Meatless Monday: Pizza Pizza Pizza

Hello all!

This week’s #MeatlessMonday recipe: vegetarian pizza!

Though I didn’t make the dough from scratch (no time!), I did have fun trying this out. I looked up a variety of vegetarian pizza recipes in preparation for this week’s challenge, but I got kinda carried away and decided to combine many different recipes. So, basically…

off the path

I went a little off script again. Whoops.

shrug

If you are curious, here are some of the recipes I looked at originally: http://goo.gl/S0Z8co

I also apologize this is coming a bit late-the dough took longer than expected to thaw, and I got home late.

Enough excuses! Onto the show.


Vegetarian Pizza

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • 1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small/medium yellow onion
  • 3 ripe Italian tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • mozzarella*

*you can substitute for other cheeses, or have no cheese at all, instead if you want.

Additional spices/seasoning: basil, thyme, salt and pepper

Serves: 1 (with a ton of leftovers) or maybe roughly 4 people?

Cooking instruments needed: cutting board (1-2), cutting knife, spatula, frying pan, oven mitts, pan, aluminum foil, tray (for oven)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees F (this depends on how hot your oven gets! Mine gets really hot, so I reduced the temp. to 450 degrees).
  2. Cut up the garlic and use half of the onion. Maybe even cry a little bit.

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3. Put a tablespoon (more or less) of olive oil on the frying pan.

4. Place chopped up garlic and onion on frying pan and cook on low-medium heat.

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5. Thinly slice the tomatoes and set off to side.

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6. Thinly slice up 1/2 of the green and 1/2 of the red pepper. I saved the other halves for another day.

7. Add the red and green pepper to the frying pan with the garlic and onion.

add2

8. Prepare asparagus (however many you want from your bundle), cut off the ends a bit, and then set aside.

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9. On tray place aluminum foil over tray and generously sprinkle the baking sheet with flour.

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10. Sprinkle flour on cutting board/work space and place pizza dough on top.

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11. Knead out dough into about a 14-inch round

(note: I didn’t exactly have a lot of space on my tray, so my dough ended up being still pretty thick. I would recommend you try to make it thinner for less crust/thickness of pizza). Place on the aluminum foil on the tray when done.

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12. Lightly brush some olive oil on dough.

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13. Place tomatoes and asparagus onto dough.

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14. Place cooked contents from saucepan onto tomatoes and asparagus. Spread out vegetables across pizza.

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15. Cut a couple of pieces of mozzarella* onto pizza and sprinkle a little thyme/other seasonings.

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16. Place into oven (middle rack) for approximately 15-20 minutes. This could be shorter or longer depending on the heat of your oven.

17. Remove pizza and take a picture of your glorious work to send to all your family and friends. And friends of friends. Heck, that pizza deserves to be your new cover photo on Facebook…

hogwarts-clap

Or not. Whatever floats your boat.

My finished product:

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Rating: 2/4. I ended up taking -1 point because the crust/dough was too thick, and -1 point for not having enough green and red peppers.

Tweet @sustainableUofG any suggestions for next week’s Meatless Monday dish.

I hope you had fun!

Until next time,

Joanne

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Tasty Tuesday: A Meatless Monday… But on Tuesday :P Herby Pan fried Rice with Chickpeas

So normally Meatless Monday is on Monday, but if we ever skip out on the beginning of the weak (since Mondays can be sort of tiring) We will be sure to post a Tasty Tuesday! Or a Mouth- Watering Wednesday, or a Thirsty Thursday! Or a Foodie Friday….. or a Scrumptious Saturday… or a Salivating Sunday…… or…. well we’ve gone full circle.. but they will always be strictly veg recipes and we’d like to challenge you to try and go veg one night of the week 🙂 

Anyways, This week we are going to introduce a recipe that I sort of put together on the spot one day, and decided to see if I could recreate. One of my favourite things about this recipe is that you don’t have to be precise at all! Pick and choose from the ingredients, pick and choose quantities, and just allow yourself to get creative 😉 

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Just don’t get TOO creative….. (be safe!)

Alright first things first…..

INGREDIENTS: 

  • rice– or quinoa or both
  • veggies- i just used orange pepper, you can use red, or yellow, or carrots, or all of the above, you can even add brocoli
  • 1 onion- i didn’t have any onions so I just didn’t bother with this
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • greens– arugula or baby kale or baby spinach (doesn’t have to be baby) 
  • fresh herbs– cilantro, basil, mint (or none or all of the above) 
  • 1 can of chickpeas 
  • 1 hand full of small raisins or currents 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • curry
  • turmeric
  • Lime juice 
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce (optional) 
  • paprika (optional)
  • seseme seeds (optional)

Time for the first step! 

Step#1: make the rice (or quinoa or whatever grain of your choosing) 

Make sure you add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. and let it cook until the rice has absorbed all the water. (If you have a rice maker, use that!) Set your rice aside and move on. 

Our trustworthy rice maker
Our trustworthy rice maker

Step #2: Chop all the veggies 

For this step you might want to separate your veggies like peppers broccoli and all that jazz from the ginger garlic and onions, from the arugula and Herbs. I didn’t have any veggies other than orange pepper and I didn’t have an onion, so i cut the pepper and separated it from the ginger and garlic, and then washed all my greens 🙂 

Hot orange pepper! dammn
Hot orange pepper! dammn
Ginger and garlic. Brothers and sisters.
Ginger and garlic. Brothers and sisters.

Step#3: Sauté! 

Take this moment to sauté your ginger and garlic like me, and if you have it, include your onions, slowly add in your veggies, drained chickpeas (or with a little of the liquid from the can if you want it to be less dry) and spices (you can choose how many or few you put- i like to put 1 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp of cumin, and a little sprinkle of pepper and paprika to start.12178080_10153749088294662_2140567758_n

Gotta get things cookin'
Gotta get things cookin’
Chickpeas :O (don't worry, they're not chicken….. to go on the hot pan…hehehe..)
Chickpeas :O (don’t worry, they’re not chicken….. to go on the hot pan…hehehe..)

  

Step #4: Adding rice and greens

Now is the time where you get to add in the rice that you cooked gently into the pan. stir around carefully for a while and add any more spices you see fit as you go along! Once you’ve got a taste you like add in all those greens and mix carefully.

Hola rice!
Hola rice!
Getting all the goods together
Getting all the goods together
Welcome green revolution! (of sorts)
Welcome green revolution! (of sorts)
Lookin' fineee
Lookin’ fineee

Step #5: raisins and finishing touches! 

Now is the time you can throw in that handful of raisins or currents to give a bit of a sweet flair to your dish 🙂 I like to add a bit extra sesame seeds at this point too, along with some fresh lime juice to give it a bit more tangy moisture as well as 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce which can also help eas the dryness. 

Raisins are so cute.. they are grapes who wanted a sun bathe…. oh silly former grapes..
Raisins are so cute.. they are grapes who wanted a sun bathe…. oh silly former grapes..
And a little of this, and a little of that…
And a little of this, and a little of that…

Step #6: EATING 

Oh how I adore this step. Eat up, its served great in a bowl with extra lime juice and hot sauce. Its quite the flavourful rice dish experiment 🙂 

Yum Tum
Yum Tum

OTHER thank that, thats all there is there is no more. 

I hope you had as much fun with this dish as I did. 

Rating: I think I’ll grant this dish 3 1/2 out of five stars, since it was very good and lots of fun, but loses points just for the sake of making an even better version next time 🙂 

As usual, we encourage you to tweet @SustainableUofG if you tried out our recipe or a recipe of your own 🙂 Or if you have any requests or suggestions

See you around, 

Iris

Meatless Monday: Thanksgiving Edition! Vegan Mushroom Pot Pies

Hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving! Though not Monday, this week’s Meatless Monday post is a Thanksgiving Edition that I cooked yesterday for my family.

Though it was definitely one of the more complicated dishes I’ve ever made, I had tons of fun making it, and it ended up being delicious. Here is the recipe I used as a base, but I ended up going off script. Aren’t I brave??

Special thanks to my sister and mom for helping me out with the cooking.

Having said that, let’s begin!


Vegan Mushroom Pot Pies

Ingredients

  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups veggie broth (vegan friendly)
  • ¼ plain almond milk
  • ~1/4 unbleached all-purpose flour (or sub other thickener of choice)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 puff pastry dough (vegan)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or substitute for fresh vegetables: carrots, green beans, etc.)
  • Packet of mushrooms

Additional spices: Pinches of bail leaves, cayenne pepper, and thyme

Serves: Five (no leftovers!)

Cooking instruments needed: saucepan, cups, spoon, whisk, cutting knife, cutting board, ¼ cup and ½ cup, and a rolling pin (or if you don’t have one, substitute for a wine bottle filled with water), and ramekins* (however many you plan to serve) or 8×8 baking dish.

*So for any cooking newbies, like myself, the word ramekin could sound unfamiliar. Ramekins are basically small dishes that are used to bake food or for individual portions. They look like this:

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You learn something new every day!


Instructions

  1. Gather ingredients together! Look at all those ingredients. So many.

IMG_21312. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

3. Cut up into separate piles the one clove of garlic, the ½ medium onion, and the packet of mushrooms into small-medium pieces on cutting board. Feel free to prepare any of the other ingredients at this point too.

IMG_21374. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat

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5. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms and a pinch of salt – stir. Cook until soft (approx. 7 minutes)

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If you want, at this point you can also add the mushrooms. I totally forgot about them, so I added them later but either way works!

6. Veggie broth stage: If you do not have veggie broth that is already made, now is when you make the broth following the instructions given to you on the package (if you already have the broth, go to step 6).

In my case, I melted 1 veggie broth cub that came in a little container into 3 ½ cups (875ml) boiling water and stirred until it dissolved. Because this was more broth than I needed, I used 2 cups of it and froze the rest.

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7. Mix the ¼ cup of flour in a cup with some water to help let it mix with broth

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8. Add the water-flour mixture to pan with onions and garlic (and, if you added them, mushrooms). With a whisk, slowly add in the 2 cups of veggie broth

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9. Add in the ¼ almond milk, 2 bay leaves, and stir.

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10. Leave on simmer until the mixture is thickened (about 10 minutes). At this point, I remembered the mushrooms, and cooked them separately with a little garlic.

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11. As the sauce is thickening, prepare puff pastry dough by placing flour over counter/workspace and put puff pastry dough on top

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12. Add flour to rolling pin/wine bottle and then thin out the puff pastry dough. You will likely not need the entire amount of dough, depending on how many you intent to serve.

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13. Using ramekins, trace out covers for the pot pies as well as any other decorative pieces to it. In my case, I used the letters S, O, and V (sustainability office, and vegan).

Advice from Future Joanne: the cutouts should be a little bigger than the edge so that they cover the ramekins better.

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14. Once the sauce is thickening, add frozen vegetables (and mushrooms) and cook for 4-5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, bail, cayenne pepper and thyme) as you see fit.

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15. Discard the bay leaves and turn off stove top. We’re done the first part! Now just need to bake them.

16. Divide the mixture evenly between 5-6 lightly greased ramekins or a 8×8 baking dish.

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17. Top the ramekins with vegan puff pastries cut-out covers

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18. Lightly brush the tops of the pies with melted vegan butter or olive oil

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19. Set your 8×8 dish or ramekins on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake until the puff pastries are golden brown and the filling is bubbly (this takes about 15-20 minutes).

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20. Carefully remove cooked pot pies, and let them cool for a little.

Voila! You are done 🙂 Now just to eat them!

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Enjoy the food with your family, alongside any other dishes you may have cooked up (e.g. salad, etc.). Being a special occasion here are my wine pairing suggestions for the meal: Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc.


Note: If you are not vegan, but like the sound of this dish, you can easily add chicken to the dish by cooking it separately and adding in the chicken at step 15. I made it for my family too, and it was also delicious.

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Ratings for this week’s dish: The answers I got from my family ranged from 4s to even a 5+ (thanks Dad). Personally, I rated it a 5. It was delicious and the company was good 🙂


Again, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and ate lots and lots of pie.

Feel free to tweet @sustainableUofG with any suggestions for future dishes, or if you made your own #MeatlessMonday recipe (Thanksgiving edition!) and have a picture.

Until next time,

Joanne

Meatless Monday Madness- Take Two! This Week: Aloo- Palak

When I realized that I was going to need to make a “green” recipe for meatless monday, I think I took it a little too literally.

You know how in movies and books when you were a kid there was always some kind of green- slime monster? Well did you ever wish you could eat that slime? No? Just me? Oh well. I am here to teach you today how to make green slime that is spicy, edible, vegan and delicious 🙂 

Only it is not slime, its aloo palak, an awesome Indian dish that I reinvented a bit. Probably not the same authenticity you’d get from an Indian chef, but its still awesome, and probably a bit cheaper than from a restaurant 🙂 

Here is a little preview to see what I mean by
Here is a little preview to see what I mean by “slime- green”- Note: food on fingers for photographic purposes. Not recommended if hygiene is a huge concern of yours

First things first, We need ingredients!

(you can find any of these at your nearby grocery store, I found a lot already in my fridge 🙂 )  

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1 big onion (or two little ones)
  • 1 small green jalapeño pepper (optional if you don’t like spice) 
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin/coriander 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric 
  • 1 bunch spinach (or palak leaves)
  • 2 medium potatoes 
  • AND/ OR 1 small block of tofu
  • salt
  • water
  • AND/ OR almond milk 
  • hot sauce, chilli flakes, or whatever else you got (optional)
  • Rice or naan bread or quinoa (optional) 
My ingredients looking pretty together ^_^ Just like a family. This family will be eaten by a giant, just you wait and see.
My ingredients looking pretty together ^_^ Just like a family. This family will be eaten by a giant, just you wait and see.

If you can’t find some of these ingredients, or have other spices to substitute or add, go crazy, I feel like adding some basil into this recipe might make for an interesting twist, and the garam masala is nice, but not necessary. It came in a humongous package when I bought it and I only use 1/2 a teaspoon at a time, so its really your call 🙂 

LESS GET COOKING! 



Directions: 

Step 1: (optional step)

Prepare you rice, quinoa or any other grain you want to eat this on! This is quite the saucy dish, and is served nicely on a grain or with naan bread. (If you want naan, I suggest toasting your bread right before serving your dish so its nice and hot)

Set aside your grain and keep an eye on it while its cooking and go off to make the rest of your dish! 

This step is not required if you like a stewy- meal, but if your like me and need the texture contrast, I highly recommend this extra step. 



 

Step 2:  Cooking the Potatoes 

Potatoes take a godamn looooooooooooong time to cook. I like to pop my two medium potatoes in a small pot and submerge them with water right at the beginning of the cooking process.

Turn the heat to medium- high and let your potatoes cook while you go on to bigger and better things 🙂


Bye bye potatoes.
Bye bye potatoes.

Step 3: Chopping! 

I have to say that I get a lot of satisfaction from this step. I hope thats not too weird. I guess it’s good that its just from chopping veggies hehe… 

Go right ahead and chop up your big onion in half and dice both halves.- Set one half of it aside for a different purpose later.

two halves of a whole <3 so beautiful. Star crossed lovers they are…..
two halves of a whole ❤ so beautiful. Star crossed lovers they are…..
….. They will meet again later.. in your belly..
….. They will meet again later.. in your belly..

Then mince your four garlic cloves, and your teaspoon of ginger, and your jalapeño pepper– you might want to chop the pepper in half first and scoop your remains into your compost bin so the terribly hot stuff doesn’t go in to your dish! 

Don't forget to COMPOST your scraps :)
Don’t forget to COMPOST your scraps 🙂
Jalapeños cut in half and gutted of their insides.. you might want to avoid touching your eyes after touching these hotties.
Jalapeños cut in half and gutted of their insides.. you might want to avoid touching your eyes after touching these hotties.
Aaaaahh…. nice, slice :)
Aaaaahh…. nice, slice 🙂

> JUST IN CASE YOU FORGOT- YOU HAVE POTATOES IN THE POT, KEEP AN EYE 😉 <



Step numero 4: Sauté fun. 

Heat oil, or coconut oil, or whatever type of non- stick stuff you want to use on a medium heat on a large pan.

Once hot, (after about 2 minutes or so..) dump half your onion, your garlic, ginger and hot pepper onto the pan. Soon after add all the spices including 1 teaspoon of cumin/ coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, and any other spices you wish to throw in there. You can throw in a bit of salt at this point too. Sauté until the spices are absorbed and the onion looks trans-lucent 


Before deliciousness contamination.
Before deliciousness contamination.
Post deliciousness contamination
Post deliciousness contamination

Step 5: SPINACH 

I know, I know. When you were like 5 every T.V show was telling you that spinach was the most disgusting thing ever. Let me tell you something. ITS THE BEST!

This is when you add your WHOLE bunch of spinach. Make sure you wash it well if it isn’t pre- washed. It might seem like it fills up the whole pan, but if you stir it slowly with your wooden spatula, it should shrink right down..


Spinach puts the G- in green (with the
Spinach puts the G- in green (with the “ch” at the end sounding a little like a hard “g” and all..)
Stirring, stirring, with my wooden spatula…
Stirring, stirring, with my wooden spatula…
I shrunk you! Perfecto!
I shrunk you! Perfecto!

Step 6: Potofu? 

If your potatoes were not finished already, they are most likely done by now. 

Put your spiced spinach mix somewhere to cool and turn off your stove! 

Take your potatoes– you may want to cool them a bit by washing them with cold water so you can touch them- and peel them up nice, then dice them and your tofu both 🙂 


Hot potato, you are now naked potato. Don't feel too embarrassed.
Hot potato, you are now naked potato. Don’t feel too embarrassed.
I like to see all these little cubes.. makes me feel successful or something… little boxes.. on a hillside… okay, im done..
I like to see all these little cubes.. makes me feel successful or something… little boxes.. on a hillside… okay, im done..

Step 7: Blending

This is possibly the most fun step. (did I already say that about slicing?.. oh well THIS is the most fun step) Blending!

Spoon in your spinach/ onion whatever mix into a blender or food processor. If it doesn’t all fit do bits at a time. It will be hard for your blender to mix up the ingredients without something wet so add liquid as needed. 

You can add water, or almond milk, or both like i did 🙂 I’m sure coconut milk would be great too, but I didn’t have any. The milk might add a nice creaminess depending how much you put.

Ready for doom
Ready for doom
Need to thin this stuff out
Need to thin this stuff out
Mixy mix mix
Mixy mix mix
Wow… such pretty slimy goo
Wow… such pretty slimy goo

Step 8: Onions Galore! 

Remember that half an onion you diced and put aside? Well fear not! We are going to give that little fella a purpose in their life (as a diced half an onion) right now 🙂 

So take your pan from before (no need to wash it) And sauté the other half an onion 

You have a purpose little one!
You have a purpose little one!

Step 9: Green Machine

Here is the moment to add your lovely slime into the mix once your onions are nicely cooked. You can also feel free to add in some extra hot sauce, salt, or anything else you wish to make this as satisfying to you as possible. Mix slowly and don’t let it splash in your eyes! (I made such a mistake 😦 ) 


I promise this is not paint..
I promise this is not paint..
And neither is this…
And neither is this…

Step 10: Adding the Chunks

Add in your diced tofu and potatoes into the mix, cook it for another few minutes or so and add any other finishing touches you can think of! 


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Its not easy being green… if it means your going to be eaten pretty soon.
Its not easy being green… if it means your going to be eaten pretty soon.
I threw in some hot chilli flakes last minute
I threw in some hot chilli flakes last minute

Step 11: EAT

I promise this is the last step! You can serve this on rice, or quinoa, or with naan, or just by itself, in a bowl or on a pate… some people even like mugs! I popped some olives next to mine to be fancy 🙂 

Looks like some dope slop.
Looks like some dope slop.

P.S. I think i lied again. the best step is most definitely step # 11. EATING. But chopping and blending are pretty fun too. All the steps were pretty fun actually, this meal is healthy and colourful which I like 🙂 

An awesome thing about this meal is that it produces TONS of leftovers which just taste better as the days go on. Very happy to have dinner for the next few days 🙂 

Anyways, I guess it is about time to rate the meal! 

I will give this meal a 4 out of 5 stars. Very delicious but 1/2 a point off for messiness (i got green stuff all over my kitchen…oops) and 1/2 a point off because I cried a little too much while separating one half of the onion from the other (it was too emotional, they were made for each other) 

Hope you enjoyed this week’s #MeatlessMonday, please tweet @sustainableUofG with any suggestions for future dishes, or if you made your own meatless monday recipe and have a pic 🙂 

See you on the flip side, 

Iris