Today is not only the first Meatless Monday, it is also the day I begin my transition from vegetarianism to veganism. Depending on the type of vegetarian one is, this can be a huge transition or simply a slight adjustment. For me, personally, it won't involve great changes; I will just need to read labels more closely to avoid those sneaky little animal by-products in my food and other products like make-up. Other than that, I make most of my own food so I don't foresee any major obstacles.
I considered sharing some jaw dropping facts and figures about the meat and dairy industry, but then I reconsidered. I would rather start Meatless Mondays out on a positive note. :)
Lately I have been on a falafel kick, cooking it more than once a week. On that note, here are some tasty falafel and hummus recipes. Enjoy!
No Fry Falafel
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten. Now, I prefer to cook in a pan using just cooking spray because it is much quicker and the end result is the same. 4 minutes on each side until nice and brown. If you prefer the oven, pre-heat to 375 and bake 15 minutes on each side.
Note to the Busy Veg: If you don't have time to make falafel from scratch, try one of the boxed varieties in powder form. You just add water, let sit for 10 minutes and bake or pan fry. Easy does it!
While the supermarket offers a variety of pre-made hummus we all know it never compares to the fresh stuff. Here is a simple recipe you can whip up in a snap.
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained, save juice
Juice of one-half lemon (or more to taste)
1 to 3 cloves garlic peeled
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame butter)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Ground red pepper (cayenne), to taste
Add to food processor or blender and mix until nice and smooth. Serve as you wish.
Startling Stat: Livestock production produces more greenhouse gases (18%) than all forms of transportation (cars + airplanes) combined. (source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization)