Since superfoods have hit the foodie scene, many are flocking to their local health food store for berries and seeds doted with superior healing powers. And while we're pleased as punch to have chia seeds and goji berries so easily accessible, don't forget all those tasty ingredients readily available at your supermarket or farmstand -- they're cheap, they're tasty, they're nutritious and they're delicious. It's no wonder we decided to feature crucifer and brassica recipes this Meatless Monday!
Cruciferous vegetables, members of the brassica family, include all of your favorite cabbages as well as veggies like bok choy, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and romanesco broccoli. We've picked some of our favorite ways to use these veggies, with recipes that are perfect for this time of year, when spring produce is just starting to poke out its head, but winter standbys are still gracing market shelves.
Start things off with the fractal cousin of broccoli and cauliflower, romanesco broccoli. In this pasta recipe, the florets of this beautiful vegetable get tossed with peas, basil, and a miso-white wine sauce with almonds. This rich, flavorful dish will stun your non-vegan friends with its complexity and become a standard for easy veggie dinner parties. While squid ink is usually used to give pasta its jet black color, a meatless version of the striking dish you see above can also be made with black bean pasta, which is gluten-free to boot!
This quinoa salad is the perfect thing to serve on the cusp of winter and spring: hearty quinoa and millet and nutty Brussels sprouts are perked up with sweet spring peas and a touch of white wine. This salad is just as tasty served warm or room temperature, so it's ideal for a potluck.
Soup image via Shutterstock: Maria Dryfhout
Who doesn't love the combo of broccoli and cheddar cheese? I'll admit that if I were to close my eyes to fake food, I'd reach for that classic of broccoli and cheese sauce in a heartbeat. Luckily, we don't have to with recipes like this broccoli-cheddar soup. It has all those flavors you remember without any of the fake ingredients: just fresh broccoli, organic cheddar and sourdough bread. Use your favorite light veggie stock in place of chicken stock, and this recipe will soon be a Meatless Monday favorite.
Photo Credit: GlowKitchen
You probably grew up calling broccoli "trees," but did you ever think to apply the same moniker to cauliflower? With this seared cauliflower dish, cauliflower "trees" take the form of all-natural vegan steaks, charred to perfection and served with a vegan cauliflower mash which doubles as a sauce. The combo is light and flavorful and boasts a gourmet appeal, perfect for your next dinner party
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Pasta image via Shutterstock: Lesya Dolyuk