Meatless Monday is so easy! It’s a way we can dedicate one day of the week to eating vegetarian and plant-based foods. There’s a huge array of ingredients and products that makes it a whole lot easier. This concept was founded during World War I in an effort to reduce consumption. But it made its comeback in 2003 for the betterment of the health and well-being of ourselves and our planet. Reducing meat in your diet means you will reduce the chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and an array of other health issues. It also means that you are relieving the demand for precious environmental resources such as land, water, and energy.
If you’re trying to take part in meatless Mondays, here’s some recipe inspiration to get you kicked started. Trust us, this 3 course's plant-based menu is arguably more delectable than the non-vegan versions.
Meatless Monday Meal Inspiration
Entree: Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
You can’t go wrong with fresh tomato and basil topped on sourdough, french baguette, or whatever you’re in the mood for that day. The best part is that it is so quick and easy to put together, perfect for any dinner party.
- 1½ cups tomatoes, chopped and seeds removed*
- Large handful of basil, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 6-8 slices of bread (baguette or ciabatta are best)
- ½ a clove of garlic
- In a bowl, add the tomatoes, basil, red onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and toss well.
- Brush the sliced bread with the rest of the olive oil on both sides and add to a hot skillet or oven grill. Grill on each side for around 2-3 minutes if using a hot skillet or 5-7 in the oven.
- Rub the garlic on the bread before topping generously with tomato mix.
- Serve right away.
Mains: Vegan Alfredo Pasta
If you tend to find the normal Alfredo pasta overwhelming with the amount of heavy cream and cheese, this is the perfect way to enjoy it without weighing you down (and for all the lactose-intolerant ones out there). This recipe uses cashews instead of dairy but still manages to be the same rich, indulgent sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons white miso (or 1 – 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast or 1 Tsp dijon)
- 1 teaspoon EACH garlic + onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt, + more to taste
- juice of 1 small lemon (about 1 tablespoon) or 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 – 1 cup warm water
- 12 ounces long pasta (fettuccine or linguine)
- Soak cashews: Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with very warm, not boiling, water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Alternatively, soak the cashews in cool water for 2 hours. Drain water before using.
- Alfredo Sauce: In a blender, add the cashews, garlic, miso, onion and garlic powder, salt, lemon juice, and water, and blend until thick and creamy, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides. Taste for flavor and add more liquids to thin to desired consistency. Tastes will vary – if you find it’s too bland, add more salt to taste.
- Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Combine: With the pasta freshly cooked and drained, you can toss the pasta and alfredo sauce in the pot the pasta was cooked in. Alternatively, serve the warm pasta in individual bowls, top with alfredo sauce, and toss.
- Serve: Top with chopped parsley and fresh cracked pepper. It’s great with a slice of homemade Artisan Bread or garlic bread.
Dessert: A classic tiramisu
Having a sweet tooth has never been easier, there are an array of vegan desserts that are just as tempting if not more! With this vegan tiramisu, you will get the same delicious espresso and creamy taste without the egg and dairy.
Vegan Gluten-Free Ladyfingers:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour or sifted gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (if doing gluten-free, add in 1 tsp arrowroot powder)
- 3/4 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) aquafaba*
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup (100 grams) dairy-free milk
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 2 tbsp melted vegan butter or coconut oil, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1/3 cup vegan dairy-free yogurt, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1–2 tablespoons dairy-free milk
- 2/3 cup cacao cocoa powder
- 1 cup brewed espresso
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 180 C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure out the ingredients for the ladyfingers first.
- Prepare the ladyfingers first. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the aquafaba and cream of tartar on high speed for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Then add 1/4 cup of the sugar, continuing to mix on medium speed. Then turn the speed up to high and continue whisking for 10 minutes, until you reach stiff peaks (aquafaba takes longer to reach stiff peaks than egg whites). Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the dairy-free milk, applesauce, remaining sugar, vegan butter, and vanilla extract. Add the mixture to the aquafaba meringue, and use a silicone spatula to gently fold the applesauce mixture into the meringue, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Then add in the flour mixture and gently fold again, being careful not to deflate the meringue. The batter will be slightly runny but should still be thick enough to pipe. Fill a piping bag with a round nozzle, and pipe 3″ lady fingers onto your baking sheet, separating them by about 1″.
- Prepare the mascarpone. In a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the vegan butter until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and continue to cream together until smooth. Then add in the yogurt, and cream together until fluffy. Use a tablespoon of dairy-free milk as needed to help with the texture. Place the mascarpone in the fridge until ready to use.
- Assembly: brew the espresso and make sure you have a 6×9″ or 8×8″ baking pan. Remove the mascarpone from the fridge. Dip one ladyfinger into the espresso, and be careful not to soak it too much. Just make sure it’s entirely covered in the espresso. Remove the ladyfinger from the espresso and place it in the dish. Repeat with half of the ladyfingers until the first layer is complete. You’ll have half for the second layer. Spoon half of the mascarpone on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Repeat for the second layer, dipping the ladyfingers into the espresso, and topping with mascarpone.
- Place the dish into the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- Serve: when ready to serve, remove the tiramisu from the fridge. Pipe coconut whipped cream on top if desired, then dust with cacao or cocoa powder. Slice and serve! Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.