Going Meatless On Monday

Ever thought about going meatless on Monday? Tough when you are a family of carnivores. However, we started incorporating it in our diet a few years back and slowly increased the number of days we try to go meatless, especially in the summer when the carbon footprint with fresh fruit and vegetables is reduce. Starting each week with “Meatless Monday” helps us eat more fruits, vegetables and plant-based meals throughout the rest of the week and is a great way to try different recipes. When we first incorporated “Meatless Monday” my go to food was always pasta. I needed that comfort feeling to replace the meat meals that we loved so much lol. However, I forced myself to move out of my comfort zone and look for different recipes. One of my favourites is to roast vegetables in the oven and serve them on a bed of rice or noodles – pretty simple stuff right? It may be simple but it is so good and filling. This recipe kicks it up a notch by adding feta cheese and some wonderful flavours to the mix.

I added yellow bell peppers for freshness and parmesan for extra flavour

Here is what you will need:

  • Broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 red onion cut into wedges
  • Red, yellow or orange bell pepper cut into pieces
  • 1 lemon, half cut into slices and the other half left for serving
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 2 8oz blocks of feta (I recommend cutting the feta into smaller chunks vs what is in my photo)
  • Cooked orzo
  • 1/2 cup of roughly chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle of parmesan
I love the taste of balsamic and feta, so I drizzle it over the feta
The smell of the vegetables roasting int he oven was heavenly. Next time I will cut the feta in smaller chunks for easy of eating.

Here is how to make it:

  • Heat the oven at 400° with the rack placed in the lower third of the oven.
  • On a baking sheet combine the broccoli, tomatoes, onion, pepper with the olive oil and toss.
  • Sprinkle with cumin, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and toss again.
  • Nestle the feta slices into the vegetables and drizzle the feta with balsamic.
  • Roast the vegetable in 20 minute intervals rotating the baking sheet each time but leaving the feta in place, until the broccoli is chard at the tips, the stems are easily pierced with a fork and the tomato skins start to blister and break down.
  • Serve over orzo. Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze lemon juice over top with remaining half of lemon. Top with fresh basil and sprinkle of parmesan.

Original recipe can be found here: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021277-sheet-pan-baked-feta-with-broccoli-tomatoes-and-lemon

I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!

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