Famous vegetarians Paul, Stella, and Mary McCartney echo what others have said: By giving up meat for just one day each week you can save money, reduce your environmental impact, and live a healthier life. If you're still not convinced, their new cookbook, The Meat Free Monday Cookbook (Kyle Books, $29.95), offers a mouth-watering full menu planner for every Monday of the year. Try some of their favorite recipes for yourself.
Papaya SaladCourtesy The Meat Free Monday Cookbook
Papayas, or pawpaws as they are known in some parts of the world, are sweet, perfumed tropical fruits with deliciously soft flesh. This is an ideal dish for communal eating on a hot summer evening, with everyone tucking in using lettuce leaves as scoops.
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3–4 small fresh red or green chiles
chopped 2 yard-long beans or 20 French beans, chopped into 2-inch lengths
11/2 cups fresh papaya, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
Boston lettuce leaves (to serve)
Directions: Pound the garlic in a large mortar, then add the chiles and pound again. Add the beans, breaking them up slightly, then tip into a bowl. Add the papaya to the bowl and lightly mash together, then stir in the tomato and lightly mash again. Add the sugar and lime juice, stirring well, then transfer to a serving dish. Serve with lettuce leaves, which can be used as a scoop for the mixture.
Carrot and Hummus Crunch on SourdoughCourtesy The Meat Free Monday Cookbook
By Nick Sandler
Fry 2 coarsely grated large carrots in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 chopped red chile, and 1 teaspoon caraway seeds over moderate heat for 5–8 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool before using in the sandwich.
Cut 4 slices of sourdough bread or slice 2 sourdough baguettes with a serrated knife along the middle so they are still connected at the back. Spread some hummus onto the baguettes, followed by the grated carrots.
Remember to scrape in the caraway seeds and chile. Add 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt to the baguette in dollops, followed by a generous handful roughly chopped cilantro. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
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Mexican CornbreadCourtesy The Meat Free Monday Cookbook
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round baking dish and dust with a little flour. Seed 1 green chile and 1 red chile and chop finely. Trim and slice 6 scallions. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the scallions and chiles, and cook for a couple of minutes until soft but not colored.
Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl, and add a 14-ounce can drained corn and 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro. Beat 2 large organic eggs together with 1/2 cup of sour cream and add to the corn mixture. Sift a heaping cup polenta and 21/2 teaspoons baking powder into the bowl, add 11/2 cups grated Cheddar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour into the prepared pan, spread level, and scatter with another 1/2 cup grated Cheddar. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes or until golden and well risen, and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cornbread comes out clean.
Buy the cookbook here.