Rise of Meatless Monday

Posted in: GardenCast

More and more of us will embrace plant-based eating in 2021, and many households across the country will include "Meatless Monday" in their weekly meal planning.  By growing a hearty harvest of vegetables with dense flesh and succulent textures, you'll always have the makings of a satisfying meal right at home.

Fill your Meatless Monday garden with crunchy turnips, flavorful summer squash and plump eggplants that can be the centerpieces of your favorite plant-based recipes.  Let us introduce you to a selection of Burpee's most versatile picks for suppertime!


A Feast of Vegetables


VEGETABLE

CULINARY TIPS

BURPEE TIP

EGGPLANT

When it comes to plant-based eating, eggplant is one of the most adaptable vegetables.  Use this purple gem for everything from classic eggplant parmesan and baba ghanoush to alternative tacos and burgers.  Grill hefty eggplant "steaks" for extra smoky flavor in the summer.

When harvesting, look for firm fruits with a glossy shine.  Dull skin is a sign that the plants are overripe.

BUSH BEAN

Crisp and juicy, this heirloom bush bean tastes delicious whether sautéed, steamed or roasted.  Toss into stir-fries, add pleasing crunch to pasta dishes or bake up a vegetarian casserole.

Planted closely in rows spaced around two feet, bush bean plants blend well with like-sized warm-season vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and eggplants.

SWEET PEPPER

Deeply colored and flavored, these large bell peppers are perfect for stuffing and roasting into a meal.  Fill them with Southwest-style ingredients like cooked rice, black beans, onions and cheddar - or do a take on Italian with cooked quinoa, tomatoes, mushrooms and basil.

Peppers are very container-friendly!  Plant tem in a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep, and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

You may consider these bitesize cabbages to be a side dish, but they're main course contenders.  When roasted, Brussels sprouts add layers of flavor to grain bowls and pastas, and you can even sauté them in a takeout-style Kung Pao sauce to serve over rice.

Keep plants well-watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth.  Brussels sprouts need 1-1½ inches of water weekly.

TURNIPS

Turnips can be a surprisingly sweet and snacky delight.  Try them roasted in a cheesy gratin with fresh herbs, chopped into a crunchy slaw or blended into a creamy soup with fellow root vegetables.

If grown in spring, be sure to harvest roots before hot weather arrives to they will not grow too large or woody and pithy.

SUMMER SQUASH

You can always count on this green summer squash to be the star of your favorite stir-fry or casserole.  Also try spiralizing zucchini into "zoodles" for a pesto pasta dinner or frying it in a frittata recipe.

Squash plants have both male and female flowers on the same plant.  Male flowers will open first and the female flowers will open later.

EXPERT TIP

"A variety of hearty vegetables like Burpee's 'Green Gems' Brussels sprouts and 'Meatball' Hybrid eggplant provide fiber and are high in water, so they help you feel full longer and can easily be the star of your plant-based meals.  Combined with plant proteins, such as beans, nuts and seeds, it's a recipe for a nourishing and satisfying meal!"

-Marisa Moore, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

May 24, 2021