Thursday, September 25, 2008

More meatless recipes to share

You'd have to be hiding with your head in the sand to not know what's going on with our economy crumbling, and more and more people are trying to shave what they can from their budgets.

My post two weeks ago on meatless meals got a lot of response, and readers on and offline asked me for other ideas. So, here are a few other recipes to try. I'd like to state for the record that the 3 year old ate them all, so they are kid-friendly!

Otherwise known as "cheesy bread," this is great to make late at night to have on hand for breakfast. Warning: It takes a half-hour to prep and an hour to bake, but we think it's worth it.

I'm including the "base recipe," but you can tweak it by adding such things as Italian herbs, cheeses, bacon, green onions or whatever sparks your interest.

1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature (set out 2 hrs. early)
1 cup parmesan, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9-inch cake pan.

Cook milk, butter, salt and pepper in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently, until full boil. Take pan off heat. Dump flour in at once, stir. Return to heat. Stir vigorously until mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

Beat eggs one at a time into dough, stirring vigorously until eggs is completely incorporated. Add parmesan. Pour dough into pan; bake 50 min. Make a few cuts with a sharp knife; bake 10 additional minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Pita Salad
Loosely adapted from Every Day with Rachel Ray Magazine, September 2008, this was a great way to use up some odds and ends from my CSA share.

3 pitas, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the pitas to a baking sheet; bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, scallions, parsley, mint and pitas. Add the lettuce and toss.

Vegetable Low Mein

We'd planned to make another recipe, but our bok choy in the box was no good. ("Mush," my husband described it as.) So we tweaked the original recipe as follows.

12 ounces vermicelli, uncooked
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1/2 cup mushrooms

Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside. Coat a wok or large nonstick skillet cooking spray and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Heat at medium-high temp. (375 degrees) until hot. Stir-fry garlic for 2 minutes. Add onions; stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add broth, soy sauce and red pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add carrots and mushrooms corn. Stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes. Add cooked pasta; toss gently.

[The name of this organic CSA was deleted from this post on January 28, 2009. I have been falsely accused of libel by this CSA and will no longer promote them by using the name of the organization. I only hope that their representatives learn to appreciate the beauty of the First Amendment that we have achieved in this country. As I am open to all opinions and discussions on my site, I maintained their comments even though I disagreed with them.]
[Edited Jan. 30, 2009, to remove link to my former CSA's blog, where the other low mein recipe was posted. Sorry if you wanted a different low mein recipe, but there are plenty online!]


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for these! We try to do meatless meals at least a few times a week, but our list of choices was getting a bit boring. I love that eating less meat is healthier, cheaper, and much friendlier to our environment. It's one of those win, win, win solutions that families can start using immediately. Thanks for adding some delicious diversity to our weekly menu and for joining us this week for Thrifty Green Thursday!

Cathy said...

Thanks for these recipes! I'm definitely eating a lot less meat. I bought two organic roasting chickens for Costco, and it cost $25!!

Rebecca said...

That pita salad looks delicious. We tend to eat a lot of main-course salads. This is actually not that thrifty in many parts of the country where lettuce is out of season for most of the year.

One of my favorite meatless meals lately are peanut noodles. I just make regular spaghetti and add a peanut sauce, which I make in a few moments out of peanut butter, soy sauce, chili paste, ginger, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Then we top that with whatever raw veggies and condiments we have on hand: thinly-sliced cabbage, matchstick carrots, scallions, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc. Delicious! I figure it costs about $.50/serving.

Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Green Thursday!

Anonymous said...

Meat can be very expensive. There are lots of meatless alternatives for protein sources. The Meatless Monday Campaign website ( has a ton of information on beans, tofu and other cheaper proteins as well as a huge recipe archive.

I'm a mom and work for the Meatless Monday Campaign. I've found that going meatless has a lot of advantages and in today's economy cost is a huge factor. Check out the recipe archive at Meatless Monday. There are lots of family meatless recipes.

I love your Thrifty Green Thursdays!

swish said...

With all these food ideas..where do I get the ingredients? Eating local as much as possible is a challenge. This is why I intern with the Eat Well Guide. We've teamed up with Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) to issue the Local, Organic Thanksgiving Challenge this year. Will you join us? And share a recipe? Read more on the Green Fork