perhaps you have been hearing about meatless mondays lately? well for those who haven’t, it is a movement to try to reduce the amount of meat we are eating by at least 15% in order to improve our health and ultimately the health of this planet. i am by no means becoming a vegetarian, and will remain an ominvore, mostly because i love all kinds of meat, but here are a few things to think about:

“going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. it can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.” – from the meatless monday website

also, as mark bittman states in a recent article meat: why bother? for his blog in the nytimes:

“in limited quantities, meat is just fine, especially sustainably raised meat (and wild game), locally and ethically produced dairy and eggs, the remaining wild or decently cultivated fish.”

lastly, michael pollan states in his book in defense of food: an eater’s manifesto even more simply,

“eat food. not too much. mostly plants.”

now being that all of those diseases mentioned above run in my family, and the fact that i love vegetables, taking meat out of my diet once a week seems completely doable. this will be the first of many (hopefully weekly) meatless monday recipes.

mattar paneer (serves 2)

  • 3 tbsp oil (i’ve been on a coconut oil kick, but you can sub canola or olive)
  • 1 cup paneer, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tsp water, set aside
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp corriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp cream

heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. fry paneer cubes for a few minutes until light golden brown. remove from the pan and place on some paper towels to remove any excess oil. set aside.

blend the tomatoes and ginger together. heat remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. add in the cumin, cinnamon and bay leaf for a few seconds. then add the tomato ginger purée and remaining spices and stir for a few minutes allowing it to reduce a bit.

add the peas and 1/4 cup of water and let cook covered over medium heat for a few minutes letting the peas soften a bit.

add the cornstarch water mixture and let it thicken up. gently stir in the fried paneer.

turn the heat off. discard the bay leaf, and mix in the cream.

i suggest serving over jasmine rice, or as i did today, quinoa. sopping it up with warm naan would be delicious too.

happy mondays!