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

Unfortunately Paul McCartney is unable to attend our party tonight.  But, we have his personal musical addition to our celebration right here!

"Meat Free Monday"   Paul McCartney

             

Meat Free Monday...lyrics

Meat Free Monday it's a fun day and it's happening all around the world
(repeat)

Think about the future how the world will be,
if we don't do something we face calamity

Think of greenhouse gases, melting polar ice, ocean levels rising better not think twice

Meat Free Monday it's a fun day and it's happening all around the world
(repeat)

Think of too much livestock warming up the land.  Got to think of answers gotta have a plan

Think about the future how the world will be if we don't do something we face calamity

Meat Free Monday, it's a fun day and it's happening all around the world
(repeat)

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!

It's our 4th Anniversary Birthday week so we are going to party tonight!  Yes, it was July 2008 that Macca's Meatless Monday became the first Meatless Monday blog.   Now there are literally hundreds of blogs that have a Meatless Monday feature.  It's been fantastic fun.  We tie a lot of things together here and that's what has kept it interesting and fun for me.  We've also accomplished some pretty serious stuff.  During this time meat consumption in US has gone down 12%!   So we're on a roll but still have a long way to go.  Many thanks and (((hugs))) to all of you who have made this such a rewarding experience for me. Now it's time to party!

So grab a beer and join us for a casual southern style picnic supper. Salud!
           Red Stripe Beer

In this weather best to start with some soup shooters!

            WatermelonGazpacho-041-web
WATERMELON GAZPACHO SHOOTERS

    4 cups seedless watermelon (about 3 pounds), diced
    2 to 3 tomatillos, diced
    1 tablespoon seeded and diced jalapeno (about 1/2 pepper)
    1 lime, zested and juiced
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    Lime slices, for garnish
    Special Equipment: Shot glasses

Put the watermelon, tomatillos, jalapeno, lime juice and zest, salt and pepper into a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Chill well before serving, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. To serve, pour about 2 ounces of the gazpacho into shot glasses and garnish with a lime slice.
          Sloppy Joes – Gluten-free + Vegan
TEMPEH SLOPPY JOES
Fast & easy and so delish!  This comes from NRDC..Serves 4

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 cup diced onion
    1/2 cup diced green pepper
    1/2 cup diced red pepper
    1 cup barbeque sauce
    water as needed
    1 8-ounce package tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch dice
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    4 whole-wheat hamburger buns

    Heat olive oil in a pot, add the onions, peppers and garlic and cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft . (If the vegetables dry-out, add a tablespoon of water at a time, they should not brown.)
    Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the tempeh and saute until browned. Set aside.
    When the vegetables are soft, add the tempeh and barbeque sauce and 1/4-cup water. Cook covered, on low heat for 10 minutes. Add Tabasco or hot sauce if desired.
    Serve on toasted whole-wheat hamburger buns.
         Brad's coleslaw
JIM & NICK'S COLESLAW
This is my all-time fave coleslaw.  Goes great as a side for the sloppy joes or add right into your sandwich.

    1 2-pound head of green cabbage, quartered, cored, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 14 cups)
    1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup grated peeled carrots
    4 green onions, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use veganaise

Place cabbage in large bowl. Add vinegar and sugar; toss to coat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Toss cabbage mixture well; cover and let stand 30 minutes longer. Drain cabbage. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Transfer drained cabbage to another large bowl. Add carrots, green onions, and veganaise; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
        Baked Beans
BOSTON SLOW BAKED BEANS
This is from Linda McCartney on Tour. Serves 6-8

1 pound dried navy beans, soaked for a minimum of 8 hours
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
4-6 tablespoons dark molasses
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons tomato puree
1-&-3/4 cup vegetable stock
2 cups tomato juice
salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the beans and place them in large, flame-proof casserole with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Drain the beans and return them to the casserole with the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Cover and bake in the over at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours until the beans are tender. Check and stir the beans occasionally during cooking and add a little water if necessary to prevent them from drying out. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary before serving.

ROOT BEER BAKED BEANS
If you don't want to turn on your oven or don't have time for the beans above here is a fast, tasty, awesome recipe. Serves about 6-8

1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 16-ounce cans vegetarian baked beans
1/2 cup root beer (use cane sugar sweetened)
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pepper, freshly ground to taste

Cook onion in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients.

Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer. Stir often until mixture is slightly thickened; about 20 minutes.
          2012-07-08 - Happy Vegan Ice Cream Day! - 0004
ONE-INGREDIENT BANANA ICE CREAM
Just because I can and we celebrating we're having 2 desserts today.  First one is really different..take a look!

2 to 5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen

(Two bananas yield one generous serving. Four to five bananas make about a quart of ice cream.)

1.Put the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer (or coconut milk) to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Chocolate Fudge Sauce
yummy..yummy

(Makes a pint of sauce. Adapted Vegan Junk Food.)

1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coconut milk, divided
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a small bowl or mug, combine 1/3 cup of coconut milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, agave syrup, and the remaining coconut milk; mix well. Bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly, and allow to boil for several minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and immediately add the arrowroot “slurry” and vanilla extract. Allow the sauce to cool on the counter top and then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge.
      Vegan Blueberry
VEGAN BLUEBERRY 'ICE CREAM'
So good and even healthy!  Makes a fantastic breakfast perfect for Blueberry season!

1 dry pint blueberries
1/2 cup agave nectar (divided) -or-
1/2 cup sugar (divided)
1 cup soy milk
1 cup silken tofu
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Make the blueberry syrup at least one hour before preparing the base.

Wash the blueberries, removing any stems in the process. Do not dry.

To make the syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries and 1/4 cup agave nectar or sugar. Bring to a boil lower heat to slow simmer, and allow to cook and reduce for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer contents to a heat-proof container, and refrigerate. You should have about 2/3 cup of blueberry syrup. When the syrup is completely cooled (it doesn’t have to be cold – just room temperature is fine), make the “ice cream” base.

To make the base: In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy milk, silken tofu, remaining 1/4 cup agave nectar or sugar, vanilla, and salt. Transfer this mixture to the bowl of your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Put the now-soft ice cream into an air-tight container and mix in the blueberry syrup. Cover and freeze – minimum an hour or two.

"Birthday"   The Beatles

"That Was Me"   Paul McCartney   live Paris 2007

What have you all been cooking?  Please share your recipes and fave Beatle music here!  It's been great getting to know (((you guys))).  Thanks so much for your support all these years :)

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