My MM: Siobhan’s Meatless Monday Menu
Home: Brooklyn, NY
My dietary leanings: When I’m scanning a menu, the items I typically get the most excited about are the sides. I love vegetables! (I also love French fries.) As for restrictions, I’m Celiac, I don’t eat soy for health reasons and because I think it tastes bad, and I eat vegetarian approximately 80% of the time. When I eat animal protein, I go sustainable for fish and organic for everything else. I will, however, have a bite of just about anything off someone else’s plate.
My favorite vegetable: What kind of a person makes a girl choose her favorite vegetable?! My favorites include, but are not limited to, kale, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, fennel, broccoli rabe, tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes (which is to say, August tomatoes), cauliflower, and carrots.
I recently discovered that, at the Union Square farmer’s market here in New York, Our Daily Bread is selling gluten-free bread! They bake a few different kinds in a dedicated GF facility, and I like them all. The seedy whole grain loaf is my favorite; the caraway seed one comes in second. Today I had two slices toasted with a bunch of peanut butter and sliced banana. I also had a kale smoothie with the rest of the banana, some blueberries, and some unsweetened almond milk.
Then for lunch…
The best kind of leftovers. Last night I cooked for a friend and made a gigantic kale salad, among other things. The salad contains lacinto kale sliced into thin strips, salty marcona almonds roughly chopped, baby tomatoes, sliced fennel, shaved parmesan, dry-toasted pepitas, and carmelized cipollini onions. I hate peeling cipollinis, but it’s always worth it; they’re just so tasty.
My dressing was champagne vinegar (if you do not own any, go get some now—it’s life-changing), olive oil, pepper and a half teaspoon of Dijon. Because kale is so sturdy, this salad is even better the day after; the leaves don’t get soggy. This salad could be easily made vegan without the parmesan.
I’ll have a big bowl of that with two organic eggs on the side. When I get hungry around 4pm, as I invariably do, I’ll probably have some pistachios, or maybe an apple, or both.
For dinner, I’m planning on making…
Carrot ginger soup and some simple pasta (like the one shown). I have the simplest soup recipe and it wins every time: Stew some leeks in olive oil or butter on low heat until they’re transparent and slippery. This takes a while, but it’s worth it. In another pot, boil your carrots, chopped into inch-thick cubes so they cook faster. (If you prefer a silky-smooth soup, boil one small potato too.) Toss some raw ginger in the water while they soften.
Once the leeks are done, remove them. In the leek pan, toss in some more ginger, one clove of garlic and heat on low, being careful not to burn. Remove that, too, and put them in the bowl with the leeks. When the carrots are easily pierced with a knife, put them in a food processor without water, toss in the leeks and garlic and ginger, and blend until smooth. Use the carrot-cooking water to dilute your puree to desired consistency and add salt and pepper to taste.
Pro tip: I like to store the puree in the fridge without water. Then, when I want my next bowl, I put in a little water from the tap and heat it up.
In addition to my soup, I’ll have a bowl of corn pasta with a pile of vegetables. This is an easy weeknight dish that takes about 15 minutes to make, but tastes delicious. The noodles are from Italy, and the name escapes me (will add in the comments), but it’s my favorite gluten-free pasta, and it’s organic—and therefore non-GMO. I’ll heat up some garlic in a pan along with some more kale, some tomatoes, a handful of canned chickpeas, and some fennel. I’ll toss in and wilt some radichio right before I’m done cooking the other veggies. This whole process takes about 15 minutes. If I feel like it, I’ll sprinkle some nutritional yeast or parm on top. And voila!
Not a big dessert person! I may have a square of Wei of Chocolate in Infinite Love. And I’ll definitely have a glass or two of wine. Bon appétit!
(Writing this made me hungry. I hope it has the same effect on you.)