I've been posting Meatless Monday recipes, but haven't really talked about Meatless Monday—mostly that's because I have this impression that this is sort of a "preaching to the choir" issue—as in those who won't automatically roll their eyes and dismiss the idea before actually looking at the information objectively already know this stuff. Maybe that's not a fair perception. So, if you don't know what Meatless Monday is all about and aren't rolling your eyes right now, I hope you took a look at the video above. It gives a nice and very, very brief overview. For any eye rollers out there, well, I guess I just challenge you to actually look into to it and know what the points are before you scoff... and if you still scoff, I guess anything I say or do won't change your mind. Hopefully you'll still enjoy some of my recipes.
The key point in all this is the reduction of how much meat is consumed, but there are a lot of ways to go about that. Cut it out completely on 1 day a week (or more), if that suits you, but across the board it is possible to just eat smaller portions. I like meat, and there is no getting around that, but I generally to try treat it like a side (which aligns to the new My Plate guidelines too). On the occasions when I decide to indulge and have a MEAT meal, where it takes center stage, I try to at least go for the good stuff... the stuff that did not come from a feedlot in the mid-west somewhere where livestock are raised in such unsanitary conditions that they have to be injected with so many antibiotics that they have become a major contributor to the development of anti-biotic resistant bacteria... which is bad, bad stuff. And there is plenty of research to indicate that free-range, grass-fed livestock contribute quite a few positive aspects to the environment—by providing a perfect ecosystem for wild honeybees, for example—in addition to the meat being much healthier for you.
The solution, in my mind at least, is to find a balance that works for you rather than a one-size-fits-all answer. If you are not a person that is going to eat meatless meals period, plain and simple, try the smaller portion approach, and definitely, definitely try to cut out that nasty factory-farmed meat. Make changes drastically or gradually, whichever you have more success with. Just keep informed and then by all means, make decisions that work best for your lifestyle.
I am still working my way through the roasted hatch green chiles I bought (okay, I admit it, I bought more), so you get another green chile recipe, this time as a salad dressing for healthier taco salad.
Black Bean Taco Salad with Green Chile-Honey Mustard Dressing
Yield: 1 main dish serving
- 2 roasted hatch green chiles, peeled and seeded
- 1 T lime juice
- 2 T white wine vinegar
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 1 T honey
- 1 C lettuce, cut or torn into small pieces
- 1/2 C diced tomatoes
- 1/2 C diced onion
- 1/2 C diced jicama
- 1/2 C diced cucumber
- 1/2 C canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 of an avocado, diced
- 3/4 C crushed tortilla chips*
- Combine the chiles, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey in a blender or small food processor and blend until well combined. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a large shallow bowl and drizzle with the dressing (there will be extra dressing).
- Put it in your mouth, chew, swallow, digest.