Ok, so we have all heard the term “Meatless Mondays.” Did you ever wonder how it all started? Let’s take a little trip back in time….
During World War I, meat was rationed out to make sure there was enough to feed troops fighting overseas as well as people living along the warpath in Europe who had limited food supplies due to the destruction of their towns. President Woodrow Wilson began a campaign called “Meatless Tuesday” and “Wheat-less Wednesday” in which Americans were to forego these products, as well as observe one meatless meal a day for a total of nine meatless meals per week. They actually promoted the phrase “Food will win the war!” After the war ended, normal eating resumed. When World War II began, the same campaign restarted and more pressure was placed on women to support the war effort from the kitchen by maintaining strict food rationing standards. The idea for a meatless day was restarted in 2003 by The Center for a Liveable Future, who coined the term “Meatless Monday.” 2009 saw many other countries such as the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, Belgium and Israel all creating similar initiatives to help improve healthy eating choices. In 2010, San Fransisco became the first US city to declare Mondays to be meat free and officially be known as a ‘Vegetarian Day.’
The idea behind Meatless Monday is to encourage people to make healthier choices for themselves and the planet. Starting a healthy eating campaign at the beginning of the week is the natural choice to help people start the week out on the right track after having possibly made some not so healthy choices over the weekend. I personally have no idea what they are talking about. I have never made an unhealthy choice over the weekend, have you?
Sadly, even though I reeeeeeealy want to be a vegetarian, I have not completely been able to give up meat. Maybe it’s the bacon [It is definitely the bacon], but I can make the choice to cut back. Meatless Monday is the perfect place to start. I created this awesome Spinach Quiche last week and it is soooooo not missing anything without the meat. The spinach and garlicy goodness of this dish is on a level that savory quiches only wish they could grow up to be. Because I wanted to be able to share it with my gluten free friends, the crust is a blend of almond and coconut flour instead of wheat. IT IS SUCH A GOOD CRUST PEOPLE! I want to make it and fill it with everything, just as an excuse to eat more.
Who could have a case of the Mondays with this deliciousness? I hope you are inspired like me to go meatless and experience the produce flavors of the season today.
Seasonal Nutritional Highlight – Spinach
“We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised to learn that he may also have been helping to protect himself against inflammatory problems, oxidative stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers at the same time.” – World’s Healthiest Foods
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable that originated in ancient Persia, where Iran is located today. It is considered one of the best foods to help fight inflammation in the body, as well as help to fight aggressive prostate cancer in stages III and IV. Compared calorically with other foods, spinach provides more nutrients than anything else. This leafy vegetable is low calorie and ranks excellent in antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. Typically, the spinach season runs from March to May and September to October. It is best to store spinach in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight storage bag, unwashed, as it washing may increase spoilage of the vegetable. Try to pick spinach that has vibrant green leaves without yellowing, wilting, bruising or slimy coatings. Tests have shown that the greener the spinach, the higher the vitamin C content. Spinach does contain oxalates which can cause a concern for people prone to kidney stones. To help decrease oxylates, spinach may be boiled for 1 minute, which may also help to sweeten the flavor.
- Gluten Free Crust
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup melted grass fed butter
- ¼ cup to ½ cup cold water
- 5 eggs
- 2 1 lb bags organic spinach
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup shredded cheese (I used parmesan and white cheddar)
- 2 tbsp high heat oil, such as avocado or coconut
- To Make Crust: Heat oven to 350 degree. Mix flours, cheese, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix in melted butter and add enough cold water until crumbs start to stick together, but not too much where the dough becomes watery. Press into greased 9 inch pie or tart pan. Bake for 15 min to set. Press down any air bubbles that may form while cooking
- To Make Filling: While crust is baking, prepare filling. Whisk 5 eggs in a large bowl and set aside. Heat large frying pan to medium heat. Sauté garlic in oil for about 1 minute, just until fragrant but not browned. Add spinach and sauté until wilted. Water will release from spinach as it wilts - do not drain! Add cream cheese and salt and mix until melted. Remove from heat and let sit a few minutes. Add to eggs and stir. Pour mixture into pie crust and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min or until set. Eggs will puff up while cooking and relax after they sit for a few minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
If you would like to learn more about Meatless Monday and the benefits of going meat-free, check out these links: