“The best way to try and change the world is through food.” – Chef Chloe Coscarelli
On November 16, Meatless Monday partnered with the De Gustibus Cooking School in New York City and Chef Chloe Coscarelli. The De Gustibus Cooking School classroom was packed with vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores interested in making meatless meals to satisfy everyone you bring to the table. The menu for the evening included five dishes paired with excellent wines chosen by Banfi Vitners from appetizer to dessert. Chef Chloe demonstrated each recipe and described how to prepare each of the foods the class was enjoying.
Chef Chloe told the class that the first Thanksgiving meal she had as a vegetarian was a turning point in her life. “My mother had to tell people to stop eating the vegetarian food, ‘Stop, that’s for Chloe!’ because they liked it so much better than the more traditional meal.” Later in college she began cooking for herself partly from necessity (lack of vegan options available) and partly out of her love of feeding others and creating interesting foods. “Suddenly I was so challenged…I got to be so creative!” Since then every step of her journey – attending culinary school, joining the cast of Cupcake wars and later wining the competition, opening By Chloe in New York City and writing her easy-to-use cook books – has given her the chance to create rustic, hearty meals that are not just meatless, they’re completely vegan!
Chef Chloe is famous for her her inventive vegan foods, and has been wowing audiences and diners ever since winning Cupcake Wars on The Food Network. Some of her best tips about how to go about cooking meatless meals for large groups are included below:
Do what is easiest!
Chef Chloe emphasized that when you cook (especially for large groups) make the process easier on yourself. “You’re allowed to cut corners if you buy good quality ingredients,” she explained, remarking that an excellent ready-made broth or even water could be used instead of homemade broth in the soup recipe for the evening.
Taste every flavor in your food!
Chef Chloe has become an expert in creating flavor in meals without animal fats and proteins. While cooking up croutons with salt, pepper, and maple syrup, she recommending testing your foods as you go and ensuring your can taste the flavors of your ingredients. Layering seasonings ads depth and interest to your foods.
Do as much as you can in advance!
In planning large meals there are lots of tasks to be managed. Chef Chloe’s advice? Do as much as you can in beforehand. “I never want to be cooking as my guests arrive, so I prepare as much as I can the day before.” By planning your dishes and preparing the day before, most of your work on the day of the party will be assembly and serving.
Decorate your dishes!
“Don’t just toss your salad and serve it that way – I always like to dress it up a little.” For salads, that could mean adding a few extra cherry tomatoes on top. For a creamy soup it could be a drizzle of coconut cream or a sprig of garnish. Adding a little decoration adds to the experience for diners and lets them know you put care into your foods from start to finish.
Attendees were stuffed with delicious vegan dishes by the end of the evening. Diners were heard ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the presentation of each dish before digging in. Comments from “This is vegan food I could convince my family to eat!” to “It’s really that simple to make?” to “I can’t believe the texture and flavor!” came from the crowd as every dish made its way to the table. Most of all, attendees were surprised by the heartiness, texture, color, and flavor of meals that didn’t need animal products to make them enjoyable. Chef Chloe plans, creates and then refines dishes to help show eaters of all kinds that meat isn’t necessary for an enjoyable, nutritious meal. Meals like these are “perfect inspiration to rethink your meals and rethink your kitchen,” she said. A perfect way of thinking on a delicious Meatless Monday!
Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it comes the season of family gatherings, festive traditions, and delicious leftovers! After the feast, the leftovers remain – delicious spreads and dishes with enough servings to last the weekend and fill you up on Meatless Monday! Here are a few inventive ways to enjoy your favorite holiday foods after the family meal is done.
If you’ve had your fill of the standard side dish, transform the rest of your mashed potatoes into potato pancakes for Eggs in Purgatory – an excellent brunch option with eggs and marinara sauce. This recipe comes courtesy of the Food Network and Giada De Laurentiis, a gourmet supporter of Meatless Monday!
Love that fabulous stuffing, but in the mood for a different presentation? Turn it into bite sized stuffing nuggets with this recipe for Second Day Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Sauce Pesto. You’ll even have a chance to use up that extra cranberry sauce making the pesto dipping sauce included in the recipe!
Vegetable platters are a popular dish at any holiday table, and on the big day they are enjoyed with any number of dips and dressings. But sometimes there’s a bit of fresh celery, broccoli or carrots leftover after all the dip is gone. Make breakfast the morning after the dinner party into a special event with this recipe for a leftover crudité frittata.
Packed with beta carotene and vitamin A, sweet potatoes are a treasured favorite in fall meals across the US. Whether baking them, mashing them, or making a casserole, leftover sweet potatoes can be re-purposed in this recipe for flavorful biscuits! You can even make this dish with leftover sweet potato/marshmallow casserole, just mash it all together first and bake as directed!
Once the meal is over, those fresh baked dinner rolls can start to get just a little bit stale. But what are stale dinner rolls perfect for? Bread bowls! This recipe for customizable breakfast bread bowls isn’t just a great way to make use of those extra rolls – you can fill them with all the other tasty leftovers you’ve got in the fridge.
Looking for seconds? Find more ideas on our Thanksgiving Pinterest board, or visit the Meatless Monday recipe archive for entrees, side dishes, and desserts that are sure to please your guests. Get creative with those tasty leftovers and have fun!
As part of the Cooking Meatless with Top Chefs video series here at Meatless Monday, we are excited to bring you interviews, advice, and tips from top chefs who love creating dishes that put delicious meatless foods at the center of the plate.
Chef Jason Weiner opened the first Almond location in Bridgehampton in 2001 with his business partner Eric Lemonides. The restaurant was a great success, and it wasn’t long before the team expanded into Manhattan and most recently into the trend-setting Tribeca neighborhood of NYC. The L&W Oyster Co. is a recent addition to the Almond family, featuring fresh oysters and a diverse menu with plenty of meatless options. Offering Meatless Monday in the Almond locations has been a success for Chef Weiner as it supports both their mission to create delicious, healthy dishes and the business of running a restaurant.
Watch the video below for Chef Jason Weiner’s take on the success of Meatless Monday and learn how he makes his famous Goat Cheese Tart!
Chef Weiner says that making Meatless Monday part of the weekly routine at Almond was a natural choice. Having the emphasis on produce on a typically slow day of the week in the restaurant business allows them to “serve a product that’s good for folks and good for the planet” while also supporting the business.
“Having a vegetable-focused day allows us to challenge our staff, challenge our cooks and get them excited but also allows us to source as much as possible locally… Why wasn’t I already doing this!?” – Chef Jason Weiner of Almond, on Meatless Monday
Restaurants like Almond that participate in Meatless Monday can customize their menus for a truly unique meatless dining experience for their patrons. As a part of their Meatless Monday program, every Monday night Almond offers a three-course entirely vegetarian prix fixe menu for $35. Recipes from the Almond kitchen are even included here in the free Meatless Monday Tenth Anniversary Cookbook: 10 Chefs 10 Recipes.
You can read more about Chef Weiner and his work at Almond, and even make a reservation when you’re in town, here.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, now is the time to start planning your feast for the big day. While turkeys get a lot of attention this year, meat doesn’t need to be the focus of your holiday meal! This year try something new by bringing more meatless dishes to the table.
Feature produce that is fresh and in season this time of year with root vegetables, squash, and other items in your region that are at their peak in the fall. Fruit and veggies don’t have to just be side dishes either! Offer a variety of options and plenty of servings, and you can easily make any of these dishes an entree at your family gathering.
Plenty of holiday standards make it to the table every year – change up your annual routine with a new spin on a classic, or a dish that’s entirely new to you! These recipes from Meatless Monday bloggers celebrate everything festive and flavorful about the season. Choose something that looks tasty and go ahead, try it out! Make a recipe truly your own by changing up seasonings, sides, and serving styles.
Hungry for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Check out the delicious ideas on our Thanksgiving Pinterest board for inspiration, or visit the Meatless Monday recipe archive for entrees, side dishes, and desserts to delight the whole family. Get creative this year and have fun!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Meatless Monday!
Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) made a media splash with news that shook much of the meat-eating world: regularly consuming processed meats has been scientifically linked to increasing the risk of certain cancers. In the weeks since reporters, broadcasters, and thought leaders have been buzzing with questions about the findings. How much processed meat is too much? Which meats have a higher risk of causing cancer? Which cancers are most closely linked to consuming processed meats? Is all meat a problem for human health, or is consuming some still considered a healthy choice?
With so many questions being asked, experts have been weighing in on what the healthiest option is in light of the new findings: consuming a little less animal protein is still one of the healthier changes meat-eaters can make. Tina Colaizzo-Anas, associate professor in Buffalo State’s Health, Nutrition and Dietetics Department and director of its Dietitian Education Program reiterated that the WHO findings weren’t news for professionals in the field, who have long known about risks associated with eating more meat than recommended.
Professor Colaizzo-Anas has been teaching the “guidelines of avoiding red meat since 2007,” and noted that “limiting your consumption of red meat and avoiding processed meat was among them.” Since 2007, her “students have critically reviewed a number of randomized clinical trials that provide biological evidence to support the charge that red meat increases risk for cancer.”
“You often hear ‘all things in moderation.’ I say moderation in one’s personal modification of diet, meaning if you love red meat, you might not be able to eliminate it all at once, but you can decrease it to a level where you feel comfortable and then continue to decrease it over time as you move toward your goal.” – Professor Colaizzo-Anas (emphasis added)
The WHO has also responded to questions about the health benefits and risks associated with eating meat. In a statement they affirmed that “the latest IARC review does not ask people to stop eating processed meats but indicates that reducing consumption of these products can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.”
In the report itself, WHO representatives consistently noted that more research would be required to better understand the implications of their findings. WHO representatives stated that they will “begin looking at the public health implications of the latest science and the place of processed meat and red meat within the context of an overall healthy diet,” in the early part of next year. Until then, the wisest choice is still the same: eat a little less meat each week for your health and the health of the planet!
Thanksgiving is on its way: start planning your feast with meatless stuffing!
The tradition of “stuffing” a raw turkey (or other bird, like chicken or duck) with a tasty combination of breads, vegetables, and seasonings is a favoite part of the thanksgiving meal for many families. Cooking inside a turkey means a lot of attention to detail and careful for the cooks in the kitchen; cooking your poultry at a high enough temperature to meet safety standards gets even more complicated when you have to cook a side dish inside the bird itself.
The easy solution? Go meatless and cook it all by itself!
When you don’t literally “stuff” your turkey, you make the cooking process much easier and safer. Since the dish is no longer”stuffed” many people call it “dressing” though the terms vary across regions in the United States. The best way to prepare your dressing now that it’s not inside the bird? Several resources have great tips on cooking up this dish to keep that familiar flavor and texture without all the work of cooking inside a turkey:
“…toast the bread until it’s completely dry; this helps it to absorb the stock and also hold its shape during cooking. Toast the nuts while you’re at it.” –The Kitchn
“…I suggest cooking it separately (in which case it’s “dressing,” not stuffing) and inserting it into the bird while it rests (to collect the turkey juices). Odds are no one will notice the difference.” – Celebrity Chef Alton Brown
“The flavor base for stuffing starts with a mirepoix (pronounced meer-PWAH)—an assortment of chopped vegetables and seasonings cooked slowly in butter, oil, or rendered bacon fat. The idea is to soften the vegetables just enough to release their flavors; you want to leave them, especially the celery, a little crunchy to counter the softness of the bread.” – Molly Stevens, Fine Cooking
These mouth-watering recipes from Meatless Monday bloggers are sure to get you excited for laying out a Thanksgiving spread you didn’t have to “stuff” in a turkey!
Looking for even more meatless dishes for Thanksgiving? Check out the delicious ideas on our Thanksgiving Pinterest board for inspiration, or visit the Meatless Monday recipe archive for entrees, side dishes, and desserts to delight the whole family.
Chef Anthony Lamas opened Seviche restaurant in Louisville KY with a goal: to make delicious Latin-style cuisine with local, seasonal foods. Chef Lamas just released his first cookbook, Southern Heat, to help eaters everywhere enjoy the flavor of well-grown food in Latin cuisine.
Chef Lamas’ love of food began while he was growing up in central California, an area often called “America’s Salad Bowl” in honor of the abundance of produce and the lengthy growing season. “My first introduction to food was agriculture, seeing it everyday. Growing up I used to watch families out there picking oranges. All the hard work that goes into it had an impact on me.”
Growing up around fresh produce and eating homemade Latin fare made with that produce brought food and agriculture together for him. He hated seeing good produce go to waste, and found ways to give people delicious food even before he could cook – gathering ripe windfall avocados and selling them at his own produce stand as a child. Meat was a luxury at home, so making and eating delicious meatless food was a tradition he grew up with; one that he maintains at Seviche to this day.
In Louisville, the produce and seasons are a little different, but they give Chef Lamas the chance to create original dishes with outstanding ingredients. Local farmers even comprise a section of his book, where he tells their stories and explain the richness their ingredients bring to his dishes. Farmers in the area will even grow specific foods just for his restaurant, including one who farms 87 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and 14 kinds of chilies just for him, as well as corn, squash, radishes, and peanuts. “People want to make chefs out to be rock stars,” Chef Lamas told Meatless Monday, “ but the farmers are the rock stars, they create the amazing things!”
Chef Lamas also took part in the James Beard Foundation’s fifth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change in 2014, where he and other chefs like Tom Collicio spoke out about food labeling and safety. “We went to DC to lobby and speak about it. We want Americans to be able to know what’s in their food! We should be leading the world in health and awareness.”
The menu at Seviche always includes vegetarian options; options that are built on the vibrant seasonal produce of the area. With the layers of flavor and texture incorporated into vegetarian dishes like black bean tortilla lasagna and butternut squash empanadas, even meat eaters are sending their compliments to the chef and saying “I don’t miss the meat when I eat it.”
Meatless Monday will be coming to Seviche soon, and according to the plans Chef Lamas has been considering, the features for the Monday menu will be every bit as delicious and inventive as the food his restaurant has built its reputation on. You can read more about Chef Lamas’ work, learn about the farmers he champions, and cook the delicious recipes he’s created in his cookbook: Southern Heat
Ghana has officially joined the Meatless Monday movement!
On September 25th, 2015, the campaign launched during the 10th Annual Vegetarian Festival (Vegfest) at Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra.
The program in Ghana plans to organize lectures, a monthly healthy lifestyle variety show, cooking demonstrations, and public education events about how to prepare tasty meatless meals on Mondays.
According to Meatless Monday Ghana Campaign Manager Ady Namaran Clottey, adhering to a vegan diet once a week is a gift we give to ourselves as when we eat less meat, “we feel better and the quality of our life improves.” Mrs. Clottey went on to explain that Meatless Monday has many benefits, including better personal health and nutrition, protecting the environment, reducing animal suffering, and working to end world hunger.
One more reason to go meatless on Monday: reduce your risk of cancer.
This Monday the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that their researchers have found eating processed meats increases the risk of certain cancers. According to estimates cited by in the WHO report, about 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide could be attributed to diets that are high in processed meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, or ham. Not only did researchers find the connection between processed meat and cancer, they also found that consuming unprocessed red meat in general is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
The WHO report was drafted in connection with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monograph Working Group by a panel of 22 international experts. The panel reviewed extensive research over seven days in early October looking for evidence of the connection between red meat, processed meats, and cancer. Panel members drew conclusions from more than 800 epidemiological studies on the subject from the U.S., Europe, Japan, Australia and elsewhere.
“These results are important in enabling governments and international regulatory agencies to conduct risk assessments, in order to balance the risks and benefits of eating red meat and processed meat and to provide the best possible dietary recommendations.” – Christopher Wild, head of the WHO’s cancer agency
How can people eat healthier, avoid health risks, and still enjoy their meals? By cutting out meat once a week, particularly processed and red meat, diners can reduce their consumption of high-risk meats and begin to build healthier dietary habits. Because a healthy change on Monday often leads to a healthier week, the first day of the week is a perfect time to try skipping the meat and grabbing some fruits, veggies, or healthy whole grains instead.
The full report, “Carcinogenicity of Consumption of Red and Processed Meat,” will be published in the 114 of the IARC Monographs and available online through The Lancet: Oncology.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is a national leader in wellness and champions the health of all people and all communities. The organization supports professionals in the public health field and directly addresses policies and public health issues. APHA influences public policy on a federal level and has a 140-plus year perspective of bringing together members from all fields of public health.
“We all deserve access to a culture of health – living as long as you can, as well as you can and having a short but glorious ending. It also means having a system in place that ensures we can all achieve it.” – APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD
APHA’s mission is to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status, making the United States the healthiest nation in the world in the space of one generation. They have an ambitious goal; one that Meatless Monday and all The Monday Campaigns are excited to be a part of.
Every fall APHA hosts an annual meeting that brings together individuals and organizations dedicated to public health. Organizations present their work, discuss their programs, and collaborate with new partners on future projects. Meatless Monday has been delighted to attend the meeting and exposition in previous years, and will be returning this year with all new stories about The Monday Campaigns and new projects that are already doing a lot of good.
Meatless Monday and The Monday Campaigns will be introducing attendees to the power of Mondays as a way to start healthy changes that last. The shared booth will be stocked with news, recipes and free resources for any APHA program in attendance that wants to learn more about harnessing the power of Mondays for themselves and their clients.
APHA’s 2015 annual meeting will take place in Chicago from Oct. 31 – Nov. 4. You can view the online program for a full list of sessions and events.