Yes, I'll Have No Meat
February 17th, 2012 - By Lari Robling
The advent of Lent means many will go meatless on Fridays—there's also the popular Meatless Monday program. Whatever day of the week you decide to go without meat, personal chef Donna Fountain says veggie dishes can be easy to prepare as well as hearty and delicious.
-Quinoa with Aduki Beans »
"How can we reduce saturated fat intake by 15%? If you are a daily meat eater and you took one day off, that's 15%." That's Kim O'Donnell, an advocate of the now popular Meatless Monday program that aims to help lower American's consumption of saturated fat.
Donna Fountain is a personal chef and has gone mostly meatless for health reasons, "after being a cancer survivor I started looking at different ways of eating." And with the beginning of Lent, many people are looking to eliminate or restrict meat. So, there are lots of vegetarian recipes around but as Fountain notes, you still want them to be low in fat and delicious. She suggests a protein packed dish, Quinoa with Aduki Beans. "Obviously you could change beans if you want. But, in my research I found that aduki beans that's spelled with A-D-U-K-I is a much better bean for you it has a lot of protein and it has a lot of fiber.
You can find these small Japanese red beans in a can, but Fountain advises rinsing them before cooking. Q-U-I-N-O-A, as long as we are spelling, quinoa is often thought of as a whole grain, but in reality it is a seed notes Fountain. It's one of the few plant foods that is considered a complete protein and like the beans it is also is high in fiber, but there's a trick to keep the quinoa from becoming bitter.
"First, I soaked it for between 3/4 to an hour. Then I poured that water off. Then I rinsed it and poured that water off and then I cooked it with vegetarian broth and I put a bay leaf in. I didn't put any salt in because the broth has a good amount of sodium, and I'd rather add a little bit more salt later than to put too much in." And since a well stocked pantry makes vegetarian cooking stress-free Fountain offers this tip for making the most of cooking quinoa. "When you are making your quinoa this freezes. So, even though I made a cup I might not use a whole cup. Then, what I want to do is later on I will freeze it. So, the next time I make a dish, say like next week, I might make it with salmon.
So whatever your reason for incorporating a meat free day, it can be easy and a good way to build a lifelong healthy habit.