In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health, animal rights, food safety, frugal living, public health, water and land depletion and the staggeringly huge contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change.

"People are anxious about their carbon footprints and are cutting back on car journeys and so on. They may not realize that changing what's on their plate could have an even bigger effect. Please eat less meat-meat is a very carbon intensive commodity"

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution-oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health. Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis. Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute, we become part of the solution.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney (Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat. We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet, we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle music!

Meet below the fold for more Macca's Meatless Monday!

It was predictable that with a wingnut, idiot governor like Rick Scott, Florida would be one of those states that would feel the shutdown up close. I'm starting to hear stories of people being impacted right in my community. Children and seniors especially are feeling the pinch with the closing of many Head Start and Meals on Wheels programs. Our heartless governor has said there will be no reimbursement of funds to those agencies that run out of money.

It's a good time to stay close and listen to hear of those who are needing immediate help with meals and other services. Today I'm sharing some economical, hearty recipes which make healthy one-pot meals to share with those in your community experiencing food stress.

Can't have too many black beans and rice variations imo. A hearty fast stew for a cool day-Serves 4

    1 cup uncooked brown rice
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 medium red onion, diced
    1 medium red bell pepper, diced
    1 medium green pepper, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 (19 oz) cans or 3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
    1.5 cups vegetable broth
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
    1/4 bunch cilantro
    salt and pepper

Combine rice with 2 cups water in a lidded pot (or prepare in rice cooker according to instructions). Cover and bring to a boil Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add peppers, onion, and garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions start to brown, about 10 minutes

Add beans, broth, vinegar, bay leaf, oregano, and cumin. Mince a heaping tablespoon of cilantro stems and add those, too. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until stew bubbles.

Mash some beans with the back of a spoon. Stir in corn and return to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt as needed

Serve over rice garnished with cilantro, salt and pepper, and other garnishes as desired.

A stew with the ingredients of a classic moussaka, but fast and easy and no assembling! Serves 4

    1 pound eggplants (3 long Japanese eggplants or 1 large globe)
    olive oil spray
    1 large onion, sliced thin
    6 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or use pom juice mixed with agave or sugar
    1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    generous pinch of cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3/4 cup water
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    salt, to taste
    fresh mint leaves for garnish

    If you’re using regular eggplant, you can cut it into 1-inch cubes. If using the long Japanese kind, cut them into 1 1/2-inch pieces then quarter lengthwise, so that slices are long and thin.
    Spray a large, non-stick pot with olive oil and sauté the onion on medium-high until translucent. Add the garlic and the eggplant, and sauté for about 3 minutes more. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the mint, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 30-40 minutes, until the eggplants are tender.
    Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh mint. Serve it as a main dish over quinoa  but you could serve it with a whole grain or pita bread or alone as an appetizer.

An adaptation of a Turkish recipe, a sweet and savory combination that can be served hot or room temperature as a main dish. Served above with sliced vegan sausage.

1 cup brown, green or black lentils, rinsed
3 cups water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, halved lengthwise, then sliced thin across the grain
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 4 cups sliced)
1 tablespoon tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Combine the lentils with 3 cups water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl, and drain.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy casserole or skillet. Add the onion and coriander seeds. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, for two to three minutes until the carrots begin to soften. Stir in the dissolved tomato paste, sugar and lentils. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water from the lentils (enough to cover the lentils), salt to taste and half the mint. Bring to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are tender and much of the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust salt. Remove from the heat, sprinkle on the remaining mint and serve, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature with cooked whole grains, like bulgur or quinoa.

A go-to fast stew/soup. Make as thick as you like by adding more beans, corn or thin by using less stock.

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons light colored oil
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 ounce) can diced mild green chiles, drained
2 (10 ounce) cans RoTel Diced Tomatoes with Lime & Cilantro 

1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (32 ounce) containers Swanson Organic Vegetable Broth

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 a lime

In a small bowl mix together cumin, sweet paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, coriander, salt and black pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot heat the oil over medium high. Add the onions and bell peppers. Sauté until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the spices and garlic; cook for 2 minutes.

 Add the green chile peppers, RoTel, corn and vegetable broth. Cook until warmed through. Add the black beans and cook for 2 minutes before serving. Squeeze in lime juice. Serve in bowls and garnish as desired.

with Tortilla chips
, Shredded Cheddar, Mexican blend or Cotija cheese
Diced Avocado

A collection of stew recipes isn't complete without this most famous French  vegetarian stew. This is Emerils' recipe and is fantastic!

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.

Serve with quinoa or other whole grain such as brown rice for a satisfying, healthy entree.

"I'm Down"  The Beatles

"Hey Bulldog"   The Beatles

What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle music here!

Originally posted to Meatless Advocates Meetup on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 02:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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