May 10, 2011

Meatless Monday

I first heard about the movement on Martha Stewart radio and thought it sounded interesting.  Then, I hit the web to research it a bit more and found the site.  Next I realized it's endorsed by Trainer Bob from Biggest Loser, Oprah, Women's Health, Livestrong, Mario Batali and a host of other reputable sources (including John Tesh for what it's worth).  My rule of thumb is that if Martha AND Oprah say to try or do something ... that's all I need!  So, this week starts my first attempt at implementing "Meatless Monday's" for myself and my fam.

So, you are asking the obvious question ... "why Monday?".  The concept applies any day of the week, but since most people consider Monday as the start to the week, the idea is that you begin with healthy alternatives in your diet on Monday and the rest of the week follows suit.  While I'm not a veggie or vegan by any stretch, I do appreciate starting my week on a hopefully sustainable positive point; and that's why I'm happy to report I'm meatless on Monday!

And so...
Monday's delish cuisine consisted of peanut butter toast for breakfast, a delish veggie sandwich for lunch and a homemade Garden Minestrone soup for dinner.  I'm happy to report the soup was far better than I imagined! 

Garden Minestrone
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chopped yellow squash
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 2 (32 oz) containers of vegtable broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomato
  • 1 (14 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (very short tube-shaped macaroni)
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh (or frozen)baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
  • Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
1.  Saute onion in pan for 3 minutes until softened.  Add oregano and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
2.  Add tomato sauce, diced tomato and veggie broth.  Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
3.  Add pasta and beans to pan; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
4.  Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls; top with cheese. Garnish with coarsely ground black pepper, if desired.

Cook's Notes:
Go wild with the veggies and sub some of your fav fresh or frozen.  I added frozed green beans, lentils and a garden blend of veggies to the soup and it was delish.  Really, there are no rules!

I feel healthy already!  Next Monday, start your week with a healthy kick - and go meatless!

~charmed b