Give your favorite veggies the sweet, smoky flavor that only grilling can produce. Labor Day is around the corner, and here’s how to move Meatless Monday out from the kitchen and onto the grill.
The first thing you’ll need are ideas, and we have plenty of them. On the Meatless Monday Summer Cookout Pinterest Board, you’ll find recipes from Meatless Monday’s own recipe collection, in addition to a wide range of recipes from bloggers and other websites. This is a great place to start planning your cookout.
If a BBQ just isn’t a BBQ without a burger, then check out One Green Planet’s 10 Epic Veggie Burgers. Summer is also the time for bright salads, and Craving Something Healthy’s Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Salad, CookingPlanIt’s Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes, and The Salty Tomato’s Carrot Mint Salad fit the bill. And for the procrastinators, our friends at NoshOn.it published this collection of Last Minute Memorial Day Recipes; just go ahead and repurpose them.
Quite possibly, the best part of summer grilling is the endless creativity; almost anything can go on the grill. One of our favorite writers, Joe Yonan, Food & Travel Editor of The Washington Post, has this excellent piece about the “glory” of grilling a head of cabbage for first time. If you want to skip the cole slaw and impress your friends with something new, then this is for you.
Ready to take the cover off the grill? Then get your apron on, get a copy of Meatless Monday’s Monday Burgers Cookbook, and eat well all summer with these 10 easy summer grilling tips:
1. Many vegetables can get grilled with just a light brushing of olive oil. Fresh corn, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell peppers and jalapenos are just a few to try.
2. Kabobs are a BBQ staple that make the perfect meatless entree. Add tofu cubes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted potatoes or just about any other vegetable that strikes your fancy.
3. For a sweet side dish or dessert, grilled fruit is amazing. Try peach halves, pineapples, plums, melon, kiwi, bananas, pears or figs with a touch of honey marinade.
4. Swap the hamburger for a Portobello Mushroom Burger or grilled eggplant slices. Grab a bun and add your favorite toppings, like avocados, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers or an olive spread.
5. Make your own veggie burgers packed with hearty ingredients like black beans, lentils, quinoa and chickpeas. You can also find healthy pre-made patties at supermarkets and natural food stores.
6. Turn up the creativity and make delicious, smoky pizzas right on the grill. All you need is pizza dough, sauce and your favorite vegetables thinly sliced or pre-grilled.
7. Use your favorite marinade recipe to add flavor to extra firm tofu cubes. Grill them up and add them to a salad, serve them with veggies or enjoy them on their own.
8. Add grilled vegetables to a filling summer salad. Garnish fresh lettuces with a bit of fruit, feta cheese and olive oil to complete the dish; or think beyond lettuce and whip up a bean or grain salad.
9. Consider your sides when planning a meatless BBQ. Pasta salads, raw vegetables and hummus dip are great ways to turn your plant-based dishes into a full meal.
10. End the meal on a healthy note: include a tray of fresh fruit, a parfait or homemade smoothies.
Also check out the 5 meatless grilling options from our friends at Rodale News with contributions by Meatless Monday’s RD Diana Rice.
The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, founded in 1974, has about 700 full-time students at any given time. Students pursue educational tracks such as in the visual arts from fine art, to interior architecture and design, to photography, print, and sculpture. And now they are offering a new “course” in healthy eating.
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design will launch their Meatless Monday campaign to start off the 2014 fall semester. To mark the occasion we put a few questions to Ricky Heldt, Associate Director of Student Services at MIAD.
Meatless Monday: What made you decide to launch MM at MIAD? Is this the first time you’re doing MM?
Ricky Heldt: We decided to launch Meatless Mondays at MIAD because we offer meatless options at every meal. We thought, why not encourage more people to try the meatless options, and then share the health benefits and reasons for going meatless.
MM: How was the Meatless Monday menu developed? Who’s the foodservice provider?
RH: Meatless Monday was developed organically, as we have been offering meatless options for many years. We have many students who are vegan or vegetarian, and want to cater to their dietary needs as well. We operate our own boutique food service on campus, including catering at on-site gallery events.
MM: Will you feature MM specials every Monday, while keeping meat dishes for those who don’t want to go meatless?
RH: Yes, we will feature MM every Monday, and we plan on continuing our practice of offering both meatless and meat options for every meal.
MM: What is the actual date of your MM launch?
RH: The first day of classes for the Fall 2014 Semester is Monday, August 25, and that will also be our MM launch.
To put a face on climate change, Milton Glaser, a renowned graphic designer revealed a new logo—a green disk being swallowed by an ominous, smoky gradient.
In 1977, Milton Glaser created the iconic “I [heart] NY” logo that made him famous. At the time NY was nearly bankrupt and overridden with crime. The logo helped to shift perception and funneled a collective pride that encouraged real change.Now in an attempt to create a similar rallying around a cause. Glaser has designed a logo for climate change. This logo is a central part of an awareness campaign to get people to acknowledge and take action against climate change.
Really Glaser would like to re-brand climate change, as he sees “climate change” or “global warming” as watered-down expressions. Thus the name of the campaign: “It’s not warming, it’s dying.”
In an interview with Dezeen Magazine, Glaser said, “There is no more significant issue on earth than its survival. The question is, ‘how can anyone not be involved?’” And so Milton Glaser has given us another image, another opportunity to get involved and a chance to effect real, positive environmental change.
The reveal of this campaign is timely as now New York City is preparing for September’s 2014 United Nations’ Climate Summit and Climate Week NYC. Meatless Monday will be participating in and supporting Climate Week NYC.
Visit ItsNotWarming.com to get buttons and support the initiative.
According to a new study from Datamonitor Consumer conducted in 24 countries, a third of global consumers are cutting back on meat. This confirms the findings of the April 2014 Meatless Monday study conducted by FGI Research—there is a growing dietary trend toward flexitarianism.
Flexitarians actively seek to reduce the amount of meat they consume (not to completely eliminate it from their diets, very similar to many Meatless Monday readers).
There are a variety of motivations for making this dietary choice. The study revealed, however, that health concerns are the major catalyst. Three out of four consumers are limiting their meat in order to eat more healthily.
The results of this study correspond with the increasing influence of the Meatless Monday campaigns, which are now in 35 countries worldwide.
Meat production has been pointed to as one of the biggest sources of the pollution that is disrupting the global climate.
As a country, China consumes about two times more meat than the U.S. And meat consumption in China has been increasing steadily over the last half century. It’s more than doubled since 1985. This is in part attributable to the prevailing view in Chinese culture that eating meat is a symbol of wealth. So as China’s wealth increases—they now have more millionaires than any other country other than the U.S.—they’ve got the means to eat more meat. And so they have been.
And yet, while there has been a rise in meat consumption, there is also a counter movement forming, or a “new breed of Chinese vegetarianism” as Graham Land puts it. “This […] is mainly due to a recent rise in environmental awareness among China’s young and educated.
“Many Chinese, while not embracing a vegetarian or vegan diet, are becoming more conscious of how much meat they eat and where it comes from; for instance, whether it is organic or sustainably farmed.”
And maybe calling it a “counter culture” is not enough. Even the Chinese ex-Premier Wen Jiaobao campaigned for “one day vegetarian every week.” Others, who have attained a certain level of celebrity, have also embraced this ecologically aware eating movement. Director Jian Yi, recently released a documentary called, What’s for Dinner? Which focuses on more environmentally conscious eating. And pop music singer, Long Kuan, adds to the conversation by releasing a song titled, “LOHAS Queen,” LOHAS is an acronym for “lifestyles of health and sustainability.”
This is a counter current. It hasn’t yet turned the tide, but let’s hope it does, because as Janet Larsen, the Director of Research at the Earth Policy Institute says, “If everyone on the planet were to eat like Americans, we have the capacity to feed 2 billion people.” China’s population right now is at 1.35 billion and they are steadily eating more and more like the western world.
Many flock to popular social media outlet, Pinterest, for the latest and greatest from fashion to food. And according to US News and World Report, the platform can also be useful in budgeting, saving, organizing, and generating DIY or meal ideas.
When it’s used to curate and search Meatless Monday recipes, well then it’s satisfying a few of the benefits that U.S. News and World Report highlighted. Their recent article featured the Meatless Monday Pinterest Board as a means of organizing and meal planning—to help protect against unused leftovers or an improvised meal of fast food.
But we’d be remiss not to add that eating more vegetable proteins instead of meat is usually a money saver as well. And the Meatless Monday Pinterest page is an excellent source of deliciousness, featuring meatless recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinners—and many variations on chili, tacos, pizza, mushrooms and more.
There is a lot there. So we enlisted our Associate Director of Marketing to help pick out a few highlights. Here is what she suggested:
The MM Blogger Board—this board features over 80 Meatless Monday bloggers cooking, creating, and contributing recipes. So it’s eclectic, plentiful, and great place to browse. Here you’ll find a range of meatless recipes from main courses and sides to dips and desserts.
The MM Meat Makeovers—this board is a great place for everyone who has grown accustomed to having meat in the center of the plate. Here you’ll find crab-less crab cakes, vegan po’ boys, and meatless meatloaf or meatless meatballs.
The MM Mushroom Lovers Board—this board features the versatile and umami-rich mushroom. The board is the love child of Meatless Monday and our partners at the Mushroom Council. Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? Don’t forget to mark your calendar.
The MM Summer Cookout Board—this board demonstrates that there is more to a summer cookout than hot dogs, hamburgers, and steaks. Here you’ll find alternatives to the usual (meat) suspects of cookouts, and you’ll also see some terrific vegetable centered sides.
The MM E-Cookbooks—the Meatless Monday E-Cook Books are an absolute favorite. Here you’ll find a wide range of recipes. And you’ll get to rub shoulders with some excellent chefs. Contributors include: Mario Batali, Matteo Bergamini, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and John Fraser—just to name a few.
Climate Week NYC is less than two months away. And as governments, businesses and individuals will gather to focus on ways to find low carbon solutions, one answer is right on our plate. Quite simply: eat less meat.
According to a study from Oxford University, as reported by the Washington Post, the difference in environmental impact between a heavy meat eater (defined as someone who eats more than 3.5 ounces per day as many Americans do) versus a light meat eater is significant.
And one of the leading factors impacting the environment is the industrialized meat industry. Slow Food neatly sums up the environmental impact of modern, commercial meat production in its just-released newsletter, Too Much At Steak. “The quantities of manure that the animals produce are so excessive that they become pollutants. The feed is produced by intensive cropping methods, sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles away, using environmentally damaging mineral fertilizers and pesticides. Industrial livestock production pollutes water, soil, air with excess nutrients from manure and fertilizers and is a large contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.”
That consumers aren’t more aware of the problem isn’t surprising, it’s a bit of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ issue for most of us. It’s hard to imagine the cost of livestock production on the environment unless you live near a commercial feedlot. But if the effects of meat production on the environment aren’t in plain sight, it has been appearing a lot in the nation’s headlines, as food advocates, researchers and entrepreneurs have all taken notice of the issue and are doing their part to drive awareness.
“Beef itself is the priciest livestock out there, if you’re looking at its environmental costs.” commented Flatow during “What’s The Real Cost of Your Steak.” “According to the USDA, there are 87.7–almost 88 million– head of cattle in the US. Feeding, raising, processing all those cows takes a huge amount of resources.” The fact is, there is one head of cattle for every three Americans, and keeping this system going requires a lot of area to grow feed. “In the US, 47% of the entire surface area is devoted to food production,” points out Gidon Eshel, Research Professor, Environmental Science and Physics, Bard College. “Foods that we consume directly like vegetables, fruits, nuts, takes just a few percent, 4-5% tops. All the rest, something like 42% of the entire surface area of the nation, is to feed livestock.”
Looking at the issue in terms of its total cost, according to Mark Bittman, is crucial to coming to solutions. “If we acknowledge how much burgers really cost us,” he writes in “The True Cost of a Burger“, listing some of ‘costs’ as carbon generation, obesity, and risk associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality, “we might either consume fewer, or force producers to pick up more of the charges or—ideally—both.”
Meat Free Monday—Meatless Monday’s friend with a British accent—turns 5 this year. To mark the occasion and promote the cause, Paul McCartney and Meat Free are making a music video to go along with the Meat Free Monday song. And they’ve opened up an opportunity for you to be a part of the video—share a photo of yourself with some of the lyrics from the Meat Free Monday song, and you might just be included in the video.
“Having one designated meat free day a week,” Paul says, “is actually a meaningful change that everyone can make, that goes to the heart of several important political, environmental, and ethical issues all at once.”
The Meat Free Monday website goes on to say of the success of the movement, “The awareness campaign has had an incredible response so far. Some of the world’s leading authorities on climate change have endorsed meat reduction as an effective way of fighting global warming… And a huge number of celebrities and high profile chefs back Meat Free Monday…”
The Meatless Monday initiative is global, in 23 languages and 36 countries. And while there are many variations: Meatless Monday, Meat Free Monday, Lunes Sin Carne, and Köttfri Måndag (to name a few,) we all have the same two core goals: better health for people and better health for the environment through reducing meat consumption. So we don’t mind sharing the stage when it’s someone else’s time to shine. We celebrated our 10th year anniversary a few months ago. Now it’s Meat Free Monday’s turn to celebrate.
Meat Free Monday’s success is our success—join us in celebrating 5-year benchmark and contribute to the video. How many more opportunities do you think you’ll get to collaborate with a former Beatle?
Zucchini—you summer squash, you courgette, you flowering fruit who is treated like a vegetable—you are loved. This time of year, gardens and farmers’ markets alike are replete with zucchinis. And how nice that such a versatile vegetable is such a great source of folate, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The zucchini is the subject of countless recipes and even a zucchini Pinterest board.
Want to show zucchinis a little more love? Right now is a great time to put them on your plate, and here are a few recipes to help you do just that.
This zucchini fries recipe is one of the most popular recipes on the Meatless Monday website. It comes to us via Sophisticated Pie. Lightly breaded and baked, these zucchini fries would pair nicely with the Quinoa Zucchini Burgers recipe below!
Quinoa Zucchini Burgers
This hearty burger is the perfect healthy substitute to a greasy hamburger and a side of heartburn. The recipe features zucchini, Portobello mushroom, bell pepper, and shallots, and comes to us via Cathy at A Life Less Sweet.
Julienned Zucchini Vegan Mexican Bowl
This Mexican-style zucchini dish is quick to prepare and requires only a few minutes in front of a lit stove, which is a big bonus on a hot day. And yet, the meal is super hearty and flavorful. It comes to us via Meatless Monday blogger Kalyn’s Kitchen.
Zucchini Tomato Cheese Tart
Here is a recipe for Zucchini Tomato Cheese Tart from Meatless Monday blogger Rebecca Crump at Ezra Pound Cake, featuring zucchini, tomato and smoked Gouda cheese. It’s a simple recipe that allows you to add your own twists; maybe you want to add the heat of a fresh chili pepper, maybe you don’t. Your choice!
Mama’s Italian Zucchini
This Italian-style zucchini dish features tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil. It’s a simple and hearty summer meal that will please most any pallet, even a child’s. The recipe comes to us via our own Registered Dietitian, Diana Rice, posted at our Meatless Monday Prevention blog.
Black Bean Meatless Balls and Zucchini Noodles
If you’re still hungry for more? Well it just so happens that our Meatless Monday featured recipe also highlights the deliciousness and versatility of the zucchini. This recipe comes to via Meatless Monday blogger Myra at The Happy Health Freak.
Have a favorite zucchini recipe, one that’s just too good to keep to yourself? Post it via Twitter with the hashtags #zucchini and #MeatlessMonday.
Shaun Hergatt is the executive chef of Juni, a boutique restaurant which celebrates the height of the season. With over 20 years experience–not to mention three stars from the New York Times, two Michelin stars, and an across-the-board 29 of 30 ranking in Zagat–Hergatt is not new to the local, fresh food movement. After all, he’s been enjoying just-picked, perfectly ripe ingredients since his childhood, growing up on a farm in Australia. Meatless Monday met with Chef Shaun on a recent afternoon in Juni’s midtown location.
Meatless Monday: When an individual participates in Meatless Monday, we like to say “move the vegetables to the center of the plate.” You seem to have moved vegetables to the center of your restaurant.
Shaun Hergatt: Well, that is the philosophy behind Juni. Obviously it’s about local and as much organic as we can buy. The Union Square Greenmarket is a big segment of our ordering system because it’s literally up the street so I get to go the market three times a week. A lot of the food we purchase, a lot of herbs, the vegetables, we buy from the local area. My approach is: we only use premium products. They are expensive and we pay well for them.
MM: For our readers who want to enjoy the very best seasonal products, what kind of dining experience should they expect at Juni?
SH: For lunch, have a regular a la carte menu and also a tasting menu. For dinner, we only have a tasting menu. The tasting menus are designed to celebrate what we call the “micro-seasons.” The way the weather patterns change now, the way the dynamic of global warming is, we don’t have specific, segmented seasons anymore. People think: fall is fall, winter is winter, then spring and summer. It doesn’t work that way. A very simple example that I use often is ramps. Ramps are only in for about a month. Fiddlehead ferns are the same way. Or a very specific thing like a Fava Blossom that will only grow for two and a half months.
MM: Are people surprised to see an all-vegetarian tasting menu priced at $50?
SH: That’s a good question. People have this perception that vegetables are less costly. That’s incorrect. It costs me the same amount of money to produce these dishes as it does meat dishes. I’ll give you an example: morel mushrooms at the moment are $49 a pound. Toro, from a bluefin tuna, will cost me $50 a pound. So they’re equal on par, and you’ll probably eat just as much mushrooms as you’ll eat protein on the plate. So when we design our vegetarian tasting menu, we’re doing it as a promotional situation. We are saying: we respect vegetables, we are a seasonal restaurant, and we’re a very local restaurant. Everything on the plate is a superior product, so it’s a very special occasion when you eat these vegetables.
MM: There seems to be an uptick in interest in plant-based meals in recent years. Are you hearing this from your customers?
SH: Yes, we have a lot of customers requesting an all-vegetarian meal. And it’s not just on Mondays, it’s all week long. It’s probably 20% of our customers. So whether someone wants to come in because they participate in Meatless Monday or they just want to taste what’s in the market on any given day, what you’re finding now is people who are carnivores, who aren’t vegetarian, still want to try a vegetarian tasting menu.
MM: Where does your passion for fresh, seasonal food come from?
SH: Growing up in Australia, I grew up on a farm, so vegetables probably mean a lot more to myself than to most people. I think I have a very different way of looking at food. It’s just fun to eat vegetables. I know how to grow products, because I’ve grown them my entire life, but the thing is: we always react to our childhood memories, right? So that’s what I do. Yes, there’s a movement in America that people are starting to understand that vegetables are good for them. I can recall being a kid in a watermelon patch, opening a fresh watermelon and eating it all day. I know how a freshly picked watermelon should taste. So when I reproduce a watermelon dish, if it doesn’t have the proper flavor balance and texture–for one, we won’t use it–but when I do find it, I know how to enhance that flavor profile so it gives the customer the experience of a very high level product.
MM: The idea of having childhood memories related to food is a concept that, unfortunately, not a lot of kids in America will have. We have an initiative called The Kids Cook Monday dedicated to getting more families cooking and eating together, in part, to create those memories.
SH: That’s something that should be encouraged. Ultimately it starts with parents and it starts with schools. Children should be––not forced––but driven to understand what they are eating. But it’s not just what they are eating; it’s the whole package: it’s food, it’s exercise, it’s also mind exercise. Children need to be guided and educated; you have to build children so they have something to carry from their childhood and they have an understanding of what their goals are. Exercise is just as important as having a healthy diet. A healthy mind is just as important as exercise. So there are a lot of aspects that go into that, it’s not just the food. It’s the whole package.
MM: I think we agree. And I think that’s why a movement like Meatless Monday has taken off. It’s very moderate. It’s about a small reduction in meat consumption, for your health and the health of the planet.
SH: I’m not anti-meat; I’m all about balance. When I was a kid, we would eat meat nearly every day. It’s just the way Australians are. But the portions are quite small, and the rest of the meal is vegetables and starch. In America, when you eat a piece of meat, traditionally you go to a steakhouse and you get a piece of meat, it’s a brontosaurus concept. Instead, maybe you should eat a quarter of that amount of meat, along with a lot of vegetables and maybe you’ll be okay. I don’t think a vegetarian’s diet is necessarily more healthy than an omnivore’s; it’s all relative. Everyone has to find their balance.
MM: Juni—Latin for June—seems designed for the peak growing months of summer. Your website says your cuisine is ‘very much grounded by nature.’ Can you give an example of what that means?
SH: Here’s one example: soon, the all-vegetarian tasting menu will be replaced by an all-tomato tasting menu. Once the sun is a little stronger, and the tomatoes are a little riper, we will go to five-courses of tomatoes. People really identify with menus like that. If the food is too avant-garde, they don’t know what it is. But if you pick a tomato, everyone knows it’s a tomato. There are certain things people understand, it’s about hitting their memories. It’s all connected.
MM: Last question: it’s prime farmer’s market season. Any tips on how the average consumer can navigate their local market?
SH: First, you should look for an organic stall. Two, have a look at the product, smell it, feel it and taste it. And if it tastes amazing, it’s ready to go. You want something at the pinnacle of perfection. You want to pick products at their supreme ripeness.