Monday, March 7, 2011

Meatless Monday

We all know that eating less meat is healthier for us.  We hear it in relation to obesity, to cholesterol,  as well as to the environment and our wallets.  With the exception of my pregnancy (eh hem, Taco Bell cravings, eh hem) I've been a vegetarian for twelve years.  While my intention is definitely NOT to push being a vegetarian I just wanted to offer up some relatively inexpensive & healthful meat free dishes.  Whether you're looking to decrease your environmental impact, help your budget, or enter the season of lent, I figured now was the time to offer some meat free recipes. 

Meat Free Pasta Salad:

  • Pasta (I used Ronzoni, which you can get for $0.20 or less when combined with the dollar off coupons they frequently put in magazines and or a sale).
  • Veggies--totally your call here, based on what you like.   I used green pepper, celery, and carrot, but you could add onion, olives, cucumber.  Anything really.
  • Italian dressing--again, this could just be your favorite vinaigrette or simply oil & vinegar.  

  1. Cook pasta according to instructions, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Chop & prep your veggies.  I used a slap & chop to save time...they're amazing stress relief too.  Just know that they will not work on veggies with skins (my pepper) and will make a holy mess of tomatoes.
  3. Combine.

4.  Dress you pasta (or in my case dress & shake in my covered bowl).  I made two servings of pasta and poured a 1/2 c of dressing over the veggies.  If you are planning on making more than will be eaten in one serving you will either need to pour more dressing on initially or after it sits in the fridge, as the pasta will absorb the dressing.

It is totally your call here if you keep this meat free.  If you are looking to stretch your meat or use it as a "condiment"--a frugal philosophy, consider adding cooked chicken, canned tuna or salmon, cubbed salami, or any other meat.

If you are looking to keep this veg then you could add cheese or eat with a few crackers and peanut butter (my personal fav). 

And as always, make sure your sous chef has a large teething biscuit so you can both cook happily!

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