I was wondering the other day if Paul McCartney and Al Gore get together for a little meeting to determine what green advice should be shared with the world to help us little people be better stewards of our environment. And do they invite Robert Redford? Paul McCartney has launched a new campaign on his Help the Planet website. It is called “Meat Free Mondays”. Now I know Sir Paul is a vegetarian, but I just don’t see Mr. Gore going along with this campaign. He seems like a meat and potatoes guy to me. Usually most vegetarians are on the thin side, and well, Al Gore is not exactly slender. I think that we Americans eat way too much meat, and so I am giving Paul McCartney my full support and cooperation on his new campaign. Actually, we usually have meat free Mondays at our house. We also have meat free Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Typically we have meat twice a week. Now when I tell people this little interesting tidbit about our family, the first question is “What do you eat?” It takes a little more creativity to make meatless dishes that your family will like and give them the protein their bodies need, but it can be done. One of my all time favorite meat free meals is Baked Vegetarian Chimichangas. I found this recipe on a vegan website. It called for soy cheese and a non-dairy sour cream. I like the real stuff, and so that is how I make it.
BAKED VEGETARIAN CHIMICHANGAS
1/2 cup chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (16 ounce) vegetarian refried beans
1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons powdered cumin
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 cups grated colby jack cheese
8-10 large burrito size tortillas or 12-14 medium size flour tortillas (I like the uncooked flour tortillas the best)
cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado for garnish, as desired
1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is soft. Add green chilies, flatten mixture in bottom of pan and saute without stirring until onions begin to caramelize a little, remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add onion mixture.
3. Depending on size of tortilla, place 1/2 to 1 cup filling on each tortilla. Fold the bottom over the filling, fold the sides in, then carefully fold it over to close. Brush each chimichanga with olive oil.
4. Place chimichangas on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
5. Add cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and tomatoes, and enjoy!
Beans and whole grain combined make a complete protein. These make excellent leftovers. Just place in the oven for about 15 minutes to reheat and enjoy for lunch the next day.