I usually greet January with a long list of goals and measurable objectives--the same type of parameters that I resent being judged by in my 9-5. This year I've put nothing in writing...yet. That said, when creating this week's menu plan and grocery list, I decided to make my first 2011 resolution: Meatless Monday. Last fall I had the desire to cultivate our family dinner time, and perfectly coinciding with this was the release of The Family Dinner, by Laurie David and Time for Dinner, by former Cookie editors, Pilar Guzman, Jenny Rosenstrach and Alanna Stang. I've been exploring these two new fabulous cookbooks, and as a result I have embraced a new level of domestic enthusiasm and organization. While I can save my book reviews and lady adoration for another day, I will share that it was Laurie David's book that made me aware of the Meatless Monday movement. Seriously, it sounded familiar but I just wasn't tuned in.
Meatless Monday actually started in World War I and was incredibly effective at changing the nation's eating habits. Somewhere between June Cleaver and the Great Bacon Explosion we seem to have lost our way. While I'm a proud omnivore and my boys drool at the word STEAK, we love all kinds of food and don't feel it's necessary to include a meat/fish/poultry product at every meal. The Mister is on board with my meatlessness and the boys are pretty good sports too. Any random night we might have tofu stir fry or a veggie spaghetti. So why make a big deal about it? Well, I like the idea of a habit, a ritual, a conscious decision. I like the challenge of trying new recipes, and the boys are at a great age to explore new foods and ideas.
For our first official Meatless Monday we used the recipe for Vegetarian Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps (without the dipping sauce) courtesy of Leslie's Home Gourmet. I doubled it and adapted it a bit, so maybe follow her link for the real deal! The leftovers are perfect with chopped Romaine for a salad, or over rice warmed up. We served it with steamed broccoli and couscous just in case it didn't go over as well as hoped. For the record, the Mister gave it a thumbs up, Max ate nearly both of his wraps before deciding he didn't like them, and Beck ate everything on his plate, plus applesauce, and a second meal of pears, rice crackers and dried apricots. Hungry much?
2 packages firm tofu crumbled 1/2 medium onion, diced 1 cup shredded cabbage 2 carrots, grated 2/3 cup (plus a little more to taste) of your favorite soy marinade (Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki) 1 tsp. fresh lemongrass, minced (Thanks KKJ!) 3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tbs. sweet chili garlic sauce Sprinkle of salt to taste 4 tbs. canola oil 2 tsp. sesame oil 1 medium head of Boston/Butter lettuce, washed and leaves separated
In a skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat and saute onion and garlic until it begins to soften. Season with a touch of salt. Add cabbage and carrot. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add tofu and lemongrass, marinade, sesame oil, and chili sauce. Cook another 5-10 minutes (until it thickens a bit), stirring often. Serve warm inside cool lettuce leaves.