3 Go-To Recipes for Meatless Monday

You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan try these recipes for Meatless Monday! Taking part in a weekly no-meat meal will save you $$$ and help you notice and appreciate the nutritional value (and protein!!) in other options. Plus, with so many amazing plant-based options out there, it’s a fun way to get creative in the kitchen! Here, Alex and Sonja Overhiser, of A Couple Cooks, share 3 meatless – and delicious – dinner recipes from their new cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking, to make this Monday (and the next ones after that!). If you’re looking for more of their yummy recipes, try something party-ready with these healthy appetizers!

Tuscan White Bean & Fennel Soup

Ingredients (Serves 6)

1 fennel bulb
4 medium garlic cloves
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
1 bunch Tuscan or Lacinato kale (about 8–12 ounces)*
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-ounce can San Marzano diced
tomatoes (or other high-quality tomatoes)
1 15-ounce can San Marzano
diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentón)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

*Tuscan kale is sometimes called Lacinato or dinosaur kale; the color is darker than the standard curly variety, and the flavor is sweeter and more complex.

V* For vegan, omit the cheese.


Remove the stems from the fennel bulb and cut off any tough parts from the bottom of the root, then dice the remaining bulb. Reserve some green sprigs for a garnish. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Destem the kale by holding the leaf at the lowest part of the stem and pulling back to tear the leaf away from the stem, then roughly chop the leaves.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and saute for 4 minutes, until translucent but not browned. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and saute for 30 seconds.

Carefully add both cans of tomatoes and their juices, then add the bay leaf and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cannellini beans and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add the kale, red pepper flakes, basil, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Simmer until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay leaf, then taste and adjust flavors as necessary. To serve, garnish with fennel sprigs and grated cheese if desired. Pair with Crusty Multigrain Artisan Bread and a salad.

Quick Fix Pinto Bean Tacos

Ingredients (Makes 8 tacos)

1 small white onion
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (optional)
2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime)
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 eggs
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 corn tortillas
2 cups baby spinach leaves or other
baby greens, loosely packed
½ cup feta cheese crumbles
Mexican-style hot sauce, for serving

*For dairy-free, omit the feta cheese.


Prepare the vegetables: Peel and mince the onion. Drain and rinse the pinto beans. Cut the corn off of the cob or warm frozen corn to room temperature (if using).

Marinate the cabbage: Juice the lime. Thinly slice the red cabbage, then mix it with the lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt.

Cook the beans and eggs: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes until translucent. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook with the onion, stirring constantly until the eggs are scrambled into small pieces and just set, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and stir to combine, then stir in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for about 3 minutes until warmed through.

Char the tortillas: If desired, char the tortillas by turning on a gas burner to medium heat and placing the tortilla directly on the grate. After about 15 seconds when the edges are lightly charred, use tongs to flip the tortilla and heat on the opposite side until lightly charred. Repeat for all tortillas, taking care that they do not catch fire.

To serve, place the spinach on the tortillas, then top with the beans, red cabbage, feta crumbles, corn, hot sauce, and additional toppings as desired.

Red Lentil Coconut Curry with Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)

For the Curry:

2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
1 medium yellow onion
3 medium garlic cloves
1 3-inch nub fresh ginger
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red lentils
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons full-fat
coconut milk, divided
¼ cup red curry paste*
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4- 5 cups baby spinach leaves, packed (chopped if leaves are large)

For the Chutney:

¼ cup diced yellow onion (reserved from above)
2 cups packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
¼ cup chopped golden raisins
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Make brown rice.


Make the curry: Peel and dice the onion. Reserve ¼ cup for the chutney and set aside; use the remaining portion for the curry. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger and measure out 2 tablespoons. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over mediumhigh heat, then add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add the lentils, tomatoes, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 cups water, red curry paste, tomato paste, and kosher salt. Bring to a simmer and cook very gently, just barely bubbling, for 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils are soft (if not, cook a few minutes more until tender). Stir in the spinach along with 2 tablespoons coconut milk and cook until the leaves wilt. Taste and add additional kosher salt or coconut milk to taste.

*If your brand of red curry paste is very spicy, add it in gradually to taste. Our preferred brand adds flavor without excessive heat, but make sure to taste test before adding the entire amount.

Make the chutney: Meanwhile, make the chutney using an immersion blender or standard blender to blend the reserved ¼  cup diced onion, cilantro, golden raisins, white wine vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and ¼ cup water. Blend into a thick, smooth sauce.

To serve, spoon the lentils over rice and top with a dollop of chutney.


Excerpted from A Couple Cooks | Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love with Real Food by Sonja and Alex Overhiser. Copyright © 2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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