Meatless Monday!

There is a movement called Meatless Monday that aims to reduce meat consumption by 15%. Personally, I have been eliminating meat and dairy products from my diet for some time now, however I am not perfect, and will admit the transition is a difficult one, and I certainly didn't stop The Boyfriend from sprinkling parmesan cheese on my pasta the other night. I am however, all about saving animals and our planet, not to mention ending the world's hunger problem. I think we all know that vegetables are good for you. I am not here to preach or judge, my friends will tell you I'm one of the least judgmental people they know. I will encourage you to read about the movement, as I feel going meatless for one day a week is something anyone could do.

Meatless Monday Fact: Going Meatless Saves Water! The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Whereas soy tofu produced here in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
Meatless Monday About Section.

I am pledging to go meatless as part of this movement, and will be featuring a vegetarian recipe every Monday from now on as inspiration. It was about time for a regular feature! In fact, last week I featured a meatless recipe on Monday with out even realizing it! Veggie Chili-Mac is a great one. And so is Scarlet Quinoa! There is a restaurant not far from my house called M Café that offers Macrobiotic fare that is both healthy and delicious. I noticed that M Café was selling some of their salads at my local Whole Foods the other day, and so I bought some of their Scarlet Quinoa. I was planning on re-creating it, but then came across this L.A. Times article that featured the exact recipe! Ask and ye shall receive, I guess! I served mine as part on an antipasto platter for dinner last night, seen here:

M Café's Scarlet Quinoa Recipe, Courtesy L.A. Times

Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time for the quinoa
Servings: 6
Scarlet Quinoa Salad

Note: Umeboshi (plum) vinegar can be found at Whole Foods markets and Asian markets. (I used Seasoned Rice Vinegar instead, as my Whole Foods was out of Umeboshi Vinegar.)

Umeboshi-lemon dressing

2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
1 tablespoon best-quality olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, pickle juice and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes one-fourth cup dressing.

Scarlet Quinoa and Salad Assembly

1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup finely diced red beets (this is about one peeled medium-sized beet, diced)
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup diced Japanese or Persian cucumber (about one small Persian cucumber)
2 teaspoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
Umeboshi-lemon dressing

1. Wash the quinoa under cold running water in a fine strainer. Drain well.
2. In a 2-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the beets, vegetable broth, olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the quinoa, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook the quinoa until the grains are translucent and tender and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, about 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid.
3. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the grains, uncovered, until cool.4. Fluff the cooled grains and place them in a large bowl. Gently stir in the cucumber, chives, dill and lemon zest. Stir in half of the dressing, then taste the salad and add additional dressing or salt as desired.

Each serving: 146 calories; 4 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 220 mg. sodium.

Scarlet Quinoa Photo Courtesy Ann Johannson for the L.A. Times


  1. I'm so excited about this! And I can't wait for your meatless recipes! If you're ever in a meatless recipe slump, just let me know! xo

  2. Hooray for Meatless Mondays!

    I LOVE quinoa... I was planning on making some today, too! That recipe looks mighty fine.

  3. This is a great Idea. Thank you for sharing.
    oh, and I love M cafe!!!

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