All throughout January we’re bringing you 30 Days, 30 Ways to Good Health, a series of easy strategies for overall wellness (and because we love food, it’s focuses on the foods and cooking techniques to add into your life instead of what to take away.) Read on for our latest eat well strategy: meatless Monday.
Meatless Monday is one of our favorite eating well tips because it’s so easy to do. Simply give yourself the night off from meat–chicken, pork, beef–and feast on legumes, vegetables, beans, pasta or rice instead. When you do resume eating meat, make sure it’s of the highest quality (grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken) to reap the maximum health benefits. Get inspired for with our favorite meatless Monday recipes below.
|Rigatoni with Broccoli Rabe and Chickpeas
The secret to cooking broccoli rabe—a vegetable with tender leaves and small, broccoli-like florets—is to boil the greens briefly in salted water before sautéing to mellow their bitter edge and tenderize the stalks.
|Wild Mushroom Risotto
Here, the risotto includes wild mushrooms, but feel free to vary the recipe by stirring in a cup of peas, beans or other cooked vegetables at the end.
|Spaghetti with Garlicky Greens
This tangle of noodles and garlic-laden ribbons of kale and chard is a delicious way to eat your greens. Dinosaur kale, also known as lacinato or Tuscan kale, has dark bluish-green leaves and a more delicate flavor than curly kale.
|Stir-Fried Tofu with Mushrooms and Greens
Put the rice on to cook just before starting to prepare this dish; both will be ready at about the same time. Sambal oelek, a pantry staple for quick cooking, can be found in the Asian section of most markets. If you like garlic, use chili-garlic sauce instead. Chinese broccoli can be substituted for the broccoli rabe.
|Polenta with White Cheddar, Chard and Wild Mushrooms
Topped with chard and mushrooms, this is an excellent vegetarian dish. The cheese infuses the polenta with such flavor that it could be eaten on its own, without the vegetable topping. In place of the cheddar, you can try Parmigiano-Reggiano or fontina cheese.
|Whole-Wheat Penne with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
Roasting cauliflower caramelizes it and brings out its sweetness. Try it in this spicy, Sicilian-style recipe tossed with whole-wheat pasta, capers and fresh herbs topped with crisp bread crumbs and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
|Root-Vegetable Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Cream
Root vegetables make this vegetarian main dish hearty and original — and nutritious. A zesty tomatillo salsa tops it off, adding bright, lively flavor.
|Spaghetti with Collard Greens, Hazelnuts and Caramelized Onions
Antioxidant-packed onions develop a luxurious smoothness when caramelized using a low and slow cooking method. A serving of collards provides as much calcium as a glass of milk, but the only thing you’ll notice about these ribbon-cut greens is the brightness and subtle earthiness they bring to the dish.
|Meyer Lemon, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza
The topping on this meatless pizza includes thin slices of Meyer lemon, which lend a pleasant tang.
|Sweet Potato and Pinto Bean Enchiladas
Carotenoids, which give sweet potatoes their orange hue, work double-time to stabilize blood sugar and aid metabolism. Tangy tomatillos are charred and mixed with fiber-rich pinto beans in this all-vegetable filling. With just a touch of melted cheese on top, and gluten-free corn tortillas as wraps, this new twist on a Mexican classic is light yet satisfying.
|Zucchini “Pasta” with Butternut Squash
In this clever twist on classic spaghetti, long strands of zucchini, made with our spiralizer, stand in for the pasta. It’s a delicious way to cut back on fat and up your intake of fresh vegetables.
|Braised Chickpeas and Carrots with Yogurt Topping
Tender beans and sweet carrots are infused with enticing spices and get a dollop of an Indian-inspired yogurt topping. Served on a bed of protein-rich quinoa, the vegetables make a satisfying meatless—and gluten-free—meal.
|Sweet Potato and Green Chili Quesadillas with Arugula
A perfect balance of flavors, this fresh dish combines sweet and spicy vegetables with crisp, cool arugula leaves.
|Farro with Winter Vegetables and Watercress
Farro is an Italian whole grain rich in tension-relieving magnesium. It adds a nutty crunch that complements soft-roasted root vegetables. Watercress gets its peppery zing from rich sulfur compounds, which help rid toxins from the body. Serve this grain-based salad warm or at room temperature.
|Pumpkin Cassoulet with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Garlic
White beans, tender squash and savory onions bake under a crisp blanket of garlic bread crumbs in this spectacular meatless main dish. You can roast the garlic, caramelize the onions and even assemble the cassoulet the day before you plan to serve it. Feel free to substitute another orange-fleshed squash like kabocha or butternut for the pumpkin.