My husband is old school Italian, sort of set in his ways. I'm his weird wife who likes yoga and hummus and forces him to take reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. To him, the word "meatless" is a four-letter word. He'd rather have a foot-long meatball sub. I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't mind going meatless now and then. Here are a few of my favorite meatless recipes.
I love hummus, but I'm not a fan of the prepackaged ones in the grocery store. I wanted to make it myself, but I couldn't find Tahini (sesame paste). So, I went online looking for a substitute and found that you could use peanut butter and sesame oil instead. It works great! This also doesn't use olive oil, it has much less fat than the original, but still tastes really good!
1 can chickpeas, do not drain
1 TBS peanut butter
1 TBS sesame oil
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
chicken broth, if needed
Puree everything but chicken broth in food processor until smooth. If it's too thick, add a little broth to thin it out. Serve with crackers, celery & carrot sticks or pita chips.
BLACK BEAN BURGERS
1/2 onion, chopped
2 small cloves garlic (or one large)
2 (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
3 big leaves basil, torn (or 1 tsp dried basil)
1 TBS chopped parsley (don't use dried parsley-it's gross)
1 tsp cajun seasoning or season salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Drain the beans and rinse them well in a colander. In a food processor, pulse onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add 1 can of beans, basil, parsley, egg and cajun seasoning. Pulse to combine. Transfer to a big bowl. Add the remaining can of beans and bread crumbs. Mix well. Divide into 6 portions, about 1/2 cup each, and form into patties. You can cook them right away in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side. But I find it's best to make these ahead, put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them for about an hour. Then transfer them to a big freezer bag. Then you can just pull one out whenever you want it.
This next recipe is great for a party or just for dinner. It's always a hit!
SPINACH & ARTICHOKE SQUARES
2 cans crescent rolls
1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (or you can use the marinated ones in the jar)
1 (9oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough into 4 long rectangles. Place crosswise in a 15x10 in baking pan. Press over bottom to form a crust. Press perforations to seal. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Meanwhile combine all remaining ingredients. Mix well. Spread over partially baked crust. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes. Cut into small squares for appetizers or large squares for dinner. Serve warm.
So, I'm still trying to get my husband not to cringe when he hears the word "meatless". Not sure that'll ever happen, but here's to hoping. In the mean time, maybe some of you will enjoy these recipes.