Easy dinner recipes: 3 fresh ideas for meatless Monday

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It’s meatless Monday, a time to cut out meat for one day and introduce more veggies into your meals. And with a week full of prime rib, turkey and ham behind us, it seems like the perfect time to focus on some vegetables.

Whether you’re a meat eater or a vegetarian, these three recipes will satisfy any appetite.



Salad dressing ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons sweet rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil


In a blender, grind the ginger, shallots and rosemary to a paste.

Add the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and lemon juice to the ginger mixture and blend until fairly smooth.

With the blender running, slowly add the oil. This makes about three-fourths cup dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The dressing will keep, up to 3 days, covered and refrigerated.

Fresh vegetable salad ingredients:

  • 2 cups shelled edamame beans
  • 1 cup raw fresh yellow corn
  • 2/3 cup diced avocado
  • 2/3 cup toasted and salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup sliced or diced roasted and peeled red bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups French green beans (haricot vert), blanched, shocked and chopped
  • 2 cups diced jicama
  • 1/2 cup salad dressing, more as desired
  • 1 cup daikon sprouts
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hemp seeds


In a large bowl, combine the edamame, corn, avocado, cashews, peppers, green beans and jicama. Add one-half cup of the dressing and toss to coat. Taste, and add additional dressing if desired. Divide the salad among 4 plates and garnish with the daikon sprouts and hemp seeds. This makes about 8 cups salad. Serve immediately.

Each of 6 servings: 387 calories; 14 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 26 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 10 grams sugar; 306 mg sodium.


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Salt
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup fingerling potatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme plus 2 tablespoons chopped thyme, divided
  • 1 sprig rosemary plus 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, divided
  • 1 celery root, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 apples, cored and diced (peels left on)
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced leeks
  • 3 small turnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 pound spinach
  • 1 cup diced fresh brioche or challah
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs


Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Halve the squash lengthwise, then scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers. Place the halves on a baking sheet, cut side up, and season each half with one-fourth teaspoon salt. Place one-half tablespoon butter in the hollow of each half, then cover the sheet with foil and bake until the squash are tender, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool slightly, then scoop the flesh out of each half and discard the outer shell.

Brown the butter: Place 2 tablespoons in a large, heavy-bottom saute pan and cook over medium-high heat until the butter browns and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Stir in the squash and sprinkle over the nutmeg. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to break the softened squash into a puree. Watch carefully so the squash does not burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.


While the squash cools, cook the potatoes. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, garlic and 1 sprig each of thyme and rosemary. Cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes, discarding the garlic and herbs and set aside in a large bowl.

In the same saucepan, combine the celery root with the cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the celery root is tender, about 10 minutes. Strain out the celery root and place in the large bowl with the potatoes. Reserve one-fourth cup of the cream in a separate container.

Place 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan and brown over medium-high heat. Stir in the sage, carrots and parsnips and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables to the large bowl and set aside.

Clean the saute pan and brown 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the chopped thyme, apples, kohlrabi, leeks and turnips. Season with one-half teaspoon salt and a pinch each sugar and pepper. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the vegetables to the large bowl.

Clean the saute pan and melt the remaining one-half tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallots and brown slightly. Stir in the spinach and cook just until wilted. Season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Remove from heat and add to the large bowl.

Add the diced brioche and creme fraiche to the vegetables and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.


Place the mixture in a baking dish so the filling reaches approximately one-half inch from the top of the dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread the butternut squash puree evenly over the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top.

Place the baking dish on a baking pan (to catch any drippings) and bake until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Each of 10 servings: 475 calories; 7 grams protein; 46 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 32 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 111 mg. cholesterol; 849 mg. sodium.



  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps wiped clean
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 medium ciabatta rolls
  • 1/2 cup pesto (or 1/2 cup mayonnaise mixed with 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil)
  • 3/4 cup grated Cantal cheese
  • 1 bunch wild arugula, trimmed, washed and dried well (about 2 cups)


Combine the oil, garlic, tamari and black pepper to taste in a large shallow bowl. Add the portobello caps, turning to coat both sides. Let stand 30 to 60 minutes.

Roast the bell pepper under the broiler or over a flame until it is evenly charred on all sides. Cool, then remove the skin, seeds and tough ribs. Cut into thin strips and set aside.


Lay the portobello caps stem side up on broiler pan and drizzle with any remaining marinade. Broil 5 minutes, then turn over with tongs and broil 5 minutes longer. Turn once more, dredging the mushrooms through the pan juices, and broil 2 minutes longer.

While the portobellos are cooking, slice the ciabatta rolls in half and lay the halves out on the work surface. Spread the bottom half of each with pesto.

Place a hot portobello onto each pesto-covered ciabatta. Divide the cheese among the four sandwiches. Place an equal amount of pepper slices over each, then top with arugula. Press the top halves of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Slice in half diagonally and serve at once.

Each serving: 816 calories; 25 grams protein; 70 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 50 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 26 mg. cholesterol; 1744 mg. sodium.

Want more recipes? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_



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