Monday, January 3, 2011

Meatless Monday Virgin-No-More

I can't tell you how happy I am to be back to eating healthy again.  Now don't get me wrong...I fully enjoyed my food debauchery over the past few days and it was even worth the multiple tummy aches, but towards the end of Saturday I was really sick of it, especially all the sweets I kept gorging myself on.  Now these cheese crackers I could eat a hundred bags of and never get sick of them...

These are to-die-for delish....they're little squares of sourdough heaven layered with cheese and a smidge of cayenne...these things taste like those fried parmesan crisps that you get as garnishes at restaurants.  SO.GOOD.  Get these, get these now.  Would I ever steer you wrong when it comes to food?

So after all the nasties I ate, I was menu planning and trying to figure out some really healthy meals to make this week because I just really wanted something nutritious and full of veggies. you all probably noticed, I put it out there for my 2011 goals that I was going to start Meatless Mondays, and is Monday.  I decided that today's meal was going to be pasta e fagioli, a recipe I've made a few times before that we really like.  Basically it's a hearty pasta and bean soup and it's pretty easy to make, and you can throw whatever veggies you have floating around in your crisper and it'll still taste good. 

Pasta E Fagioli - from the Joy of Cooking (the new one)

Heat in a large saucepan over medium heat:
   2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1 medium onion, finely chopped
  1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
  2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Cook, stirring until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Stir in:
  2 large cloves garlic, minced

Cook for 1 minute.  Add:
1 14 oz can whole tomatoes with juice

Boil, stirring until thickened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in:
1 15 - 19 oz can cannellini, great Northern or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups stock
1 cup 1 inch green beans
1 cup frozen lima beans

Return to boil, stir in:
2 cups pcked chopped escarole, endive or swiss chard

Partially cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add in:
1 cup elbow macaroni
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Just before serving, stir in grated pecorino cheese.

My adjustments - more garlic!  But I'm a garlic fiend.  And I really cook the celery/carrot/onion mixture, like until the onions are a dark brown.  I learned this trick from a cooking class and it really adds so much flavour and depth to the soup. 

Meatless Monday #1 - done!

1 comment:

Marianne said...

We're not allowed to buy those cheese crisps, or those Wisecrackers rosemary things anymore because they are TOO GOOD and we have no self-control.

Pasta e fagioli sounds delish! We were planning to have sandwiches for meatless Monday but DH is still sick and even that was too much effort so we had toast.