'Meatless Monday' Recipes To Help Your Thanksgiving Recovery

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/01/2014 | 04:00 PM EST

Try these deliciously healthy meal options for your post-holiday greed

Still feeling the massive guilt from last week’s Thanksgiving meal? Well, then it’s time to get back on track and return to a healthy diet regimen--one that doesn’t entail fried chicken and loads of starch and sugar.

For Meatless Monday, try concocting a delicious, healthy dish that’s meat-free.

If you’re not on the Meatless Monday bandwagon, you’re missing out. The national movement, which encourages Americans to reduce their meat consumption by incorporating a meatless diet on Mondays, has managed to motivate many to live healthier lifestyles and think more about the food they consume.

The one-day observance was even recommended by Dr. Oz, who says a reduction in meat, even one day out of the week, can lead to healthier living and a longer lifespan, considering it reduces the probability of developing heart disease, among other things.

So for your post-Thanksgiving recovery, try these great recipes. Enjoy!

Chipotle Hummus Harvest Wrap

3 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

6 tablespoons tahini

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

paprika or chili powder, for garnish

2 chipotle peppers in adobo*, minced

2 tablespoon adobo liquids from the chipotle peppers can


To complete the chipotle harvest hummus wraps:

1 avocado, mashed

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 cup chipotle hummus

6 medium tortillas

2 cups radishes, sliced

3 medium carrots, peeled, and cut into 4-inch match sticks

1/4 pound baby arugula


To make the chipotle hummus:

In a small food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, paprika and salt. Puree the mixture, adding the water as needed to thin it. Return the hummus to the mixing bowl when it reaches desired consistency. Mix in the minced chipotle peppers and 1 tablespoon of chipotle liquid. Taste for seasoning and adjust to preference. Add the additional tablespoon of chipotle liquid if you like your hummus spicy. Garnish the hummus with a couple dashes of paprika or chili powder.

To complete the chipotle harvest hummus wrap:

In a small mixing bowl, combine the avocado with 3/4 of the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. On a work surface, spread a large spoonful of hummus over half of a tortilla. Spread a spoonful of the avocado mixture over the other half. Place a handful of carrot sticks in the center, top with a sprinkle of radish slices and 1/4 cup of arugula leaves. Fold in the top and bottom sides of the tortilla. Fold in one of the sides length-wise and roll the tortilla, making sure the top and bottom stay tucked. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve the extra chipotle hummus on the side with baked pita chips or extra veggie sticks and enjoy.


Autumn Vegetable Curry

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 1 1/2-inch length fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup light coconut milk

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 head cauliflower, broken into 1½-inch-wide florets (about 3 cups)

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds

2 tomatoes, cored and chopped

Grated zest of 1 lime

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed

5 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

3 cups cooked brown rice, for serving, optional

Place the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and cayenne pepper in a food processor and process to combine. Add the oil and process until a smooth puree is formed. Transfer the curry puree to a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to darken, about 5 minutes more. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick. Stir in the lime zest and juice, chickpeas, and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with up to ¾ teaspoon salt. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.


Grilled Onion Eggplant Sandwiches

1 small eggplant, sliced into 4 rounds, 1/2 inch thick

2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large white onion, sliced into 4 rounds, 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil, divded

4 slices crusty bread

4 tablespoons lowfat mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic chile paste*

1 large tomato, sliced into 4 rounds, 1/4 inch thick

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, chiffonade

Heat a grill to medium. Lay the eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle with 1 of the teaspoons of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes, rinse and pat dry. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with the remaining teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Transfer the eggplant slices to the grill and cook, turning frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until soft.

While the eggplant begins grilling, pierce the large onion slices lengthwise with metal skewers. Drizzle another tablespoon olive oil over the onions. Add the onions to the grill about 7 minutes after you put the eggplant on.  Cook the onions for 4 minutes, flip and cook 4 minutes more, or until they achieve grill marks. When the eggplant and onion have finished cooking, remove them from the grill flame. Transfer the crusty slices of bread to the grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until the bread has toasted. Mix the mayonnaise and garlic chile paste together in a small bowl. Spread about 1 tablespoon per burger on each slice of bread and top with a piece of grilled eggplant. Top the eggplant with tomato, followed by grilled onion. Sprinkle with sliced basil and enjoy.


Peach Vanilla Smoothie

1 1/4 cup nonfat milk

1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt

2 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices


2 cups peaches, peeled and sliced

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place 4 glasses in the refrigerator to chill. Place the milk, yogurt, peach slices, orange juice and vanilla extract together in a blender. Pour 4 portions into the chilled glasses and enjoy.

(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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