Meatless Mondays: Who’s Doing It

The Hollywood Sign as it appears from a trail ...

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In honor of us being in Los Angeles on a Meatless Monday, I would like to highlight a few celebrities who have embraced the movement to give up meat one day a week for better health,  and ecology. Celebrities have always been important in using their fame and power positively to raise awareness about social and environmental issues. Since MM is a national campaign that encourages Americans to incorporate more vegetables and less meat into their diet, many celebrities have taken it upon themselves to better our eating habits. (Celebrities are infamous for their crazy diets and personal chefs, so don’t mimic their dietstyle completely!)

1. Mario Batali, famous for his meat-centric restaurants and Iron Chef title on the Food Network, has pledged to offer more vegetarian options at all of his 14 restaurants. Batali has taken it upon himself to send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs to adopt to more sustainable practices, by supporting farmers who raise their animals humanely and focusing on a more plant-based diet.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow, beautiful and talented Hollywood actress, has joined the movement after learning about the environmental impact of raising livestock for consumption. The Livestock industry produces gases that are extremely dangerous for the future of our environment, since the gases produced are more harmful than CO2 and livestock production is land and water intensive. Also, a third of all cereal crops, and well over 90% of soya, goes into animal feed, not food for humans.

3.  Simon Cowell, the controversial former America’s Idol judge, has signed up for the cause after long-time vegetarian Leona Lewis asked for his participation.

4. Michael Pollan, professor and food activist,  is an obvious promoter of a more plant-based diet. Besides helping the environment, Michael says “meatless Mondays” have a bonus benefit. “To the extent we push meat a little bit to the side and move vegetables to the center of our diet, we’re also going to be a lot healthier,” he says.

5. Kate Moss might still don fur coats and decorate her house with animal-hair rugs, but has embraced MM with bff Stella McCartney.

Check out Homemade Dosas below!

Meatless Monday Meals: Dosas

Indian food is super easy to eat delicious, filling, vegetarian meals. Today, I have the absolute pleasure of eating homemade dosas made by my sister-in-law. Dosas are not super hard to make, but require planning and is time-intensive. Traditionally, dosas are rice and lentil crepes stuffed with spiced potatoes and coconut chutney that are eaten in South Indian households for breakfast. However,  in America, most people eat dosas for dinner. If eaten without being cooked in tremendous amounts of butter/oil and filled with a variaty of vegetables, dosas can be very healthy and nutritious. Since, dosas are made with only rice and urad daal (high protein lentils), they are gluten/wheat free. Unfortunately, most of the dosas from restaurants are drenched in butter/oil. I normally buy freshly made dosa batter from a local Indian store and make non-traditional filling myself. (By non-traditional I mean -avocados, tomatoes, spinach, eggs, pulled chicken, etc.) However, today my sister-in-law has made everything from scratch in the traditional manner.

The Masala Filling:

Boil, let cool, peel, and roughly chop the potatoes for the filling
Add the potatoes, lemon juice, and salt to mixture of sauteed onions, green chilis, black mustard seeds, urad daal, chana daal, cumin, and curry leaves.
Stir mixture on medium heat for 5 minutes and transfer to serving bowl.

The Sambar:

Sautee black mustard, cumin, curry leaves, and red chilis in oil.
Sautee sliced onions in spice mixture until translucent
Add fresh, chopped tomatoes and tamarind to the mixture and cook for 5 minutes
Once tomatoes are 1/2 done, add Sambar powder (optional).
Add pressure-cooked toor daal and water to the sambar pot. Add more water if it’s too thick.
Usually, Dosas are dipped into Sambar, a soup of lentils and tomatoes. Keep warm.

The Chutney:

Blend green chilis, cilantro with stems, shredded coconut, almonds, roasted chana daal, salt and lemon juice.
Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves and roasted chana daal

The Dosa:

The dosa batter is made by soaking rice and urad daal for six plus hours in a warm place then grinding them to make a smooth paste. After adding salt, let the batter sit for an additional 12 hours until it has fermented. Once fermented, stir the batter and add just enough water to make it a thick batter of pouring consistency.

On a hot taava, spread dosa dough quickly to make a thin crepe. Cook each side for 2 minutes each until crispy and golden brown. Or, once both sides are done, spread chutney all over one side of the dosa while still on the taava. Then add two spoonfuls of the masala potato mixture and fold the crepe in half. Serve hot with a cup of hot Sambar.

Plain dosa: Serve on the side of Sambar, potatoes, and chutney.

Video coming soon!

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One thought on “Meatless Mondays: Who’s Doing It

  1. Pingback: Meatless Mondays: Celebrity Chef Support « Club Dine In!

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