Just a Quick Thought and Recipe to Start the Week!

It takes at least 40 times as much water to produce beef compared to a pound of potatoes. Try a meatless meal once a week. It will help the environment, save you money and help your weight… (just don’t replace the meat with white carbs and sugar:) Here are a few ideas. You don’t have to use organic if it’s too pricey but try to do so whenever possible. Refer to my post about buying organic under my recipe section to see the essential fruits and vegetables thatare heavily sprayed and should be organic.

Maria’s Veggie Pasta
Organic whole wheat pasta (you can use any other variations such as brown rice pasta or spelt pasta if you want to be daring.  They are all tasty.)
About 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 cloves organic garlic chopped – chop them and let them sit for 10 minutes before cooking. Letting them sit brings out all the nutrients.
1 medium organic shallot chopped
1 bag frozen organic edamame or lima beans
1 cup organic shredded carrots
1 cup organic shitake mushrooms chopped (shitake are great for the immune system)
3/4 cup organic chopped parsley – also chop and let sit
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup organic mushroom broth
2 tablespoons of tamari – this is similar to soy sauce in that it is made from soybeans but it is naturally gluten free. It is much better than soy and you can get a low sodium version.
Grated cheese
Sea salt/pepper to taste – wait until the end to add these since tamari is salty (even the low sodium version). You may not need any more salt.
Boil your pasta. Meanwhile, sauté the garlic, shallot, carrots and mushrooms in the olive oil with pepper until cooked about 10 minutes. Cook the edamame or lima beans according to the package. When they are done, add then to the vegetables; throw in 1/2 cup of mushroom broth (you can always add more but can’t take it out so start slow), the tamari, 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and the sesame oil. Add all this to the pasta and toss. Put it in a nice big serving bowl and then add the rest of the parsley over the top and some grated cheese! This is not only delicious but healthy too!

For a nice salad to accompany this dish, use mixed spring greens or any lettuce you like. The only one I wouldn’t use is iceberg since it has zero nutritional value although I must admit my husband likes his iceberg! That is how you know he went food shopping…a green leafy bowling ball appears in my fridge! Ok, back to real nutrition….here is the recipe for the salad;

Mixed greens
Red or Golden Beets (you can buy them already made in places like Wholefoods)
Goat or feta cheese (according to what you like….I love goat for this)
Salad Dressing – I never measure this so you have to play around with the ingredients;
Sesame oil – about 3 tablespoons (you may have some dressing left)
Brown rice vinegar – about a tablespoon
Lemon juice – about a teaspoon
1/4 clove finely chopped garlic
Very finely chopped basil – about a tablespoon. If you don’t like basil, try rosemary, parsley, sage, cilantro or any other herb that you like.
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar – this is optional…try it with and without
Sea salt/pepper
Mix it all together and let sit for about 15 minutes. Toss the lettuce and the dressing first then add the walnuts, beets and goat cheese on top and serve!
Bon Appétit!