Meatless Monday: Derby Day Eats

By: Patty Lee
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Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Place your bets and whip out your finest hat — the Kentucky Derby returns in all of its mint julep-soaked glory this Saturday afternoon. While Derby Day usually conjures up images of  hot browns and chicken and waffles, vegetarian tea sandwiches are also a longstanding race-day tradition. We're gearing up for the big run with Nealey Dozier's elegant pumpernickel wedges, which feature a tangy blue cheese spread studded with walnuts and dried cranberries. Paired with a tall glass of  sweet tea or a frosty, bourbon-splashed  julep, the stylish bites will likely go just as quickly as the greatest two minutes in sports.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (5 ounce) container crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Sliced pumpernickel bread, for sandwiches

With a handheld or standing mixer, cream together cream cheese, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and salt until well combined. Fold in walnuts and cranberries. The blue cheese and walnut spread can be made at least 24 hours in advance. Allow to come to room temperature before making the sandwiches (it will become too firm in the refrigerator to spread).

Scoop blue cheese and walnut spread onto slice of bread. Top with another slice of bread. Cut off crusts, then cut sandwich into desired shape (rectangles, triangles, or rounds).

Note: quantity of sandwiches will vary according to shape of sandwiches.

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