Monday, April 30, 2012

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday was a movement that started back during World War I and with the help of celebrities, chefs, and a whole lot of concerned folks, is making its way back into the mainstream.

If you've heard of Meatless Monday, you know it's a great way to improve your overall health, reduce global warming, and reduce your carbon footprint.  Check out the following reasons to go meatless, and if that doesn't have you ready to make the change, maybe the delicious recipes we've found will!

Reasons to participate in Meatless Monday:
  • It has been found that diets high in fruit and veggies can reduce your risk of certain cancers. 
  • Red meats and processed meats have been linked to causing colon cancer.  
  • A study done by Harvard University found that replacing foods high in saturated fats, like meats, with foods high in unsaturated fats, like nuts and seeds, can reduce the risk of heart disease by 19%. 
  • Diets containing a significant amount of meat have also been linked to diabetes and obesity.
  • The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that approximated 20% of man made greenhouse gas emissions is generated by the meat industry. 
    • These emissions can be considered a factor for the accelerating climate changes throughout the world.
  •   It has also been shown that water needed for livestock far exceeds the water needed to raise vegetables and grains.

So now that you know why Meatless Monday is beneficial, we've found some awesome recipes that we'd like to share with you.

Tuscan Vegetable Baked Ziti-from

  • 1 pkg. (7 oz.) KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Italian* Three Cheese Blend, divided
  • 2 large red peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 2 zucchini, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 jar (24 oz.) chunky spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

    How to:
    HEAT oven to 375ºF.
    RESERVE 3/4 cup cheese; combine remaining ingredients.
    SPOON into 13x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with reserved cheese.
    BAKE 20 to 25 min. or until heated through.

    Yeah-it's that easy!  Or how about this timeless Pasta Primavera recipe from


    How to:
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook as the label directs. Add the sugar snap peas and/or broccoli, carrots and bell pepper to the boiling water during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and return to the pot.
    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the tomatoes begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. Pour the tomato mixture over the pasta and vegetables. Add the mint, parmesan and half the goat cheese and toss to combine. Season with salt.
    Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with the remaining goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
    If these two 30 minute meals aren't your style, how about a Mushroom-Manchego Quesadilla from that takes about half that time?

    • 2 jalapeño chiles
    • 2 tsp. canola oil
    • 6 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced (1 ½ cups)
    • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
    • 4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
    • 6 Tbs. shredded manchego cheese
    • ½ cup prepared salsa verde
    • Cilantro sprigs for garnish, optional
    How to:
    Preheat broiler. Broil jalapeños on foil-lined baking sheet 15 minutes, or until blackened, turning once. Transfer to bowl, cover, and let stand to cool. Peel, remove seeds, and coarsely chop. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and pepper, and sauté 3 minutes, or until browned.Sprinkle 2 tortillas with 3 Tbs. cheese. Top with jalapeños, mushrooms, and remaining tortillas. Broil on baking sheet 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with salsa verde. Garnish with cilantro, if using.

    For more recipes-check out our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest!

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