Meat-Free Mondays

Start the week on a lighter note with one of these vegetarian dishes that are healthy and delicious.

Potato and Pea Samosas

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 cup frozen peas, cooked and drained
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds n ½ tsp. coriander seeds
  • seeds of 4 cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp. black onion seeds
  • 2 Tbs. sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, minced
  • ½ Tbs. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 large green chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder n ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. mango chutney
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 10 oz. filo pastry n melted butter, to brush

Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Add the peas and cook for another 30 seconds. Drain and set aside. Tip the cumin, coriander and cardamom into a frying pan and toast over medium heat for 1 minute. Coarsely grind the onion seeds using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and chile, and cook for 30 seconds then add the spices. Continue to cook for 1 minute, then add the diced potatoes and peas. Mix well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, add the chutney and chopped cilantro, and season well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on the work surface and brush with melted butter. Lay another pastry sheet on top and cut into 3-inch-wide strips, then brush with the melted butter. Put a spoonful of the potato mixture onto the top left-hand corner of each strip. Fold over to make a triangle and continue folding down the length of the strip to completely encase the filling. Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry. Arrange on baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes until golden and crisp.

Studies show that keeping your saturated fat intake to a minimum can help keep your heart healthy. Animal proteins contain these saturated fats, and by substituting them with plant-based foods, you can protect your health—and still get your necessary protein.” —Angela Langner, registered dietitian at Nutrition Center of Bergen County, Ridgewood

Beet, Red Onion, and Endive Salad

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 golfball-size beets, trimmed of stalk and leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
  • 2 pears, quartered, cored and sliced
  • 2 endive heads, trimmed into separate leaves
  • large handful of wild arugula
  • 1 heaping cup crumbled feta

For the Dressing

  • 3 Tbs. walnut oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a large piece of foil in a small roasting pan, put the beets in the middle, season and drizzle with half of the olive oil and the red wine vinegar. Wrap the foil over and seal tightly. Roast the beets for 1 hour or until tender when tested with the point of a sharp knife. Remove from the roasting pan, unwrap and cool.
  2. Put the pecans in the roasting pan and drizzle with the honey. Stir to coat then roast for about 10 minutes until sticky and glazed. Remove from the roasting pan and allow nuts to cool on a plate. Put the onions on a baking sheet, add the garlic cloves, drizzle the remaining olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes until tender and starting to caramelize.
  3. To make the dressing, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins into a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and gently whisk until just combined. Peel the beets and cut into wedges. In a large serving bowl, layer the beets, onion, pears, endive, wild arugula, crumbled feta and honey roasted pecans. Generously drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

Cutting out meat once a week is a great opportunity to substitute it with nutrient-dense, highfiber foods, like the beets and pears in this recipe. Because of the fiber in both ingredients, they’ll be especially filling. Meanwhile, the feta and pecans are great sources of protein.” —Bess Berger, registered dietitian, Teaneck

​Leek and Ricotta Tart

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
  • 3 Tbs. raisins, softened in warm water
  • 1 organic egg
  • salt and pepper

For the Pastry

  • 7 Tbs. butter
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Make the pastry by crumbling the butter into the flour and then adding water to make a dough. Add the salt and sprinkle with extra flour. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Steam the leeks gently for about 10 minutes and drain. In a heavybottomed frying pan, heat the oil and gently cook the garlic. Then add the leeks and stir to coat well with oil; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a bowl, mix the ricotta with the pine nuts and raisins, and bind with the egg. Add the leeks, mix well and season, then set aside to cool. Gently roll out the pastry to fit an 8-inch tart tin. Prick the base and bake blind for 10 to 15 minutes. Fill the tart with the leek and ricotta mixture and return to the oven for another 30 minutes or until risen and golden.

As long as you incorporate nuts, seeds, nut butters and legumes into your meatless day, you should get enough protein. I also recommend trying a plant-based protein powder for shakes and smoothies.” —Angela Langner, registered dietitian at Nutrition Center of Bergen County, Ridgewood

Categories: Bergen Health & Life