Three Tasty Recipes To Kick Start Your ‘Meatless Monday’

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/11/2013 | 10:30 AM EST

Try These Meatless Monday Dishes -- Your Body Will Thank You

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.

As an option for a better eating diet, check out some of these tasty Meatless Monday recipes that you can try at home:

Meatless Meatballs

1/2 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic
1- 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup if you’re using jarred)
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning mix
Shake of crushed red pepper flakes
1 egg
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs, such as Panko
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: In the bowl of a food processor, add onion and garlic and pulse until these ingredients are minced. Leaving onion and garlic in the bowl of the processor, add kidney beans and pulse until chopped. Pour mixture into a medium-sized bowl. Add the chopped red pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and salt and ground black peppe. Stir until combined. Scoop out about 1 1/2 rounded tablespoons and form into a ball with hands.

***

Sweet Potato Burritos

4-6 soft taco shells, tortillas or wraps
1 medium sweet potato, boiled until tender and drained
1 cup brown rice or quinoa, cooked to desired tenderness
10 oz frozen spinach
1 cup black beans
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Hot sauce, to taste

Directions: Cook spinach and put in a bowl, sprinkle with garlic powder and salt and set aside. Sprinkle cumin, onion powder and garlic powder over black beans. Stir to evenly coat beans with spices and set aside. Peel cooked sweet potato and mash with potato masher or fork. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir to combine. Combine sweet potato, spinach, grains and black beans in large bowl. Stir to evenly combine, and scoop mixture into the center of the wrap. Drizzle with hot sauce to taste.

***

Quinoa Zucchini Burgers

2 portobello mushrooms (8 ounces), stems removed
1 small zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup shallot or mixed onion & garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed & cooked to package directions
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 cup oats, pulsed in a food processor until ground (1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs)
15 hamburger buns or rolls, toasted

Directions: Chop Portobello mushrooms into pieces and pulse in food processor until finely diced. Shred zucchini and squeeze out excess moisture with paper towel. Place chopped mushrooms and shredded zucchini in bowl and set aside. Add the shallot or garlic onion mixture and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, cooked quinoa and salt.

Stir the egg, breadcrumbs and oats into the quinoa zucchini mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until cold and firm. When quinoa zucchini mixture has chilled, shape into small patties. Place quinoa patties into skillet in even layer. Serve quinoa zucchini burgers on toasted bun with a side of blanched green beans.

 For more Meatless Monday recipes, visit www.meatlessmonday.com

(Photo: GettyImages)

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