Monday, November 30, 2015

Meatless Monday - Have you Eaten?

For my "meatless Monday" I'm going to feature a meat free lunch and dinner recipe.  The lunch uses some pre-made products and cooks in minutes, perfect to make up before work to stick in a little cooler to reheat for lunch or to have on a short break at home on "off" or "telework" days.

Dinner uses things you likely have around the house.  Not only is it quick to make it's SUPER cheap - like a QUARTER per serving when you buy your beans and pasta in bulk.

Breakfast was a smoothie made with a a green  apple, some green grapes, spring water, a big handful of spinach and some protein powder. It was really refreshing. I also packed some cut up raw veggies and an apple for an afternoon snack.
Lunch was Gardein mandarin orange crispy chicken.  I got these for 4 bags  for $10 at the store on sale which works out to just a little over a buck per recommended serving. These are my all time favorite vegetarian products for having the taste and texture of  cooked meat without a lot of ingredients I can't pronounce (and they have a great bean burger). Seriously, look at the ingredient list of some other well known brands of "veggie meats - it's a science experiment! This offering has gluten but for those of you sensitive or intolerant, Gardein has several products which are gluten free and very tasty.

Main Ingredients: water, soy protein, wheat gluten, expeller pressed canola oil, wheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, yeast, vegetable gum, potato starch, sea salt, natural flavors from plant sources, onion powder, vinegar, garlic powder, pea protein, carrot fiber, beetroot fiber, paprika, turmeric and natural smoke flavoring.  The sauce is sweetened with mandarin and tangerine juice concentrate and chopped orange peel. This blows the Ailuropoda melanoleuca Express fast food orange chicken out of the water, considering how healthy it is.
It cooks up in a pan in a little olive oil in just six minutes (or you can baked in the oven for 15-18 min.)  The sauce is in a little packet you just heat up in a coffee cup full of hot water.  I served with some quinoa I made in the microwave.  The package says "serves 3" but my husband and I, when eating together, split the bag when it's the orange chicken because we just love it.

With the quinoa (and a small side salad) lunch was in at less than 400 calories with 21 grams of complete protein.
Dinner was lentil pasta sauce.  I used a jar of pasta sauce I got on sale for .99 cents to which I added extra basil and some caramelized onion (optional for those of you who don't eat onion), a shake or two of crushed red pepper, a drop of honey and two cups of cooked lentils.  (rinse and simmer 20 minutes, and you have lentils!).

I tossed it with some cooked spaghetti with just a tiny sprinkle of cheese and a side of cooked carrots. The leftover sauce also freezes well for a quick meal another day.

The days protein was around 50 grams with the protein powder in the smoothie, enough for a woman of my weight on a day I wasn't  very physically active.  Note:  If you want to know how much protein you need, for other than a very active person -  convert your weight to kilograms and multiply that by .8 to get the grams.

It was also high in fiber and low in saturated fat, a win win that won't have you missing the meat.


  1. Yum, spaghetti sounds pretty good. Do you ever find that your mouth gets "addicted" to the coldness of a smoothie? Or is it just me? I had quite a smoothie habit one summer. Even had to hide how many I was having one day. Yeah, I'm like that.


  2. I love the smoothies and usually have one every day. I've made one with ginger and pineapple and lime that's really good.


Thanks for visiting. Having been fortunate enough not to have to diet as a young woman - hitting middle age to find my Metabolism moved to Aruba and didn't even send a postcard was a rude awakening. Thanks for sharing the fun and the pain of getting back in shape. Note: If you are a stranger and include a link in your comment - it will not be posted, to ensure no SPAM or viruses are shared. Any link I post is tested first.