I’m pretty good at tweaking recipes to make them lower in salt, sugar or fat, and I my holiday meals are no exception. So it’s not that we ate lots of unhealthy food all weekend, but we did eat lots more food in general. What’s Thanksgiving weekend without lots of leftovers, right? Well, we just polished off the last of the turkey and stuffing last night, and I have never been so happy to see Meatless Monday. I need some clean eating!
In case you aren’t familiar, here’s a bit of history. Meatless Monday is not the product of a big chain natural foods store, or PETA. It was originally started way back during World War I, as a way of voluntarily rationing food, and reducing consumption of key staples to help the war effort. The United States Food Administration coined the terms “Meatless Monday and “Wheatless Wednesday” to remind Americans to reduce intake of those products.
Meatless Monday was resurrected in 2003, as a national health awareness program, and has since gone global, with the focus on health benefits of vegetarian eating, as well as the reduced environmental impact of skipping meat based meals at least once per week. There are so many benefits of eating more of a plant-based diet, but just between you and me, one of the things I love best is that I get to be a little more creative in the kitchen. No more boring meat, potato and vegetable meals here! For me, it means an explosion of fresh flavors and textures and new ways to combine vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and grains. So are you onboard the Meatless Monday movement yet? If not, here comes the bandwagon, jump on!
Frijoles Rancheros (Mexican ranch style beans) is usually made with ham or chorizo sausage. Look for the vegan chorizo at Trader Joe’s or the natural foods section of your grocery store.
Meatless Frijoles Rancheros
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 medium poblano peppers stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz vegetarian or vegan chorizo
- 30 oz pinto beans 2 cans rinsed and drained
- 3 plum tomatoes chopped
- 1 ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- Kosher salt
- 10 small corn tortillas
- Cotija cheese or shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- chopped avocado optional
- In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat, and cook onion, peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Add veggie chorizo, and stir well to break apart. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until heated through.
- Using a potato masher, mash about half the beans, and leave the remainder whole.
- Add beans, broth, and tomato to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, for 15 minutes or until mixture thickens.
- While beans are simmering, heat oven broiler.
- Spray corn tortillas on both side with cooking spray, and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Lay tortillas on a baking pan, and place pan under the broiler until tortillas start to puff and brown around the edges. Flip tortillas and broil the other side.
- When bean mixture is thickened, add lime juice and chopped cilantro.
- Serve frijoles with toasted tortillas, avocado, and a sprinkle of cheese, if desired.
If you need more Meatless Monday's inspiration, check my Pinterest boards!