ALL ABOUT FOOD: Going meatless is good for health and pocketbook

"Meatless Mondays" originated during World War I when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urged families to avoid eating meat on Mondays to conserve food for the troops and feed starving populations in Europe. There was also a project called "Wheatless Wednesdays." The program came back into play at the beginning of World War II because meat was being rationed, and it became a way for women at home to support the war effort.

Currently, "Meatless Mondays" has reemerged as a national public health campaign in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

We are starting our own Meatless Monday campaign to save the planet and to save you some dough. Our proposal is that you try to have a vegetarian meal once a week (we won't tell anybody if you do it on Tuesdays). It will certainly make it possible for you to reduce your grocery bill in these crazy times, and if you're dining out, vegetarian meals are definitely cheaper and often so delicious you won't even miss the meat. We have included a few suggestions for eating at home or away from home. These recipes are family-friendly and work well for brunch, lunch or dinner.

Last week we cooked our meatless meal at home. This week we're going out. Obviously, you can get a vegetarian meal at Zinc Café or The Stand, and you can always order vegetarian pizza or pasta at most restaurants, but we would like to mention a few that feature vegetarian entrées.

?Aegean Café: grilled vegetable plate with hummus and tzatziki or vegetarian moussaka with eggplant and potatoes, $17.95.

?Beachcomber: Farmer's market mac n' cheese with seasonal veggies and roasted veggie crepe with ricotta and vegetables topped with spinach and Parmesan cream.

?Brussels Bistro: vegetable gratin and grilled vegetable medley, $10 to $12.

?Coyote Grill: zucchini enchilada, veggie burger, $7 to $8.50.

?Crab Zone: Buddha's feast stir-fry $8.95, garlic noodles, $5.95.

?French 75: wild mushroom ravioli, farmer's market vegetable, $13 to $18.

?La Sirena: burritos, tortas, quesadilla and vegetarian plate, $5.75 to $7.75.

?K'ya: broiled tofu steak or red Thai curry with brown rice, $16.95.

?Mozambique: excellent vegetarian curry with accompaniments, $18.

?Nirvana Grille: wild mushroom ravioli, mixed vegetable plate, house-made veggie burger, $9-$16.

?Pomodoro: verdure, vegetarian lasagna, $8.25 to $10.25.

?Royal Thai: all entrees can be served with tofu or oyster mushrooms, $10.95.

?Sage-on-the-Coast: Farmers market vegetable plate with roasted cauliflower, sautéed squash, eggplant Parmesan, arugula, roasted figs, goat cheese and pine nuts in roasted tomato sauce, $25.

?San Shi Go: vegetable tempura, teriyaki vegetables, $8.95.

?Thai Brothers: nine vegetarian entrées including deep fried garlic tofu or mixed veggies and tofu in spicy peanut sauce, $10.95.

?Ti Amo: Linguini Fiorentina with artichokes, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, feta, roasted garlic and pesto sauce.

ELLE HARROW and TERRY MARKOWITZ owned A La Carte for 20 years. They can be reached for comments or questions at

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