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Meatless Monday: Root Fest

January 16th 04:01pm, 2012

011612_meatlessWe know what you’re thinking – another vegetarian column, really? Just give us a minute. Meatless Mondays is a movement that’s building across the country, one built not around a hatred of meat or a stance against the way animals are treated but rather a love for vegetables – and the health benefits that come along with them. While the Meatless Monday concept hasn’t quite picked up in St. Louis yet, we’re here to show you just how easily it could. From meat-free recipes to make at home to dishes around town that let the veggies truly shine – welcome to Meatless Mondays, a new weekly online column.

Since this column is all about spreading the Meatless Monday initiative, we’re pretty excited to reveal the latest area restaurant to join the effort. Local pizza chain Pi has has rolled out a Meatless Monday initiative at all four of its St. Louis locations.

The first Monday of each month, Pi will debut a new fresh veggie-loving dish, and January’s creation is reason to celebrate. It’s Root Fest – a crispy and delectable vegetarian pizza featuring a honey-roasted parsnip purée, fresh spinach, savory caramelized onions, mouth-watering fontina cheese and celery-root slaw with oregano, all blanketed over a thin golden crust. With the first of the month well behind us, this scrumptious pie – created by corporate chef Steven Caravelli – can be enjoyed for the remainder of the month at any Pi location.

Jeff Constance, Pi’s chief operating officer, hopes the pizzeria’s new vegetarian offerings will help St. Louisans embrace the international Meatless Monday campaign. (So do we!) As part of the movement, Pi also will be making use of food and talent outside its restaurants’ walls, taking requests for veggie pies from diners, cooking with fresh produce from local farms and featuring the vegetarian pizza creations of other St. Louis chefs. Watch for live demonstrations from local chefs as they prep pies for Meatless Monday in the coming months as well.

Also on Pi’s vegetarian menu for Meatless Monday: house-made hummus with roasted red peppers, and green and kalamata olives, as well as the traditional veggie pie favorite, Western Addition – a won’t-miss-the-meat combo of mild mozzarella and spinach blended with ricotta and tart feta, wintry mushrooms, onions and garlic.

Fret not, meat-lovers, your favorite sausage, salami or pepperoni pie remains on the menu. But why not go meatless just for one Monday?

By Brittany Nay

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3 Responses to “Meatless Monday: Root Fest”

  1. sara Says:
    January 16th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    This is great news. It would help places like Pi if they would offer a discount when you get an item and ask them to hold the meat. As a vegetarian, it is frustrating when restaurants charge the same price for something with or without the meat! Love the column!

  2. Veggie Says:
    January 17th, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    In actuality fresh veggies and produce are typically more expensive than the meats! Especially for a place like Pi who uses fresh seasonal produce whenever possible.

  3. Cameron Says:
    April 7th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    As a 10 year vegetarian I am obviously in support of Meatless Mondays. I think that it is a terrific idea, but definitely not just for all of the cuddly animal issues. I fully support many animal rights movements, but I know that people will choose to eat the way they want to- and I am 100% okay with that, we only get one shot- live your life the way you see fit. However, Meatless Mondays simply offers the omnivore population a new look at how wonderfully delicious, nutritious, and filling eating a vegetarian meal can be. Even if it is only on Mondays! :)

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