Hi friends! Welcome to a meatless Monday recipe. No matter that it is Wednesday. I’m a rebel, what can I say? 😉 Actually, I really did make this meal on Monday but I’m a wee bit behind in posting. So what exactly is meatless Monday? It is an initiative that was started to reduce meat consumption and increase our health and well-being. I’m down with that. Well, at the very least, I’m down with not eating meat produced in the horrifying factory conditions that has become of the meat industry.
I follow a mainly pescetarian diet with the occasional red meat thrown in once a week or so. My personal belief is that we are meant to eat meat (I think- I’m still struggling with this), just not the meat produced in the conditions big industry puts forth. Ultimately, I would like to only eat grass-fed, local beef. Are you a vegetarian/vegan? If so, what pushed you in that direction? Do you feel better/healthier?
That was my long-winded way of saying that I am going to be participating in meatless Mondays from here on out (unless I uh, forget that it is Monday or something). So without further adieu, here is my first meatless Monday meal (oh alliteration, I heart thee):
Penne with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Mozzarella
- 1 box whole wheat penne
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant (approximately 1 1/4 pound), cut into half inch pieces
- 1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/4 t crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 in pieces
- 1/4 cup torn fresh mint basil leaves (the original recipe calls for mint; I had fresh basil on hand and it worked well)
- Cook the pasta and reserve 1/4 cup of the water. Drain the pasta and return to pot
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
Add eggplant to oil. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and tender- ~ 8-10 minutes. Tip- I read this after the fact in a magazine- to make the eggplant less absorbent, pour salt over it and then rinse off. Once water beads on eggplant, pat eggplant dry. This makes the eggplant less spongey and it won’t soak up the oil as quickly.
- Add tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Stir until tomatoes soften- ~ 3 minutes
- Add tomato mixture to pasta, along with fresh mozzarella and basil. Stir and enjoy.
This recipe was yummy and fairly easy to make. I really enjoyed it. My parents and brother were also big fans. I was hesitant to include the red pepper, but it adds a nice bite to the dish. I will definitely be making it again! You can find the original recipe here. Do you have a vegetarian dish that you can share? If so, hook a girl up! 😀
Okay friends, I’m out. Stay tuned for a posts involving my Girls on the Run involvement and my adventures in meal planning (hint: it is very scientific and looks a little something like this):
Enjoy the rest of your day! 🙂