarian foods into our diets, but it is beneficial for the planet if we reduce or eliminate our consumption of meats.

So in support of that effort – here is the first in a series! And PLEASE feel free to participate! Email me a recipe, or I can make you an author & you can post your own! Let’s make this collaborative!

I’m sharing two recipes this week, to get started. One is a riff on my mother-in-law’s ‘Cabbage & Noodles’ recipe. It has beans. The other is ‘Vegetarian Mapo Tofu’ – which has tofu. Hope you enjoy at least one of them!!

Cabbage & Noodles

3 cups of cabbage, preferably Savoy or Napa, but any will do
1 cup diced onion or leek
3 cups of chickpeas or other white bean (canellini, etc)
12 oz. pasta – spaghetti, linguini, orecchiette, penne
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 tsp. Thyme
2 T olive oil
1 cup stock, or water
salt & pepper
parmesan (optional)

1. Slice the cabbage very thin. Bring a pot of water to a boil & cook the cabbage for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Scoop it our with a slotted spoon. Bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, or leek & diced celery. Sauté until onion is translucent and starting to brown. Add the thyme and cook for about 30 seconds more. Add the chickpeas, stock & salt & pepper to taste. Stir in the cabbage and let simmer until the flavors come together. If it is too dry add more stock or water. It should be moist but not soupy.

3. Mix the pasta and the cabbage mixture in a bowl. And enjoy! Serve with a salad & crusty bread.

Vegetarian Mapo Tofu

8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
2 cups water
1 block tofu – firm or soft (not silken)
2 T black bean garlic sauce
1 T chili paste (less if you don’t like spicy)
1 T fresh grated ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
2 T soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 T cornstarch mixed with 2T water
1/4 cup sliced scallions
cooked rice

1. Clean shiitakes. Remove stems. Add stems to 2 cups water and simmer for 15 minutes for a light mushroom broth. Remove the stems, saving broth. Slice the caps.

2. Cut tofu into cubes. Cover with boiling salted water and let steep for 15 minutes. Drain. Put oil in wok or large skillet. Add mushrooms, ginger & garlic. Let sizzle and add soy sauce, sesame oil & 1 1/2 cups mushroom broth.

3. Add tofu. Drizzle in cornstarch mixture. Stir. Sauce will thicken (thin with extra broth if desired) Cook 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with scallions & cilantro. Serve over rice.

NOTE: add snow peas, broccoli florets, red pepper strips, carrot strips  – any vegetable that appeals to you & your family. This is very versatile!

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