Meatless Mondays - Plan Ahead Edition

Are you planning ahead? For the big day coming up when flowers are sold out, chocolate is consumed in alarming quantities and you can't get a reservation in a restaurant unless you happened to remember to call before Christmas. Now that's planning ahead. Yes, Valentine's Day is coming up again, and this year it happens to be on a Monday. Yes, the Meatless one. That should be interesting for those following this plan who also have specific traditions which revolve around meat dishes or certain restaurants. Of course, if for you it just doesn't feel like a day celebrating love without some cow in it, then I say make it a Meatless Tuesday that week. It doesn't have the same ring to it, but what the heck; I say don't sweat it. That's the way we roll here at Mondays are Meatless headquarters. We're nothing if not flexible. 

Which is what chef Howard Dubrovsky thought to himself when he decided to open his L.A.B. Restaurant (Live and Breathe), normally closed Mondays and not vegetarian, for a one day Vegetarian Valentine's (is that a thing? did I just coin a new phrase?) prix fixe menu. That's pretty flexible and a nice shout out to those of us promoting this idea. So if you live in Toronto and think you'd like to make it a meat-free Valentine's, you can contact the Toronto Vegetarian Association for reservations. There are still spots available in the 9:00 seating as of this writing.

So, as you can see, this Meatless Monday thing is gaining ground all over the place. And I haven't even told you the big news of the week, which is that Sodexo, the global food services conglomerate which serves 10 million people a day, has just rolled out a Meatless Monday program. This means that there will be plant-based options on the menu in over 900 hospitals, 2000 corporate clients, 650 college campuses and 500 school districts. This will be in effect all across the USA, but also in the UK, Ireland and France, where they also operate. Read all about it in the Huffington Post, if you're interested to learn more.

At this point, you probably want to learn more about the recipe and whatnot, which I don't want to delay any longer. The vegetable of the week this week is barley (why even question it anymore, you know I'll come up with something). Barley is an amazingly tasty whole grain which is high in fibre and helps lower cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular misadventure. I made this soup last night and Stella loved it, so we are calling it kid-tested, kid-approved. And, although a week late, this recipe includes three of the five items from last week's list of health-promoting foods. Add some berries for dessert and some sesame seeds on your salad and you've done the whole list. Healthy--check. Delicious--check. What else do you want?