Why should you switch from your regular burgers and bacon to Morningstar Farms' meat alternatives? Reasons range from the fact that eating factory farmed animal proteins is bad for you, the environment, and the animals to a simple taste issue (Morningstar Farms' bacon is delicious). But, the most compelling reason has to be Padma Lakshmi. The Top Chef host loves Morningstar Farms and if eating their products contributed in even the teeniest amount to her incredible body, we want some of that!
Morningstar Farms is asking people to take a "Veg of Allegiance", which simply means to try to eat a few more veggies per week. The meat alternative company says that by adding veggies to your diet (and subbing out the meat a few times a week), we can get more fiber and veggie protein in our diets and help reduce carbon emissions and reduce some soil erosion. So, while you're getting healthier, you're helping the planet get healthier at the same time. Sounds like a win-win, no?
Todd Smith, director of brand and innovation marketing at MorningStar Farms, says, "we’re here to help people change not just their diet, but also help the planet. Morningstar Farms champions a more veggie-full life and hopes that, through the Veg of Allegiance, we will create real, positive change in our world.”
To help convince people that going "veg" a few times a week can be painless (and tasty), the Morningstar Farms people are taking their Big Change Little Diner on the road all summer. The diner will travel throughout the United States throughout the summer, giving out breakfast burritos and veggie burgers. Its first stop? Miami!
From May 17 -22, the adorable little retro diner-on-wheels will be in town. Stops include the Subaru Down and Dirty Obstacle Race on May 17 at Amelia Earhart Park, where you can snag spicy black bean breakfast burritos and buffalo blue paninis. Then, it's off to some local markets and surprise locations. Says a representative for the company, "we’re stopping by Miami’s up-and-coming foodie market to share how plant-based eating can be just as delicious and adventurous as eating meat." After that, follow @MorningStrFarms on Twitter to find out where the Diner will be or to suggest a location.
In the meantime, here's a recipe by Padma Lakshmi for green enchiladas
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Green Enchiladas with MorningStar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles
1 package (12 oz.) MorningStar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds husked and quartered fresh tomatillos (about 8 cups total)
2 cups diced yellow onion
2 to 3 jalapeño peppers or serrano chilies, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill chopped
2 teaspoons oregano
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas or corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese
1. Prepare the crumbles according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a deep skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add the tomatillos, garlic, onions, chilies, dill and oregano. Sauté until onions become translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
3. Add 2 1/2 cups water and salt. Stir and cover skillet. Simmer for 5-8 more minutes until tomatillos have broken down into a pulpy sauce.
4. Carefully pour contents of skillet into a blender or processor. Puree all ingredients. Add more salt to taste if needed. Stir in cilantro.
5. In a casserole, spread a generous ladle or two of green sauce all over. Make enchiladas by placing about two ounces of the crumblesin the center of a tortilla. Add a heaping tablespoon of green salsa evenly over this, and fold the sides into the middle. Carefully transfer enchilada to casserole, seam side down, and repeat making six enchiladas total. Nestle them closely together.
6. Pour the remaining salsa over the top of all enchiladas, distributing evenly to cover well.
7. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over all enchiladas. Cover casserole with aluminum foil.
8. Bake at 375-400 (depending on oven) for 20 minutes. Uncover the last 5 minutes. Serve hot.