So it’s no secret I’ve been behind on blogging, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t kept my end of the bargain on March goals. In particular I’m loving the meatless Monday venture and it’s something I’ll most likely continue to carry into subsequent months. Since going meatless on Mondays, I actually end up eating meatless dishes throughout the week as well – not only because of the leftovers but I’ve found my craving for meat to be diminishing. In the past two weeks, I’ve gotten to try four new meatless dishes and put my cooking skills to the test. I’ve made a sweet potato and black bean soup, vegetable quiche, black beans and rice, and a bean and tomato risotto (I’m missing the recipe links, but you can always do a google search for similar ideas!).
First, the sweet potato and black bean soup. An absolute hit and made with vegetable stock instead of chicken broth. I added in a mixture of vegetables as well to add a bit more substance to the dish. Overall, a great combination of flavors and very filling – perfect comfort food during one of our snowstorms this month.
Second, the vegetable quiche. I honestly can’t recall if I’ve ever had quiche before. I know they’re usually made with pie crusts but I decided to switch things up a bit. I opted to use sliced red potatoes for the bottom crust instead. While the flavor was different and unique, I probably won’t make the vegetable quiche again unless it’s for a bigger group of people (something that will get eaten in one sitting). It didn’t make for great leftovers and while I won’t make the vegetable quiche again, I’d be curious to try another kind like ham and cheese or sausage and kale.
I also ended up making black beans and rice – a simple, cheap dish that I was able to make with ingredients already in my pantry. I had a few leftover vegetables from the quiche so I spiced up the dish a bit by adding in a variety of bell peppers and a bit of hot pepper for a subtle kick. For the first time, I also used fresh bay leaves. I loved it so much and I practically use it with every dish I make now.
Lastly, I decided to try making risotto since I’d never had it before. I finally figured out why people love it so much – it’s a concoction of cheesy goodness in your mouth. While the original recipe called for white beans, I opted to use kidney beans and added in some shredded zucchini with the diced tomatoes. A filling dish and one that actually made me wish I had some meat to add to the meal – fish or shrimp would be a complimentary dish to this particular recipe!