Meatless Meals

Having grown up in a blue collar American family, meat is very much a part of my life. Pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Pork chops and mac and cheese for dinner. That is meat for three meals. It’s one of those things I never really thought about. How much meat I eat. Do I really need meat at three meals? No. Resoundingly no. Do I even need meat at two meals? No, but if you didn’t grow up in a vegetarian household (which I obviously did not) trying to come up with meals that don’t include meat is hard! Yet, this is exactly what I’m trying to do.

I only eat twice a day now because I’m following the 8 hour diet, so that’s one less meal with meat in it. Mainly because its one less meal, but lets not split hairs. But after taking Ethics last fall, and watching Food Inc. (which by the way, if you like food, I don’t suggest watching this video) I’ve decided I need to cut the meat back to once a day as often as I possibly can. I’m not always successful, but at least I’m trying?

I decided to check out Pinterest. Thank God for Pinterest. I looked up vegetarian meals and decided to start a meat free meals board. I tried one of the meals from the only thing I’ve pinned so far last night for supper. It turned out really good – after I made a few tweaks.

The meal I tried was One Pan Caprese Pasta from Yellow Bliss Road.

Yellow Bliss Road Caprese Pasta Dish

This is the picture from Yellow Bliss Road. If WordPress didn’t eat it. She takes pretty pictures. I did not take a picture of my food. I just ate it.

So here is her recipe. The changes I made are in pink.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup fresh asparagus cut up.
  • 2 1/2 cups dry pasta
  • 1/2 package of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 5 fresh whole basil leaves (I used dried basil because I was too lazy to go to a second store to find fresh basil.)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh, diced Mozzarella (about 8 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chopped basil leaves for garnish (see the above note)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat a 12 inch skillet or sauté pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft.
  2. Add dry cut asparagus, pasta, sliced tomatoes, fresh whole basil leaves, garlic, water, salt and pepper. Stir together to combine.
  3. Bring pasta mixture to a boil. Continue to cook pasta over medium heat, COVERED (because if you don’t the water evaporates much too quickly. I didn’t cover and I had to add an extra 1/2 cup of water 5 minutes in), stirring often, until pasta is cooked and the liquid is reduced; about ten minutes.
  4. Add halved grape tomatoes and Top evenly with mozzarella cubes and cover the pan so the cheese can melt.
  5. Sprinkle with Balsamic vinegar and chopped basil for garnish

This recipe was very tasty and SOOO filling. Trust me, I did not miss meat. And this was my second meat free meal yesterday. So go me! This recipe is really healthy too. According to Spark People’s Recipe Calculator there’s only 324 calories per serving, which I estimated to be about 1/4 of the recipe. Here’s the full break down.

Nutritional

The only change now if that I hope to have fresh basil on hand the next time I make it.

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