Meatless Monday: Meat-Free Recipes of The Week

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 01/06/2014 | 12:15 PM EST

In need of some awesome meatless recipes? We got you covered.

What’s Good? Meatless Monday!


Whether you’re fasting or simply trying to be more health conscious, going meatless (at least once a week) is a great way to decrease your risk of health complications like heart disease and high-blood pressure. Though it’s not for everybody, health professionals recommend it as a great way to keep your health intact. As always, Centric has compiled a few tasty, and quite interesting, meatless recipes for you to try at home. Check it out.


Pasta With Kale In Lemon-Cashew Sauce

1/2 cup Raw Cashews, soaked*
3 cups Vegetable Broth
Juice of 2 lemons, about ½ cup
1 tsp Dried Basil
3 tsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Box Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
1 cup Diced Onion
3 Large Cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup sliced Baby Carrots
About 2 cups of Kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste


Directions:
*Cashew soaking: To quick soak, put the cashews in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 2 minutes; set aside to cool. For the sauce: In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine broth, lemon juice, basil, cornstarch, and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Drain cashews, discarding water and add cashews to blender. Blend on high, until creamy; set aside. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package, reserving about 2 cups of the water.


In another large pan with some additional olive oil as needed, saute onions on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add carrots; cook and stir for another minute; add sauce. At this point, if the sauce is too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water, as needed. Add the kale and stir to cover with the sauce. Allow the kale to cook for about 5 minutes, until it has wilted a little, but is still bright green. Add the cooked and drained pasta, and then add to the pan and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.


***

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

1/2 lb. Penne Pasta
4 tsp Butter
1 small Onion
3 tsp Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
1-3 cups Milk, warmed
1/2 Ricotta Cheese or Cottage Cheese
2 cups Butternut Squash Cubes, cooked and mashed
1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage
1/4 Nutmeg
2 cups Fontina Cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely shredded


Directions:
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. While pasta is cooking, heat large saucepan over medium heat and add butter; when melted add onions. Stir occasionally until butter just begins to brown. Stir in flour, salt and pepper; cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in warmed milk, whisking until smooth; continue to cook and stir until mixture starts to boil. Add ricotta cheese, squash, sage and nutmeg, mixing until well combined. At this point taste to see if more seasoning is needed. Stir in 1 cup of the fontina cheese; no need for it to melt in. Spray large casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Add pasta to dish and pour sauce over top, fold the sauce into pasta, coating it well. Top with remaining shredded cheeses. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.


***

Chipotle Bean Burritos

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained
3 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
6 (10-inch) reduced-fat flour tortillas (such as Mission)
1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 3)
1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
6 tablespoons light sour cream


Directions:
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with a fork. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon onions, and 1 tablespoon sour cream; roll up.

(Photo: Burwell & Burwell Photography/Getty Images)

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