When I was working in the advertising business, I would always moan having to go back to work on Monday mornings. But even my worst case of the “monday morning blues” doesn’t compare to the moans I hear in my house
You can’t believe the moans I get about my Meatless Monday. No office in the world has as many “manic Monday” moans as my house every Monday. I make a menu every week to keep things organized (and to decrease grocery store visits) and my fiance and my daughter love to pout about the Meatless Monday menu.
I have worked at finding a balance between using whole, clean ingredients and also serving up items that are family-friendly. This isn’t always easy! My kids didn’t always love gluten-free pasta or eating dairy-free but yet we’ve managed to have been surviving dinners that meet both my requirements and theirs for sometime.
Recently I’ve decided the family should fully commit to Meatless Monday. It’s a movement I completely support and while we do eat some meat, I always encourage moving closer towards a plant-based diet. I write out a menu every week and while we always had at least one vegan meal, now that it’s a set day, it has become an easy thing for them to turn their nose up to: “zucchini noodles? Why can’t we just have normal noodles?” “Millet falalfel? Please tell me we are having pita bread with that.” You get the idea 🙂
I’m trying to out-wit them and I now call it “Meatless Monday surprise” so that they can’t moan about it before it even touched their mouths. Typically, despite all their best efforts, they do enjoy the dinner and after eating the complaints stop – at least until next Monday.
But this week, a miracle happened. They didn’t just “put up with” my Meatless Monday dinner, they loved it. A surprise, indeed!
We had a brown rice & quinoa bowl and with lots of toppings like avocado salsa, fresh tomato, lime and carmelized onions and a roasted butternut squash salad with shaved pear. My fiance called it one of his favorite dinners, ever. Considering one of his favorite foods is chicken, this felt like a massive homerun. Of course, I knew I had to share it with you!
If you think a cleansing lifestyle is about being deprived in anyway, this meal will prove that you can eat clean and pure and still eat incredible and delicious food. Just as with my family’s weekly menu, it’s all about creating balance. If you are living in fear of the unhealthy food that is coming up with the holidays, don’t panic! I don’t eat clean so that I can never splurge, I eat clean so that a splurge doesn’t ruin my whole week.
I know I am going to eat the mashed potatoes and have a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. And you should, too! Enjoy yourself. Then try this meal out on Friday and keep on cleansing on.
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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
1 small head of radicchio, thinly sliced
1 handful of organic wild arugula
1 head of endive, sliced
1 cup butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 T hemp seeds
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup white balsamic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash on a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 8-10 minutes (may take more or less time depending on size) until slightly browned and cooked through. Remove and let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together shallot, balsamic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Mix lettuces in a bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, peel slices of the pear and add to the lettuce mix. Add hemp seeds and toss. Top with cooled squash and drizzle with dressing.
Brown Rice & Red Quinoa Bowl
3/4 cup sprouted brown rice
3/4 cup organic red quinoa
1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked
3 ears of corn, grilled and kernels cut off
1 avocado, diced
4 T olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
sea salt and pepper to taste
In a pot, add water according to package and 3/4 cup sprouted brown rice. Let cook halfway (about 20 minutes) and add quinoa and more water according to quinoa package. Cook another 20 minutes or so until both grains are cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat 1 T of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often until carmelized. If needed, add a little coconut oil.
Mix black beans, corn kernels and avocado in a bowl with 2 T olive oil and the juice of two limes and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, place grain mixture into bowl with avocado salsa and top with fresh tomatoes, carmelized onion and squeeze of more lime if desired.