Mondays: Minimalist and Meatless (Winter Italian Stew Recipe)

MondaysMondays are often a time for people to wipe the slate clean and hit the restart button. With catchy phrases like Meatless Monday and Minimalist Monday being passed around, people seem to be changing their ways, starting fresh. So instead of making Mondays out to be the bad guy, start looking at this day in a different light – make a positive change.

Minimalist Monday

Over the weekend, I sat down to read the Happy Herbivore’s Lindsay S. Nixon’s new e-book on minimalism and wound up finishing it in one sitting. It was that good! If you remember, I talked about Lindsay’s minimalist posts in my blog here. She actually liked my post and shared it in her book! She included two other stories from people who have also recently become minimalists, along with many amazing tips on how to declutter one’s house. I couldn’t wait to start implementing some of her advice, so I got a jumpstart this morning by putting everything that was on my bathroom countertops under the sink (even if the items were in a basket, they went under the sink). It really opened up the room and made it seem more bright in there (more on my minimalist projects later). Follow Lindsay’s blog or purchase her 3-part e-book to learn more about how to lead a more zen life by becoming a minimalist.

Meatless Monday

To reduce meat consumption for various reasons, many people are making Mondays meat free. Last year, my office joined the Meatless Monday movement, and I’m always so happy to hear when others do the same. On Mondays, my friends sometimes snap pictures of their meals and text me the photos or post them on my Facebook wall – it’s awesome! Every Monday, I share a new vegan recipe, and for this week’s dish, I’m going with a heart-healthy stew. It’s been so cold in Atlanta lately that I’ve been going soup/stew crazy! I’ve been experimenting, throwing all types of ingredients together, and this one seemed to be a winner in my household. I hope you enjoy, and stay warm out there!

Winter Italian Stew

Winter Italian Stew


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, ends cut off and halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, cut in florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 Tbsp each of Bragg’s organic sprinkle and chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp each of dried parsley and dried basil
  • cayenne pepper and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (28 oz.) can Cento crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked, peeled and mashed


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place eggplant on a large baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over it, mix well. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until roasted, stirring midway through.
  2. In a large covered pot over medium heat, cook carrots, Brussels, garlic, broccoli, red bell pepper, onion and 1/4 cup veggie broth for 10-15 minutes, or until just tender. Add all spices (Bragg’s sprinkle, chia seeds, vinegar, nutritional yeast, parsley, basil, cayenne and black pepper) until fragrant.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low and add tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, milk, remaining 3/4 cup veggie broth and chickpeas. Simmer for another 20 minutes, covered.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and spinach; cook until spinach wilts.
  5. Top your bowl with soy vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast; serve warm.

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