As most of you know, my husband recently made the announcement that he wanted to become vegetarian for the month. And I instantly panicked that my meat-loving hubby had been abducted by aliens.
Well, days have passed since this revelation, and I’m fairly confident that the man I’m living with is the man I stood next to on my wedding day. Phew!
However, that left me with a predicament: vegetarian meals. I haven’t cooked very many in my lifetime and certainly not enough to keep us fed for four weeks.
And so, the hubby and I have formulated a plan to introduce Meatless Mondays. After awhile, we may even introduce one extra vegetarian day, but — for now — having one vegetarian meal a week is a start! 🙂 On the other days, we’ll just focus on healthy meals that include lean meats.
The first meal we tried was a Chicken Pasta Salad from Cooking Light. I just substituted cubed cheese for the chicken, and we didn’t miss the chicken at all.
It was one of those hearty meals that left us feeling satisfied but not heavy.
I’ll admit, that I was a little worried about the use of rice vinegar, because that stuff is potent. (Have you ever put your nose right above the bottle and sniffed, just to see what it smelled like? Don’t. You may faint). After I made the salad, I still could only smell that rice vinegar. However, I stuck the salad in the fridge, let the flavors meld over-night, and it actually turned out great! You can taste the slight spiciness of the cumin and hot sauce, mixed with the sweetness of the fresh corn and peas. Delish!
Score one for our first Meatless Monday!
(Do you have a vegetarian dish that I absolutely have to try? Please leave a comment and include the link or email me the recipe at: firstname.lastname@example.org). 🙂
Southwestern Pasta Salad (original recipe found on Cooking Light.com)
- 2 cups cooked small seashell pasta (about 1 cup uncooked pasta)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup cubed cheese (optional)
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup shredded yellow squash (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup sliced carrot
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 ear), cooked
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine rice vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Pour vinegar mixture over chicken mixture, and toss gently to coat. Serve chilled.