Recipes

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meatless Mondays

I know that is it not particularly the politically correct thing to say but I like a giant hunk of beef cooked rare.  Yes, it is my comfort food.  I don't even need any wonderful sides with it.  Just the beef is fine.

But...

I will eat too much of it.  And we all know that perhaps it is not the best thing I can do for myself.  Except of course if I haven't had any in awhile and I am really stressed out....

And this takes me to...

Meatless Mondays

What, you go from giant rare steaks to Meatless Mondays?  Hey, the mind works in strange ways.  Cut me some slack.

The concept of Meatless Mondays was resurrected in 2003 by the John Hopkins School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future.  The idea is to get people to make healthier decisions at the start of every week with the thought that perhaps it would carry over to the rest of the week.  A campaign like this  was actually started during World War I but it was born out of food rationing.  There is a web site for Meatless Mondays at www.meatlessmondays.com.  There are celebrity endorsements but more to the point, there are recipes and tips.  

Do you do Meatless Mondays?  I don't.  But we do at least one meatless dinner a week.  I never thought about doing the whole day - if I go meatless for dinner, that seems like a big thing.  Since I do not have the best eating habits, I probably do go meatless some days. (those days that I have animal crackers and a coke for lunch)   I just don't work at it.  Anyway, the concept is not bad.  I do know lots of wives who will say that their husbands won't go for a meatless meal.  My answer to that is - "Don't tell him."  Really, I am not sure he will notice if the meat is missing.  One of the guys I work with is repulsed by the idea of a meal without meat.  It is actually pretty funny to tell him what we had for dinner.  He is very theatrical with his reaction.  He will put his hand over his heart and start gagging.  Luckily I mastered the eye roll response years ago. 

And the point of all this?  I though I would share one of my favorite new recipes that happens to qualify for Meatless Mondays.  It is relatively easy (of course, I make it) and I think it tastes great.  Also, the portion size is pretty generous.  

Provolone Ziti Bake

1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced
2 cans (28 oz. each) Italian crushed tomatoes
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry red wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 pkg (16 oz) ziti or small tube pasta
8 slices of provolone cheese

1.  In a Dutch oven, saute onion in oil until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, wine, sugar and basil.  Bring to a boil; remove from the heat.  Stir in the ziti.

2.  Transfer to a 13X 9 inch baking dish that is coated with cooking spray.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 4-6 minutes longer or until ziti is tender and cheese is melted.

This recipe is from Taste of Home/Healthy Cooking Magazine and was submitted by Vicky Palmer of Albuquerque, NM.

Notes:  I use Pam instead of the olive oil.  I know that the olive oil is good for you but I make the substitution anyway.  I have only made it with dry red wine so I don't know if the chicken broth makes a difference.  You can also use reduced sodium provolone cheese.

This recipe makes 8 servings so you get a pretty generous piece.

So go forth and enjoy Meatless Monday.

Thanks for reading!