This week the prelude to Meatless Monday was Mothers’ Day Sunday. Moms are often appreciative of any sign that their offspring remember and honour them on this special day. Preparing a meal from scratch for this special occasion, however, can cause some ‘heat’. There is pressure to prepare a tasty meal and stress in making sure it goes off without a hitch. For this edition of Meatless Monday we offer you 5 tips for a DIY Meatless Mothers’ Day meal that takes some of the heat off so you can get out of the kitchen.
- Familiarity breeds content. Prepare recipes you are familiar with. This way you know how long it will take to make and how it should turn out.
- Keep it simple. Chose recipes that use ingredients typically found in your pantry. Doing a big shop for a laundry list of exotic ingredients the week before the meal can cause unnecessary stress. Preparation should also be simple; the fewer the dishes used the less to clean up after. And the less complicated the steps the quicker the prep.
- Plan ahead. Make sure your recipes can be prepared a day or two in advance. This allows you to get out of the kitchen and mingle rather than mix.
- Less is More. When you think you don’t have enough you probably have too much. It is better that guests leave feeling under stuffed rather than over stuffed. Pre-dinner snacks and high fiber foods (i.e. salad, bean dish) with a main or two followed by dessert should leave them feeling sufficiently satiated.
- A Showstopper. No matter how tasty the meal a special touch can make the meal even more memorable. A spectacular centrepiece, fabulous dessert and/or incredible decor can serve as a showstopper.
The following menu was chosen for 5 people (1 vegetarian and 4 carnivores) and prep started 2 days before. I have made all of the recipes before and yes there were still leftovers.
- Kale Chips. Kale mixed with oil and savoury spices then baked. Will keep for a few days and makes a great guest-welcoming snack.
- Quinoa Sliders with homemade challah buns. While buns rise, make the quinoa sliders. Form the patties the day before and simply bake 30 minutes prior to serving guests.
- Portobello ‘burgers’. Mushrooms stuffed with a honey mustard bread stuffing. Only requires 15 minutes of cooking time.
- Barbecue Tofu Ribs. Tofu marinated in homemade barbecue sauce; ideal for advance preparation and only takes 30 minutes of cooking time prior to serving.
- Roasted Sweet Potato and Beets. Easy peasy. Simply chop vegetables into chunks, drizzle with oil, sprinkle salt and bake until vegetables ‘tan’. Eat cold, warm or dressed.
- Lemon Pound Cake. Though I have experience in making pound cake this was actually made in my cake class the day before.
- Lemon Meringue Ice Cream. Vanilla ice cream with leftover lemon meringue squares thrown in (literally).
- Strawberry Centrepiece. A bouquet of organic strawberries skewered on bamboo sticks and placed in a Montreal Canadiens (my mom’s favourite hockey team) thermal drinking glass.
Remember that it’s the effort rather than the end result that they seem to like best. Consider all the misshapen ashtrays ever made in grade school art class that mom proclaimed to be “the most beautiful gift ever!” Mom will be happy that you made a meal for her from scratch. If the meal is nutritious, tastes delicious and is stress-free then it’s icing on the cake.
*And one final tip…in preparing a meatless meal for a varied crowd, you can’t go wrong with tasty and imaginative gluten-free vegan meals.*