Eating Meat-Free When Others Are Not — Meatless Monday

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Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggiero Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Since today is Labor Day and the unofficial end of grilling season, it’s likely that platters of ribs, hot dogs or burgers will find their way to your picnic table. So how do you maintain a meatless meal when friends and family around you are indulging in meaty main dishes? There are indeed ways to keep your Labor Day menu flavorful, hearty and deliciously meat-free that don’t include eating around the chunks of chicken in the pasta salad or nibbling on fruit and carrot sticks all afternoon.

If you’re attending a backyard bash and the host has requested you bring a dish to share, reach for your favorite meatless one. The Pioneer Woman’s Baked Creamed Corn With Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos (pictured above) is a five-star recipe from Food Network Magazine that feeds a crowd and can be made with just a handful of ingredients. This potluck-friendly classic is loaded with vegetables and pairs well with traditional cookout fare and meatless items alike.

Whether or not the party is a potluck, it’s best to bring your own meatless dishes rather than expect the host to have prepared some. On holidays like today, when you know that the barbecue will be fired up, pack a few vegetarian staples, like tofu or portobello mushrooms, that can be grilled easily. Ask the grill master if you can add your item to the flames while the burgers and brats are cooking. Though you could just nestle a grilled portobello mushroom inside a warm toasted bun, take the sandwich to the next delicious level by making Food Network Kitchens’ Grilled Portobello Burger With Onion Jam. This top-rated favorite combines earthy mushroom caps, soft honey-laced onions and a creamy yogurt-horseradish sauce. Be sure to bring a few extra portobello mushrooms just in case — you can guarantee that others will want to taste these grilled beauties, too.

Are you the host of this year’s Labor Day get-together? If so then there’s no question that you’ll enjoy meatless recipes, since it’s your party and you get to plan the menu. Bobby’s Pizza With Shaved Asparagus and Robiola is a dressed-up version of traditional grilled pizza that’s light and naturally meat-free. Thanks to chewy homemade dough and fresh toppings like rich Robiola cheese and fragrant herbs, this quick-cooking pie shines with comforting flavors. Serve with a simple side of Bobby’s Farro Salad With Grilled Eggplant, Tomato and Onion (pictured right) to round out this veggie-packed spread and win over even hard-core meat-lovers.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

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