Monday, April 22, 2013

Meatless Monday with Mindy #11 Vegetarian Sweet-and-Sour

Welcome to the 11th installment of Meatless Monday with Mindy.

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is an annual holiday, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year.  

There are many things we can do to lessen our environmental impact.  Taking part in Meatless Monday is an easily implementable first step towards helping!

Did you know that by choosing to cut out meat every Monday you’re playing a key role in helping the environment by preserving water resources?  *"The water requirements of meat production are enormous. Producing a quarter-pound of beef, for example, requires over 1,000 gallons of water, by most estimates. This can be up to 100 times more water than is needed to produce plant-based proteins.

Water pollution is also a serious side effect of industrial meat production. Fertilizers and pesticides used to grow animal feed crops, and waste generated by industrial food animal production facilities, pollute waterways and threaten ecosystems." *Meatless Monday

You can also Plant a garden!

*Buying locally grown produce is great — harvesting your own vegetables and herbs is even better! The whole family will love planting, caring for, and eventually picking and cooking what you grow. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can still grow herbs in a window box placed in a sunny spot inside your home.  You will love the fresh taste these herbs bring to your meals.

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to choose to cut out meat on Mondays!

I started out this Earth Day eating a serving of whole grain cereal with sliced almonds and a sliced banana and topped that off with rice milk.  Then for lunch, I munched on raw vegetables dipped in Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and enjoyed a few whole grain crackers.
Dinner was an adaptation of an old family favorite which I haven't made in very long time. This recipe is adapted from a Betty Crockers Cookbook New and Revised Edition....from the early 1980's!! This is the cookbook I went to marriage with!  The pages in this book are spotted and stained and many of the hole-punched pages no longer have the holes punched. Rather they are torn and hanging lose in the binder.

I have to clue you in though, although I made this version meatless, it is not low in calories. Lower in calories than the original recipe, and higher in fiber,  but this recipe has plenty of sugar.  If I were to do it again, I would find a way to cut back on the sugar even more than I did. I don't think it would hurt the flavor any either.

So, here is my adaptation of Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs found on page 29 of this new and revised 1980's something cookbook.

Vegetarian Sweet-and-Sour

3 cups of cooked rice, preferably brown.
8 oz of whole brown mushrooms, quartered
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
20 oz canned pineapple tidbits
2 cups sweet peppers, coarsely chopped (I used small red, yellow, and orange)
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar 
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Start out making your rice and let simmer while you prepare the recipe.

I made up brown and red rice. 2 21/2 cups of water to 1 cup of dry rice blend.

Prep your ingredients by chopping your vegetables....

and measuring out your staple ingredients.

Heat a skillet and add the mushrooms.

Add enough water to the skillet to prevent the mushrooms from sticking. Start out with 1/4 cup of water, adding more as needed.  Cook the mushrooms until the liquid is gone and the mushrooms are breaking down.  Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the brown sugar and cornstarch and mix together.

Add the pineapple, soy sauce and vinegar and stir. 

Heat this to boiling, stirring constantly; then reduce heat.

Add the mushrooms back in as well as the beans and sweet peppers.

Simmer the mix for about another 5 minutes until the beans are heated through and the sweet peppers are crisp tender.

Plate this mixture over a bed of mixed rice and enjoy!

I would recommend serving this with a side of steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix.  This would round this meal out well.

What did you do this earth day?  

Share your meatless recipe with us!  
Click on the litte blue frog and follow the prompts.  If your new to sharing your blog, see this post for instructions.  Thanks for sharing!

All photos' were taken by my honey. You can see more of what he likes taking picture of over here

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