With all of the information out there about the health benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet, I have been trying to adopt Meatless Monday. Yes, I do sing “Just another meatless Monday” to the tune of The Bangles “Manic Monday” song every Monday. Yes, I am weird. I know. Yes, I know that you will now have that song stuck in your head all day. I am so sorry. That said, it’s been fun to investigate new options and recipes, and as always, my sweet husband is happy to be my chief taste-tester. Today I am sharing what has turned out to be our favorite meatless Monday Mexican dish. (Try saying that three times fast!) Olé!
According to the experts, going meatless one day a week may reduce the risk of preventable chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and limited consumption of red meat, can increase longevity. (Eating red and processed meat has been shown to contribute to an increase in deaths linked to both cancer and cardiovascular disease.) Also, we all know about the benefits of additional fiber in our diets, which meatless meals clearly add.
You’ll be surprised at how affordable meatless meals can be – as typically meat is the most expensive component of the traditional dinner. Meatless meals, built around vegetables, grains, and beans can save money – which you can then put toward more healthy foods.
Environmentally speaking, meatless meals reduce greenhouse gasses, reduce fuel dependence, and minimize water usage. (Did you know it takes approximately 1850 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef? Whoa!)
Convinced yet? Whether you decide to participate in meatless Monday for health, financial, or environmental reasons, I will tell you one thing for sure. You will love this recipe. It is simply delicious!
Suzy’s Enchilada Bake
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can kidney or pinto beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin seed
6 flour tortillas
2 oz. Monterey jack or cheddar cheese, grated
½ c. Ricotta or small curd cottage cheese
¼ c. nonfat yogurt
Over low heat, simmer garlic, beans, tomato, chili powder and cumin gently for 30 minutes. Mix ricotta and yogurt together and set aside. On each tortilla, place 1 ½ tsp. grated cheese, 2 Tbsp. yogurt mix, 2 Tbsp. bean mixture. Roll tortillas up and place in square baking dish. Top with remaining bean mixture and cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 for 15-20 minutes. (Makes approximately six servings.)
I’d love to know if you have been celebrating meatless Mondays at your house, and if so, what do you make? (And also, do you sing the meatless Monday song?) Leave me a comment and share your best meatless ideas!
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