CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Meatless Mondays keep your week in order

Published 7:15 am Monday, February 7, 2022

Meat’s a big deal in Texas. In Southeast Texas, we grow rice and harvest seafood, too.

Exploring the world through pasta, vegetables and grains is an adventure to me, so Meatless Mondays has been a thing at my house for a few years.

Meatless Mondays are a thing for good health, the environment, economical cooking adventures, gratitude, etc. It’s an easy transition from rich weekend eating and it even has a nice ring to it when you say it: “Meatless Mondays.”

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My husband’s complaint level is lowering as he becomes convinced some of his favorite foods came from the soil.

And by the way, there’s no rule saying you can’t ease into the habit of trying this for dinner only at first.

Here are some ideas to get you into the swing of it.

Freshé – Tins of seafood are already portable picnics. Sometimes you just need that and a few sides.

Wait, what if the “extras” were in the can?

Fancy tins with tile motif include a gourmet salmon meal of Barcelona Escalivada, with salmon, roasted eggplant and peppers, quinoa, sweet onions, tomato, garlic and paprika. It’s all in there.

Make these your meal or top a salad. I had some as a candlelight dinner.

Moroccan Tagine begins with salmon and chickpeas and throws in olives, lemon, carrots, fennel and more.

Oh, there are others at freshemeals.com. Open. Enjoy. Energize.

Go Legendary – Enthusiasm sells, as does flavor.

“Everything Legendary” is the real deal of plant-based burgers. I tried my first on my plate with a side of sauteed onions. I can see it has the juicy staying power to make an authentic burger.

Watch their “Shark Tank” pitch at golegendary.com.

These guys, including the inventor chef, have some joy in their work and I’ve enjoyed their labors. It’s good stuff.

“Beet This” – What happened to the guy who gave up eating vegetables? His heart skipped a beet.

Do you love “The Office?” Kartoffelkoesse? Beet pudding and cookies? Laughing?

“Beet This – An Unofficial Schrute Farms Cookbook” is for you. This is unofficial, in the sense of the TV show’s Dwight character, but it is officially hilarious.

I agree this recipe for Aunt Gertrude’s beet gruel could be better than any other beet gruel you have tried. You really can’t beet these tips for growing, choosing and cooking beets.
Recipes go from snacks to cocktails, for many tastes. Dutch Herring Salad with Beets? I may pass. But I’m into Pickled Beet English Salad.

Go-Oats – The COO (Chief Oatmeal Officer) at GoOats remembers family meals and eating well. We are even more on the go these days.

GoOats is a crispy, crunchy ball on the outside with warm steel-cut oats to keep you satisfied. You’d swear you were looking at a boudain ball. Bite in to sweet, goodness, baked in your oven or air fryer. Blueberry Oatmeal in a Ball is as good as Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal in a Ball, and I don’t even want to rank the other flavors. These are balls of nutritional adventure — gooats.life.

America’s Test Kitchen’s new “Five Ingredient Dinners: 100 + Fast, Flavorful Meals” offers pages of beautiful photos and expert ideas.

They’ll tell you why things work.
Gingery Coconut Carrot Soup with Tofu Croutons, Potato and Onion Pizza with Rosemary and Goat Cheese, Bulgur-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Ras el Hanout may sound challenging but with a little practice, you’ll shop to have a range of products on hand for quick creations.

I’m amused the very first recipe in this section is Black Bean Soup from Brenna Donovan, editor. She urges keeping canned beans on hand, and I pity the fool who doesn’t already do this.

This one is soooo easy. She doesn’t even drain the cans of beans. Cook four cans up with 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream and grated lime zest plus lime wedges for garnish.

It’s dinner in a flash, and it’s only the beginning of the creations in this book.

Can’t mock these prebiotics — Imagine yourself with a lead crystal glass of flaming red Bombay Fire.

Pomegranate, chili and agave-infused tea lighting up your taste buds. You’re in The Mocktail Club, enjoying flavorful options to spark up conversations and tastebuds.

There are myriad reasons to mock it up. You aren’t sacrificing flavor with this brand of ready-made blends and ingredients for your own mock fun.

These sparkle and they’re delicious. Organic apple cider vinegar is a tart balance, but you’ll taste the sweet, sweet agave.

Others include:

• Capri Sour: Tasty and tart, this drink has pomegranate, cranberry, apple cider vinegar, and lemongrass – think Italian Spritz.

• Havana Twist: Refreshingly sweet with a tangy zest of lime and hint of spice with cardamom; a new age take on a Mojito.

• Manhattan Berry: Like its namesake, this drink is sophisticated with a mix of blackberries, pear shrub, and a dominant linger of ginger.

Learn more at mocktailclub.com

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who could live by bread alone, but there’s so much other good stuff … Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com.