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

Dr. James Hansen, Top world climatologist, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and activist for action on climate change , speaks out on Meat Reduction To Curb Climate Change

His message:

BE VEG                              GO GREEN                                SAVE THE PLANET

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 many advantages of a less meat diet we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle/McCartney music!

Kudos to The Philippines for becoming the latest country to join the Meatless Monday campaign!

As a major heatwave spreads across the US we are all looking for ways to keep our cool.   Outdoor grilling is a way to keep additional heat out of the kitchen and still provide a healthy delicious meal for family and guests. It's been a tradition here in the South to provide some freshly brewed iced tea to family and guests while they are waiting for the grill to heat up.   Since I am on a love binge with pomegranate juice and have been adding it to everything including Sangria,  I decided to make a drink using tea as a base instead of wine then add the pom juice and fruit as I would Sangria.   Bingo! a refreshing Sangria like taste without the heat amplifying alcohol...a new love!
   Pomegranate San-Tea-A

    1 quart brewed, sweetened black tea
    2 cups pomegranate juice
    1 lemon, sliced into rings
    1 lime, sliced into rings
    1 orange, sliced into rings
    1 apple, sliced into strips

Mix tea, pomegranate juice and lemon, lime, orange and apple slices in a 3-quart pitcher, stirring well. Chill until very cold, and serve. Pour into wine goblets (no ice) and serve.

Grilled Portobello Burgers are always a hit and this is the best bello burger recipe I have tried.   It's really a favorite with everyone I have served it to and fantastic for a cookout party
       Finer Things Club Lunch
from Vegetarian Times

    6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed, gills scraped out
    2 cups Syrah red wine or other wine of choice
    2 shallots, chopped (1/4 cup)
    1 clove garlic, chopped (1 tsp.)
    8 black peppercorns
    2 sprigs fresh thyme
    6 toasted whole-wheat hamburger buns
    Soy mayonnaise, onions, tomatoes, and arugula for garnish (or your favorite burger trimmings)

Poke holes all over mushrooms, making sure not to break them. Place in large glass baking dish.

Add wine, shallots, garlic, peppercorns, and thyme to mushrooms, and season with salt if you like.  Cover, and marinate for 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat grill or broiler. Remove mushrooms from marinade, and discard liquid. Grill mushrooms 5 minutes on each side, or until browned and juicy. Serve on buns with burger fixings.
       Grilled Romaine with Balsamic Syrup
While your grill is still hot surprise your guests with this fast, easy and spectacular grilled salad!  Use one small to medium romaine head to serve two.

Simply halve the head with the core still intact. Brush with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Done!

Balsamic Syrup  

3 cups balsamic vinegar

Bring the vinegar to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by nearly three-quarters in volume and thickened to a syrup. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using. This keeps indefinitely.
Yield: 3/4 cup to one cup
may also add some shaved parmigiano reggiano....extra yummy!
       Cucumber avocado soup
Serves about 8
A perfect no cook appetizer

    Flesh of 4 Fuertes or Hass avocados or use 2 Florida green avocados
    2 English cucumbers, with skin, cut into chunks
    1 clove garlic
    juice of 1 lemon
    1 cup plain Greek yogurt or use 1 cup plain almond milk
    1/4 cup olive oil
    salt to taste

Put all the ingredients in a blender - not a food processor, because it won't achieve the right texture. You need a blender, and you might have to make the soup in batches, depending on the size of your blender.

Anyway, whizz the mixture up for a good long time. Open the blender. If it's too thick to qualify as soup, add some water and whizz again. Chill in the refrigerator at least a couple of hours before serving. Garnish with chopped herbs, a perfect sprig of parsley  or some diced cucumber and/or avocado.
       40 - Grilled Corn Poblano Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette
Serves about 6-8

    3 ears corn, shucked
    1 poblano chile
    3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    1 teaspoon finely chopped canned chipotle chile
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 avocado, cut into chunks
    1/4 cup cilantro leaves
    1/2 cup slivered sweet onion, rinsed, patted dry

    1. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). Rub corn and poblano with 1 tbsp. oil. Grill both, turning occasionally, until poblano is mostly blackened, 5 to 10 minutes, and some corn kernels have browned, 10 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
    2. Cut corn kernels from cobs into a large bowl. Peel and seed poblano, cut into 1/2-in. pieces, and add to corn. In a small bowl, whisk remaining oil with lime juice, chipotle chile, and salt.
    3. Stir avocado, cilantro, and onion into corn mixture along with chipotle dressing.
          Grilled Citrus Tofu and Pineapple
Gotta have some grilled tofu...this is so good!
from Vegan Dad
Serves about 4

 1 pkg firm tofu, pressed and cut into 8 pieces
 1/2 can frozen orange juice, thawed
 juice 1/2 lemon
 juice 1 lime
 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
 1 tbsp oil
 salt and pepper

1. Mix together juices, vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper. Marinate tofu slices for an hour or so.
2. Grill on a lightly oiled BBQ over med-hi heat, basting with marinade, for 10-15 mins.

Grilled Pineapple: Brush fresh pineapple slices with some of the marinade and grill for about 10 mins. Make sure pineapple browns but does not burn.
        Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana Heros
Eggplant is one of my fave grilled veggies and it's perfect in these sandwiches.

For tomato sauce:
1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
or use your fave bottled brand of sauce

For eggplant heros:
4 (6 inch) hero or hoagie rolls, split
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (I used less)
2 (1 lb) eggplants
1/2 lb thinly sliced provolone or fresh mozzarella, divided (I used provolone)
1 cup basil leaves, chopped

Make tomato sauce:
Puree tomatoes in a blender until very smooth.  Heat oil in a 3 to 4 quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers.  Saute onion and garlic with red pepper flakes until golden, about 4 minutes.  Add tomato puree, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Make sandwiches:
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas).
Brush cut sides of rolls with 1 tablespoon oil total.
Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Brush both sides with remaining 3 tablespoons oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Oil grill rack, then grill eggplant (covered only if using a gas grill), loosening with a metal spatula and turning occasionally to avoid overbrowning, until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Top eggplant (still on grill) evenly with half of slices cheese, then grill, covered, until cheese begins to melt, about 30 seconds.  Transfer eggplant with spatula to a large tray.
Grill rolls (cut side only) until grill marks appear, about 1 minute, and transfer to tray.  Transfer grilled rolls to 4 plates and spoon about 3 tablespoons tomato sauce onto each bottom piece.  Top with eggplant, making 2 layers.  Add remaining sauce, then top with basil and remaining cheese and close sandwiches.

Note:If you do not have a grill, you can cook the eggplant in a grill pan over medium high heat.  The approximate cooking times will remain the same.  When it comes time to melt the cheese, tent the pan with a piece of foil.  If you don't have a grill pan you could also saute the eggplant or roast it in a hot oven.
       Papaya Tree
If you've never seen one this is what they look like.  They have skinny (6-8") trunks, grow quite tall and are perfect in a tropical garden as they require almost no space and very little care.  If you've never tasted a papaya, try to find the opportunity as they are otherworldly fabulous.   Grilling takes the papaya to another dimension.
       Plate of Papaya

Just split, remove seeds and brush with neutral oil(coconut oil is good here).  Place cut side down on grill.   Grill on high about 5-7 minutes.

"Girl"   The Beatles   "oh, girl"

"Nobody Told Me"   John Lennon

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

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