Meatless Monday: Veggie Skillet Pasta

I married a meat-and-potato kind of guy… who recently decided that he wanted to start eating more veggies for health purposes.  The word ‘vegetarian’ may have even left his lips and caused him to consider a life without meat…  until my birthday at which point he bit into a large, juicy burger and threw such notions out the window.

It was 93% lean beef.  We must cut him some slack.  😉

And so, the hubby and I decided to introduce Meatless Mondays as a way to introduce more veggies — and less meat — into our diet.  The goal is to one day have at least two vegetarian days a week and to focus on lean meats for the rest of the week.

Today was our first official, full-day attempt, ending with a vegetarian option that I would effortlessly whip up in the kitchen.

This is probably where you expect the funny story of how I caused a mini-explosion in my oven and how scientists came to the house, concerned at what I had concocted during my vegetarian-cooking attempt.

But, my peeps, I rock at vegetarian cooking!

Okay, okay.  I know that I’m still new at this, and I’m sure there is still much to be learned… and tasted… and destroyed.  Still, I kept coming back to one very happy thought.  In vegetarian cooking, there’s no meat to over-cook, or dry, or toughen.   The meat thermometer was left forgotten on the shelf, while I happily chopped veggies and threw them into a pot filled with diced garlic and onion.  The meal, which came together in about fifteen minutes, was full of flavor and left us feeling energized.  Satisfied.

I mean, if this isn’t enough proof that dinner was success…

…then this should be.

In this recipe, I made some changes to make it my own… and to keep it healthy.  I replaced the butter with olive oil, halved the cheese, and added more garlic.

Try it. You won’t miss the meat.  🙂

(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:  nicole_leb@hotmail.com).  :)

Veggie Skillet Pasta

2 1/3 cups cooked penne pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 cups chopped zucchini

1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cup sliced cherry tomatoes

2 teaspoons dried basil

1.  Heat olive oil in deep skillet.  Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until onion is lightly browned (4-5 minutes).  Add zucchini and peppers.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until veggies are crisp tender (about 4-5 minutes).

2.  Stir in cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and basil.  Continue cooking until tomatoes are heated through and cheese is melted.

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6 Responses to Meatless Monday: Veggie Skillet Pasta

  1. Joss says:

    looks yummy. very much what I would fix except i use whole wheat pasta which is an acquired taste! Keep up the great work. I’m thinking of recipes I can send you.

    • Nicole says:

      Yes, I definitely think this would be good with whole wheat pasta!! You’re right, it’s an acquired taste though. I’m slowly introducing it more and more into my kitchen. 🙂 It’s so much healthier and more filling!

  2. Mmm…thank you so much for posting this. It was fabulous! 😀

    And for the whole wheat pasta idea, for people still not really loving it, give Barilla Plus a try. It’s made with the addition of legumes which really bumps up the nutrient, fiber, and protein content. It’s pretty tasty too. 😀

    Hmm…for vegetarian recipes I can’t live without, one of my votes would go to the snobby joe or the lentil taco. They’re so flavorful, especially with all the fun toppings like avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. 😀

  3. Carin says:

    that looks really good! i’ll have to try it when i actually get some groceries. meatless cooking isn’t too hard, ow is it? yay for less meat!

  4. jelillie says:

    You use a meat themometer? Now that’s dedication to your art!

  5. or just try zucchini noodles instead of the pasta! 🙂

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