I know, I know . . . . . It’s Meatless Monday’s! But I had this idea and it seemed to be the perfect way to celebrate National Nutrition Month! This years theme is, “Get Your Plate In Shape!”
I always get excited with the arrival of March. I think mostly because it means we’re getting closer to Spring and the Farmer’s Market I frequent will be opening in just 8 weeks! I also get excited about National Nutrition Month – a time to celebrate all things fresh and healthy and to try something new!
So that’s how I got to thinking about Meatless Thursday’s. I’ve got ton’s of new recipes calling my name and inspirations and ideas to share. This is what I was thinking. I’ll post a new recipe on Monday and if it speaks to you, you’ll have plenty of time to gather the ingredients and be ready by Thursday. Or maybe even Friday with it being the Lenten Season!
Of course I haven’t told PK about this yet. I’m not quite sure what he’ll think of it all, though I do have some idea (it’ll be a stretch for him). Let’s just say my fingers are crossed!
There are so many wonderful reasons to pull-back a bit on our consumption of meat. The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests we limit our consumption of red meat (defined as beef, pork or lamb) to 18 ounces per week and focus instead on filling our plates (2/3rd’s full) with fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. They also recommend we avoid processed meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs and salami, all in efforts to decrease risk of cancer and in particular, colorectal cancer. The American Heart Association recommends too that we choose more lean meat, poultry and fish and limit total intake to no more than 6 ounces per day. This helps decrease saturated fat intake and supports a reduced risk for heart disease.
But perhaps equally compelling is the environmental impact our food choices make! A plant-based diet is simply more sustainable. According to a 2003 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1 calorie of animal protein requires ten times more fossil fuel to produce than 1 calorie of plant protein! Healthier for bodies and for planet earth! I love that . . . .
So officially, beginning next week (because I already have a recipe to share with you this week) the Kramers will be eating meatless on Thursdays (at least that’s what the chef will be preparing)! I hope you’ll consider joining us! It doesn’t have to be Thursday. Pick any day!
Ok there’s still one more reason I get excited about March.
Irish Soda Bread! Truth be told I consider this quick bread a treat! So when I see it showing up at the market I dig out my recipe and indulge in a slice. I substitute white whole wheat flour for part of the regular flour and add lots of plump raisins – both help increase the fiber and nutrient content! White whole wheat flour is a whole grain flour and provides additional healthy phytochemicals. It’s made using hard white winter wheat berries rather than traditional red wheat.
Irish Soda Bread
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
5 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 Tbsp butter, chilled
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray an 8-inch cake pan with non-stick spray.
2. Combine the all purpose and white whole wheat flours, 4 Tbsp of sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl and blend.
3. Add the chilled butter (cut into cubes) and blend with fingertips until a coarse meal forms. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the buttermilk. Stir the dry ingredients into the milk to blend and mix in the raisins.
5. Bake approximately 40 minutes until a knife inserted come out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes before transferring to a rack.
Recipe Adapted From, Epicurious.com
Notes: I used Trader Joes Jumbo Raisin Medley and sprinkled the top with Turbinado Sugar which you can substitute for the regular white (though both work just as well).