I was a vegetarian once and I liked it a lot. It was at that point in my life when I was the kind of person who gave stuff up for Lent and I had decided to give up meat–it lasted way after the Lenten season had passed. I was working at a deli at the time and when you’re surrounded by that much lunch meat, not eating it came to me very easily. But time wore on and who the heck knows how meat got back into my diet but it did. And that’s fine—I sort of wish I was a person with really strong convictions about food and what we should all be eating but I’m not really. Which I hope all of my friends and family appreciate.
But I’d like to make some changes in my diet and it’s spring time—that time of year when you just crave fresh foods! I’m not telling you that I’m moving over to a completely plant-based diet–though, truthfully I would really love to at some point. I’m the kind of person who starts with small changes. After 32.5 years I’ve definitely learned that I’m not the all or nothing type. That’s just not how chance happens in me. So I’m starting by introducing Meatless Mondays into our meal routine! There’s so much information out there about how good it is for us in our bodies and in our planet if everyone would just introduce one meatless day into our diets every week! And that’s very reasonable, I think.
So last night I made a really delicious baked Pasta Primavera Alfredo. Not only is this meal meat-free but it was great for cleaning out the pantry as well as the crisper. And it was so filling.
What I’ve got for you is a non-recipe. I like a non-recipe so much more than an actual one. I’ve heard them described as Elevator Recipes—that being something that you can completely explain to a person during the course of an elevator ride. I feel like that’s what I make most of the time–though I have been making a point to follow recipes more often because I’ve been finding myself in a bit of a rut–meal wise.
-So what I did was I sautéed some veggies all together. I had some Portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, and yellow squash in the back of the fridge that all needed used up. I also got some onions and sweet peppers at the grocery store earlier, so I threw a few of those in to ensure that we’d have a really colorful meal.
-I boiled some short-cut pasta to al dente and let it cool.
-I mixed it all together with ½ a bag of Italian cheese, some seasoning (I used fresh thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, and some crushed red pepper flakes but you can use whatever you like) and a jar of Alfredo sauce.
-And then I baked it until it was warmed through and a little bit crispy on top.
Truth be told, when I got everything all chopped up and the pasta made, there was so much! So I put half of it in a baking dish, covered it, and put it in the freezer. That way we’ve got a veggie-packed freezer meal just waiting for a rainy day. Which I’m really excited about because this meal was really, really delicious and I’m glad that we’ll get to have it on another day.
Do you have any Meatless Monday meal ideas? Or any Elevator Recipes that you often find yourself turning to?