Meatless Mondays - A New Year

Hello and Happy New Year to all! On behalf of the Young family, I can report a very relaxing holiday with lots of great meatless meals. We tried some new recipes and returned to some old favourites, many of which will make their way into our weekly messages. The results are in on our stir fry sauce contest and it was a tie. Seems like there are an equal number of lovers of spice as there are lovers of sweet. Dead even. And that would be zero votes for both. Nobody left any comments here at all. Hello? Is there anybody out there? Sheesh. 

I was looking at our cookbook shelf recently and I stopped to count the number of meatless cookbooks we own. They currently number around 45. That is a lot of recipes. One of them is called "1001 Vegetarian Recipes," so you know there are just thousands and thousands  of recipes up on that shelf. If you were ever thinking of purchasing a (maybe your first) meatless cookbook, I would recommend "The Conscious Cook" by Tal Ronnen. It is subtitled "Delicious Meatless recipes that will change the way you eat," and he is not kidding. This guy never settled for a ho-hum concoction--all his dishes could be on a restaurant menu. 

Ronnen has cooked in many restaurants, taught meatless cooking at Le Cordon Bleu schools, been a personal chef to Oprah Winfrey and catered the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi. He is like a kind of meatless master, celebrity tamer, chef guru. His cookbook is full of beautiful pictures that make you hungry, as well as great advice on stocking your pantry with some of the ingredients that make this kind of cooking easier and tastier. Way worth it.

This week's vegetable of the week is the onion. These little bulbs of pungent goodness aren't only tasty and a staple of many a great recipe, they are also high nutrient, low calorie (ANDI score of 47, middle column), anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and, as if all that wasn't enough, they are also anti-arthritis, for all you sufferers out there. And you can include its cousins garlic, shallots and leeks in the above estimation. Good eatin' and good healin'!

The recipe of the week is what we brought for our contribution to Xmas day dinner and it was well received. It is a dairy-free version of scalloped potatoes which uses a vegan cheese product called Daiya, which is Canadian, it turns out. We used to get this only at Whole Foods Market, but now we have found we can get it at a couple of our local health food stores, so it is going more mainstream (thanks to appearances on both Oprah and Ellen, as the above linked article mentions). A food processor or mandolin will make this recipe much easier. Enjoy!