Meatless: It’s Not Just For Mondays

“And for all the dietary confusion we face, nutritionists have yet to say a bad word about vegetables”-Alanna Stang, Editor in Chief, Whole Living




A generation ago it was a fairly uncommon practice to abstain from a meat-based diet, but now you will not even raise an eyebrow if you tell your friends you are vegan, or vegetarian. With more and more people opting for a diet that does not rely so heavily on animal based proteins, more and more variations on this theme are becoming the norm; most of us have gone a day or two abstaining from meat, or dairy, we participate in Meatless Mondays, we have added more plant based proteins in the form of beans and legumes and grains like quinoa, and are discovering a whole new world of healthy, well-balanced and delicious culinary delights. Whether you are full-on vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or flexitarian, there is a cookbook out there that will offer countless invigorating and healthy options for you.

In fact, going meatless is not only a prudent choice for your health, better for the environment and certainly better for the animals, but it is out and out fashionable!




Your parents may have had a dusty copy of Diet for a Small Planet,  The Moosewood Cookbook, or Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone -all classics in the genre, -but you know ‘meatless’ has gone mainstream, glam even, when the doyenne of entertaining, Martha Stewart, throws her hat into the ring.

“There’s no question that adopting a plant-rich diet is better for us and the planet. Skipping meat even a few days a week can make a big difference. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavour: vegetarian cooking has never been easier or more delicious, thanks to the abundance of farmers markets, diverse fresh produce aisles and excellent choices of pastas, grains, beans and even frozen staples…” –Meatless

This beautiful and user-friendly cookbook has over two hundred amazing recipes like Fresh Pea Hummus and Stuffed, Marinated Hot Red Cherry Peppers, to Tomatoes Provençal, Chipotle Avocado Sandwiches, Corn-Stuffed Poblano Chiles and Spinach Gnudi with Sage Butter. If you don’t find something delicious and tempting in this book then you just do not like good food. In addition, each and every recipe comes with a nutritional profile listing calories, grams of fat, cholesterol, fibre, carbs etc etc, to keep you on track. And to add to the wow factor, each recipe is accompanied by a full colour photograph that assures you that going meatless is not a sacrifice, it is, in fact, an indulgence, one you can feel good about on so many levels.

It is pretty much impossible to select one recipe, but since it is fall, and there is an abundance of amazing, ripe tomatoes spilling out of market stalls, and bushes of basil begging to be picked, here is a recipe for a classic. Note: if you have fresh tomatoes, use them for your sauce, otherwise follow the recipe below**.




Pizza Margherita

Makes 6-10 12 inch pizzas


Whole wheat Pizza dough*

Pizza Sauce**

16 ounces Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh Basil Leaves


1. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into 6 equal portions. Roll into balls, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest 30 min. To shape the dough pat it flat with your hands, pick up the dough and rotate your hands around the edge to form a round. Place the dough over your knuckles and pul gently to stretch it to a 10 or 12 inch round. Continue until dough is stretched very thin.

2. Preheat oven to 450 F, with a stone or baking sheet on rack in top third of oven. Working with one at a time, place dough round on a piece of parchment paper, using a ladle to spread sauce (about ½ a cup) on dough.

3. Arrange mozzarella on top of sauce, leaving space between each slice. Transfer to oven by sliding parchment paper onto stone or baking sheet. Bake until cheese is bubbly and bottom is crisp, 13 to 15 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve immediately



1 envelope yeast

2 cups warm water

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons coarse salt

½ cup toasted wheat germ

olive oil for bowl


1. In large bow, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups all-purpose flour and the salt, then stir in whole wheat flour, toasted wheat germ and remaining ½ cup of all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and springs back slowly when pressed, about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, add dough and turn to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2 ½ hours.



¼ cup olive oil

2 cans whole, peeled tomatoes

1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Using your hands, crush tomatoes into a bowl, then add to skillet along with oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon, until sauce has thickened, 40-50 minutes.

2. For a smooth sauce, pass it through a food mill or press through a fine sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Let cool slightly before using.

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