Meatless Mondays

Have you ever tried a vegetarian or vegan diet? It’s tough, because animal products are such a big part of the culinary world. It’s one of those things that you try with a super open mind and stick with it for maybe a week before dropping out. That’s why my family and I have decided, for one of our New Years resolutions, to do meatless Mondays! It’s exactly what it sounds like. Meatless Mondays is a way for us to slowly get accustomed to the idea of not eating, well, meat! This isn’t part of some sort of plan to become 100% vegetarian in the future, but we did want to make our diets a little more healthier going forward.

We’ve gone through three Mondays or so of being vegetarian, and I can say, by far, that our remake of the Ancient Grains Bowl from True Foods Kitchen has been the best part. I wrote a post on that particular restaurant from Stanford Shopping Mall a while back, and if you may have remembered, one blaring highlight was, obviously, the Ancient Grains Bowl! Consisting of ancient grains (brown rice, quinoa, and farro), miso-glaze sweet potato, portobello mushrooms, sugar snap peas, avocado, charred onions, and a cilantro sauce, this healthy meal is the perfect choice for vegetarians. It even suits my dad’s more extreme vegan diet!

With much needed inspiration from Aunty Sue (thank you!), my mom worked hard to prepare all of the ingredients for the Ancient Grains Bowl just this past Monday. It was a huge success, and fell right into that “healthy-licious” zone. Despite not having the Ancient Grains Bowl for a really long time, it all came back to me within the first bite. The Ancient Grains Bowl stands as a reminder that flavor/seasoning alone can make a meal delicious, even without certain items.

Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, I still encourage you to try going meatless on one day (every once in a while). It’s a neat experience because a) you’re eating a little healthier and b) you get to branch out and find new, innovative recipes to try. I eat a ton of meat, so trying the homemade Ancient Grains Bowl from my mom felt exceptionally good. An important thing to note is that meatless best works with every meal of the day. If you sort of “slack” off for, say breakfast, then it’s easier to do that for future meals. Let’s face it, going vegetarian isn’t easy at all, but if you’re willing to give it a shot at least for one day, who knows where it’ll go from there?

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. weekend!

It all starts with the base, and this complicated but yummy mix of grains won’t disappoint you.
The cilantro sauce is almost as important as the ancient grains. It’s perfect consistency and humble taste fit well with all of the toppings.
Sugar snap peas provide that “crunch” element!
You certainly can’t miss the charred onions…
The miso sweet potato almost substitutes for the meat due to it’s soft texture and mouthwatering miso taste.
Good old avocado, who wouldn’t want it in their dinner?
Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 8.22.11 PM
Grilled portobello mushrooms = heaven.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cooper wants to know if you want to go to Hang Sung Kalbi this Monday…


  2. Suzanne Chen says:

    What’s the cilantro sauce?


  3. Tom Cole says:

    Nate, thanks for this post. I love this dish too and actually had it for lunch at a restaurant today! The portabella and miso give a nice umami kick. One idea to add even more umami is to roast some tomatoes. I usually use cherry tomatoes or Roma (quartered). I toss into an oven-safe dish with garlic and basil (usually the frozen cubed variety from Trader Joe’s to make it quick and easy, microwaved for ~15 seconds to melt them), a generous drizzle of olive oil, and sea salt. I bake in the toaster oven for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees, usually turning once so it gets charred on both sides. When it’s done, the tomatoes are all soft and swimming in the combo of juices and the seasoned olive oil, and it goes really well spooned on a lot of things, including an Ancient Grains bowl!


  4. dpranita583 says:

    Good idea of meatless Monday, why all days are not considering meatless. Sometimes I feel that I USA is so rich country then why did there more people are non vegetarian.?


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