Free Vegetables For All

Good afternoon, MM aficionados. I hope all is snow-filled and weather wonderful where you are and you are enjoying the last weekend before Christmas, if that sort of thing is important to you. If not, a generic "Season's Greetings" to you with my best wishes. We had snow overnight at the "Mondays are Meatless International Thinktank and Feelgood Kitchen" here in London, Ontario, and it made me nostalgic for summer and the great local produce we enjoy at some of the local farmers markets. 

Maybe it was the story forwarded to me by loyal reader MKM of said municipality, regarding a town in England which grows all its own vegetables which are generally available whenever the mood strikes you. There are plots of land cultivated all over town and they grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and lettuces which are free for the picking. Living there would be like living at the farmers market. The plan is called "Incredible Edible" and it was originally begun by two women wondering how they could improve the state of the world. They agreed that they would start locally. They probably didn't have any idea that they would see a reduction in crime rates, especially vandalism, every year thereafter. It's no wonder Prince Charles approves! 

It just goes to show you that it doesn't matter what is the problem, vegetables are the answer! Former Miss USA Susie Castillo is certainly a big fan of the veg generally and, more specifically, of this Meatless Monday movement that's growing and spreading like a really great virus of health, sustainability and community spirit. The Humane Society of the United States recently sat down with Susie to talk about veggies, how MM is going to change the world for the better and even got her to share one of her favourite meatless recipes. As always, I promise not to be offended if you prefer her recipe to mine. 

My recipe for the week is actually a creative culinary re-imagining of a recipe that goes all the way back to week three. Christina came up with this super easy alternative this week and allowed me to take action-packed photos in our kitchen studio, which I have dutifully posted on the blog. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, this is a very quick and easy way to put together dinner and then just pop it in the oven for an hour while you do something else. The week before Christmas, I imagine there are probably one or two things you could be doing. 

And speaking of the Christmas holidays, this will be my last meatless message of 2011. I will be back in January with more food and fun, when I will be asking you the question, "Are you ready to Take it Further?" Until then, Happy Christmas, Holidays, Hanukkah, New Year's and/or Trails. Looking forward to another great year in 2012.