The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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Even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan, there is very important nutritional value to abstaining from meat at least two times a week. Mondays and Fridays are a great way to save time and money with two meatless days. Today’s accent on good health spotlights the need for eating more veggies in creative ways that make the family ask for more. With such variety to choose from, Meatless Mondays could become a new favorite at home or at the office.

Spinach and Rice Stuffed Peppers
For this Meatless Monday meal you can use your favorite type rice, including wild rice. This simple recipe takes very little time. You need about two medium to large sweet peppers per person, one cup cooked rice of your choice, one package frozen spinach thawed and drained, one egg, one clove of garlic minced, one bay leaf, one half cup of bread crumbs, one cup Parmesan or Romano cheese grated and one 16-ounce can of stewed tomatoes.
This is a one pot stove top recipe so clean up after the meal is quick and easy.

Hollow out each pepper removing seeds and reserving pepper caps. In a large bowl, blend together, cooked rice, spinach, egg, bread crumbs, and cheese. Fill each hollowed pepper about three quarters full and placed pepper caps on top.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, place stewed tomatoes. garlic and bay leaf. Place each filled pepper in the pot upright. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Baste occasionally with the stewed tomatoes for extra flavor.

Slow Cooker Lentil and Mushroom Soup
This recipe can be prepared in the morning and allowed to simmer in the slow cooker until dinner time.
For this, you need one cup of lentils, two cups of baby Portobello mushrooms, one 16-ounce can of stewed tomatoes, one half cup diced sweet green pepper, one small onion chopped, two cloves of garlic minced, 1/4 cup olive oil and one half cup of fresh basil leaves chopped fine.

Add a dash of oregano. one bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a large can of vegetable juice such as V-8 for extra flavor and about four cups of water. Feel free to garnish with a dallop of greek yogurt, herbs, and your fave steamed veggies.

Portobello Burgers
Portobello mushrooms can be prepared in so many ways. Try Portobello burgers on Kaiser buns. These are the fastest and easiest to make. Purchase large Portobello mushrooms. Sauté them in butter, lemon juice and one whole clove of garlic until they have given up their moisture and soften.

Remove the mushrooms and garlic clove and reduce sauté liquid until it thickens slightly.
Chop mushroom stems finely and add to reduced liquid. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add a dash of Thousand Island salad dressing and a scant half teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Blend thoroughly.

Place Portobello mushroom caps with top down on the bottom half of a kaiser bun . Top the mushroom with the mixture and place a slice of slice of Brie cheese on top of the burger and add the Kaiser bun top. This can also be garnished with fresh raw onion or chopped scallions and lettuce.

Place all ingredients in your slow cooker on low to medium heat and stir till all ingredients are well blended. Cover and simmer for four to six hours or as slow cooker directions indicate.




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