Just Another Manic Meatless Monday

Living a healthy lifestyle is harder than just running by Wendy’s and grabbing some junk food. I am quite confident in my abilities to prepare tasty and delicious food, but up until recently my family has been anti-vegetable. I could always get away with a salad and some corn on the cob, but they’ll glare with suspicion at most other veggies. I don’t have a lot of experience with cooking with a variety of vegetables, and I do end up feeling a little crazed about meatless Monday.

What if the dish is an absolute failure? We’ve been playing it safe by doing cheese fondue for several meatless Mondays. We do all love cheese fondue, and we have been experimenting with dipping different vegetables in there. We’ve branched away from just lettuce and corn to include asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini in our regular vegetable lineup. I’ve been very proud of us, especially Morgan, for trying new things. We haven’t like everything that we’ve tried, but we’ve tried it without complaining. I for one can’t stand cauliflower, white purple or orange. Andy loves it. Morgan does not like broccoli. I love it. Andy hates roasted potatoes and is not overly fond of mashed potatoes. Morgan and I both like potatoes. We find compromises.

But here I was again stuck on a Monday trying to figure out what we can do for meatless Monday. Quesadillas served with beans was out because we just had Mexican food last night. I’m just not feeling fondue today. What I really want is some marinara sauce some garlic and some cheese, so I’m off the reservation making up a new dish. Oh, my poor family!

I have the red sauce going. I’ve added diced broccoli, zucchini and shredded carrots to it. I’m going to let it cook and meld together for about 2 more hours. I’m cooking up some organic penne pasta. I’m going to combine pasta into the red sauce, and then I’m going to put a layer into my Pyrex pan. Top with a layer of cheese, and then put another layer of sauce and pasta. Then I’ll finish the entire dish with a layer of cheese, and then bake it until the cheese gets all bubbly and golden brown. I’ll know the final calorie count once I’ve added the cheese, but I’m hoping to come in under 400 calories per serving. It’s at about 250 calories with no cheese yet, so we’ll see. At least the house smells really good of garlic and oregano.

Even before we’ve eaten meatless Monday though, I have tomorrow night’s dinner already planned. I’m going to make for the first time red chili but with buffalo and beef added to it. I’m already soaking kidney and black beans to throw in to it, and I need to have it into the crock pot before 8am. Let’s see how this goes. Gotta go and cook the pasta now.



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