We are approaching an anniversary of sorts in our house. We are coming up on the fourth anniversary of The Husband and I adopting a completely vegetarian diet. While I have eaten mostly vegetarian for more than twenty-five years, The Husband took it on as a limited experiment. We both have had some grave moral concerns about factory farming and food supply insecurities over the years, and this was a way to demonstrate our commitment. We decided that this decision was for us and us alone, and that we would not become "preachy" in any way, shape, or form with our friends and family. How and what we choose to eat is our business.
It hasn't always been easy. Our two sons are still stunned at their father's rejection of a carnivore lifestyle and many of our friends feel as though they have lost a partner in their endeavours to achieve "meat sweats". But, we persevere. We have never felt better, healthier, and more aware of what we are putting into our bodies. We aren't perfect. There are still some steps to take, like a move to greater organic awareness and reducing our intake of the so-called "white foods" to even lower levels, but we are happy.
Recipe sourcing has always been a challenge, but it has become a shared activity. As a matter of fact, these Meatless Monday blogs have become some of my most widely read and shared posts over the last three years of Blog-a-palooza. Several friends have asked if they would be making a reappearance this month, because they too are searching for new and delicious vegetarian options for their families.
Catalan Sauteed Polenta & Edamame
This recipe was originally found at Eating Well. I have made a few personal changes like substituting edamame for butter beans to add protein and slicing the polenta and broiling it instead of stir-frying it. I like the way it holds together better.
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 16-ounce tube prepared plain polenta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes or slices
1 clove garlic,minced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked, plus more for garnish
1 cup frozen and shelled edamame
4 cups packed baby spinach
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup shredded Tex Mex Cheese (parmesan works as an lighter alternative)
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1. Slice polenta and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder. Place under broiler until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes and then turn to do other side. Remove and set aside.
2. On medium heat, add 2 teaspoons of oil and garlic to a large non-stick skillet, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
3. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle with paprika; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
5. Stir in beans, spinach and broth; cook, stirring, until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese and vinegar. Serve vegetables over polenta. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.