If you have been following my Menu Plans for a while, you have probably become accustomed to and hopefully have embraced Meatless Monday. Well, July 4th falls on a Monday this year and it has provided a quandary for me and many other Meatless Monday followers including New York Times Food Columnist Mark Bittman. In his “Tough Week for Meatless Monday” article he says, “The Fourth of July may not be the day to trade in your hot dog, but the following Monday is a good one for beans and rice.” So I am going to veer from my typical Meatless Monday and I will be giving you a special July 4th Menu Plan. Fortunately the inCYST Nutrititon 101 micronutrient is Folate this week. Folate just so happens to be in great northern white beans which is what I use for my annual July 4th Boston Baked Bean recipe which I will share with you. Happy 4th of July!
JULY 4th Grilled Chicken and Vegetables with Wild Rice and Boston Baked Beans. This chicken recipe is so simple and is one of my favorites. Traditional Boston Baked Beans call for salt pork, but since it is full of nitrates, I use Applegate Farms Nitrate-Free Bacon instead and organic blackstrap molasses which is a good source of calcium, iron and magnesium. I also cook these in a crock-pot on high for about 6 or so hours. Don’t forget to soak the beans the night before and when you are boiling them stand by the stove because you will have to skim the foam off the top. The also taste better and thicken up if you cook them and then eat the next day.
TUESDAY Sauteed Fish Fillets with Mango Lime Slaw I love the flavors of mango and lime. They are even better when you add cilantro. One cup of mango has about 70 mcg of folate which is almost a fourth of your daily recommended amount. Also, instead of breading the fish with flour I will use cornmeal instead because it is gluten-free.
WEDNESDAY White Bean and Orzo Salad with Asparagas and Balsamic Vinagrette I saw this article linked to this recipe in my Sunday newspaper a while back. It is a nice resource for designing your own bean and grain salads which are wonderful for summertime and to take to summer parties. I selected this salad because both the beans and asparagus have folate. If you usually go gluten free like I do, you can substitute brown rice pasta or even brown rice.
THURSDAY Baby Spinach Avocado and Pumpkin Seed Salad – Add whatever protein you would like to this salad. Nigella Lawson served smoked salmon, but I think it would be perfect with citrus marinated chicken or pork. The spinach and avocado both contain folate.
FRIDAY Chunky Egg Salad with Minted Cantaloupe Salad You can serve the egg salad as the protein on a garden salad or in a wrap filled with veggies. I would cut back on the salt in the recipe and substitute a little Greek yogurt for some of the mayo. Both the eggs and cantaloupe are high in folate.