Meat Free Monday and more sweet potatoes!

Hi everyone, hope you had a great weekend!!

As much as I love going out on the weekends, one thing that I like about not going out is that the next day is SO much more productive.  I had plans to go out on Saturday but got a horrible migraine and ended up going to bed pretty early.  Blah.  I was annoyed but it ended up allowing me to check quite a few things off my to-do list on Sunday when I woke up headache free.   First, I went to the gym and ran for a few miles but then my ipod died and  I can’t run without music.  According to my dad this is a sign of me not being able to be alone with my thoughts (he also told me this when I asked for a shower radio one year for Christmas…obviously he missed the memo that the acoustics in the shower make my voice sound much better than it is).  The real reason that I can’t run without music is because being on the treadmill in silence makes my thought pattern go something like this:  “this sucks, I want to stop running…how has it only been 6 seconds…maybe I’ll just cut my run short today…ugh why did I ever think that I liked running…I think I can handle another minute… I’m sweating really bad, it’s so hot in here…do I breathe really loudly when I run?… I’m definitely not running for more than 1 more minute”.  You get the idea.  When I ran cross country in high school I ran without music, but I honestly have no idea how.  Music is a distraction and for me, actually helps me to think about other things and clear my mind better than silence would.    Do you guys run with music or are you able to run without it?

Since my run was cut short I ended up doing the arc trainer for 15 minutes.  I had never done it before but that thing is hard! It felt like a great workout and I think I will use it over the elliptical next time I want to cross train.

After the gym, I ran a few errands and then headed home to try some new recipes.I made 2 kinds of chicken, date bars and green cookies.  Wowza.  I had a lot going on at once in the kitchen and I am so excited to share all of the recipes with you because they all turned out really well.   But, I won’t be sharing them today because I have another recipe in mind that goes along with my post title…meat free Monday!

While I am not a vegetarian and have no plans to become one, I do think that Americans (on the whole) eat too much meat.  I recently took a food writing class and wrote a paper on Meat Free Monday.  Meat Free Monday is a campaign that is attempting to get people to give up meat for just one day a week–whether it is Monday or any other day.  It gives people a chance to branch out and try new things (tofu, perhaps?) and maybe try to incorporate more or different fruits and vegetables into their diets. Beyond the chance to try new recipes, it is thought that lessening meat production can potentially help the environment.  I don’t think it is realistic to think people will drastically cut back on meat consumption, but I think that asking people to refrain from consuming it just one day a week is an interesting idea.  I decided to give it a try, and since you guys know that I don’t eat a ton of meat anyways, it isn’t that hard for me to commit to.  What do you guys think?  Is it something that you would try?  I think it would provide a great reason to try out some new vegetarian dishes and after all, it is just one day!

If you want to learn more just visit the site here.  In honor of meat-free Mondays,we are going to try and post a vegetarian recipe every Monday!

Here are some vegetarian ideas from previous posts:  Black bean tostadas, Veggie Lasagna, falafel, and socca pizza

I’m also going to add a new recipe to the list–sweet potato cakes!

Spinach and Sweet Potato Cakes

1 whole sweet potato-medium sized and already cooked

2 cups of spinach

1 egg (or use 1 T flaxseed and 3 T water if you want to make these vegan)

1/3 cup oats

1/2 t salt

1/2 t chili powder

1/4 cup parsley

I had a half of a giant sweet potato leftover and for some reason it just didn’t sound good, so I figured I would try to make it into some cakes before I ended up throwing it out.  I combined the sweet potato (this freakish giant half was probably the equivalent of a normal sweet potato whole) with 2 cups of spinach and blended for about 30 seconds in a food processor.  Once these were combined I added the salt, chili powder, parsley and oats and blended again.  I removed the mixture from the food processor, added the egg and mixed this in by hand.

I was originally going to cook them in a pan on the stove, but they were pretty sticky and seemed like they would be hard to flip so I baked them.  They turned out well this way!  I cooked them until they were browned on both sides, which took a little over 20 minutes at 375, flipped halfway through.

These could be good with a lot of different combinations, maybe adding feta in?  I’ll have to try a few different variations to see which is best.  Veggie burgers are always great to throw in a salad or eat as a sandwich for work lunches.  I usually buy frozen but I liked how easy these were to make.  If you try them, let me know what you think!

Now I’m off to watch the crazies on the Bachelor!

1 Comment

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One Response to Meat Free Monday and more sweet potatoes!

  1. Ziggy

    I would be willing to try meat free first of the month, and maybe work up from there. By the way, your Dad’s right about the music.

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