It feels like Meatless Mondays have been with us for a long time, but have you ever wondered where that phrase came from and, why Monday?
Let’s step back into time and look at this fascinating food history.
Surprise, surprise, Meatless Mondays is not a new phenomenon.
In fact, going meatless started during World War I. The soon-to-be 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, had an idea; they would win the war through food!
And to do it, instead of food rations, he introduced families to the concept of meatless meals.
His troops needed food as they fought in Europe. Except, fresh fruit and vegetables never travelled well. Meat, on the other hand, did.
President Herbert Hoover decided if everyone back home had one meatless meal a week, his troops would not miss out.
Hoover chose Tuesday as the day to go meatless and his idea was a huge success.
Everyone pitched in and soon wheat was also given its own day: Wednesday.
Soon sugar, butter, and fats were added.
Food waste was discouraged.
And travelling home-economists helped wives understand nutrition.
As Hoover’s message spread across the country, momentum gathered until restaurants and hotels also joined in.
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Did you know that during World War I, more than 11 million American families volunteered?
In fact, Hoover’s campaign was so successful that during World War II both President Roosevelt and Truman rallied their country again.
This time, families not only went meatless but the lesser quality cuts of meat were highlighted as better choices.
Then Truman pushed practical savings further and asked for no poultry or eggs on Thursdays.
When and how did we switch to Monday?
After World War II the public found gastronomical delights in fast food, takeouts, and restaurants.
Eventually, this occasional treat became a mainstay with families. Obesity, diabetes, and heart attack statistics rose.
Studies emerged and it was apparent the causal link between food and disease was real. Prevention was needed.
We can thank health advocate, Sid Lerner for reintroducing meatless meals.
Based on statistics Lerner decided on Monday, the most successful day of the week to change habits.
Today, families, hospitals, restaurants, and schools, still practice Meatless Mondays and if you do as well, here’s a great recipe!
Garlicky White Bean Dip with Garlic Pita Chips
You can’t go wrong with this quick and easy white bean dip loaded up on mild garlic.
The crunch of mildly seasoned pita chips topped with a creamy-smooth dip is hard to walk away from.
Add a bowl of vegetable crudités, a plate of freshly steamed spring asparagus, a crisp green summer salad, baked or roasted squash in the fall, or a bowl of hearty soup in the winter months and you have a delicious meal all year round.
The flavours of fresh sage go a long way. Start with one leaf, taste and add more if desired.
A family favourite garlic tip
If you are like me and often find raw garlic too strong, then loosely wrap a couple of garlic bulbs in foil.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees C for 20-30 minutes, or until you smell the garlic.
Squeeze the foil and if the bulbs feel soft, they’re cooked to perfection.
Allow the garlic to cool.
Peel back the papery skin to reveal self-contained tubes of baked garlic!
Use 6-8 cloves for this recipe and store the remainder in a small jar of olive oil for another recipe.
Or, for an extra garlic oomph, mix the remaining garlic with olive oil and snippets of sage.
Brush flavoured oil over each pita bread and season with sea salt.
Bake until golden and crispy.
As always, taste and adjust.
Older garlic is much milder than young garlic.
As well, there are subtle flavour differences between the type of garlic you grow or buy.
Now let’s make that dip for these amazing garlic, sage pita chips!
For ingredients, you’ll need:
- one can of cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans
- one whole baked garlic bulb
- the zest and juice of one lemon
- fresh sage leaves, if possible
For equipment, you’ll need:
- a colander to rinse and drain the cannellini beans
- a medium-sized mixing bowl to blend the ingredients in
- a hand-held blender
- a zester
- a citrus squeezer
- a chef’s 8″ knife
- a paring knife
- a chopping board
- a baking sheet or tray
- parchment paper to bake pitas
- aluminium foil to bake garlic
- a basting brush (optional)
- one small (6″) serving bowl for the dip
- two large (10″) platters for chopped vegetables and pita chips.
Rinse cannellini beans in a colander and allow to drain.
To a medium-sized mixing bowl add:
– the zest and juice of one lemon
– one bulb of baked and peeled garlic. Reserve 4 cloves for the pita chips.
– extra virgin olive oil
– fresh sage leaves snipped
– sea salt to taste
Blend until creamy and smooth.
Adjust the seasonings to your taste with either more lemon zest, sage, salt, or olive oil.
Serve in a bowl with paprika, extra sage leaves, a little extra lemon zest if you like, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Add pita chips and chopped vegetables of your choice: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red, green, orange and yellow bell peppers.
Don’t have sage and want to know what to use as a substitute? Down load this handy checklist!
Garlicky White Bean Dip With Garlic Pita Chips
Seasoned Pita Chips
- 6 pitas
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch Kosher, Himalayan, or sea salt to taste
- 4-6 cloves roasted garlic and snippets of sage leaves
- 2 medium carrots washed, peeled, and chopped into julienne sticks
- 1 celery stick washed and chopped into julienne sticks
- 1/2 c cauliflower washed and cut into florets
- 1/2 c broccoli washed and cut into florets
Garlicky White Bean Dip
- 1 15 oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 large bulb garlic previously baked
- 3 - 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 - 3 large sage leaves fresh if possible
- Kosher, Himalayan, or sea salt to taste
- cayenne pepper
- 1 - 3 sage leaves
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse cannellini beans and allow to drain.
In a medium-sized bowl add beans, finely sliced sage leaves, lemon juice, lemon zest, roasted garlic, salt, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Blend until smooth and creamy.
Taste and adjust with extra salt, lemon zest or sage if needed.
This dish is just as delicious the next day, so keep the leftovers!