7 May 2012
For our second week fully committed to Meatless Mondays, Bryce and I decided to give a couple Giada de Laurentiis products a try for dinner – Marinara with Artichokes paired with her brand of Bucatini pasta available at Target. I heard someone say or read online somewhere that Giada’s jarred tomato sauce is one of the best commercially available marinara sauces. While I typically advocate for making sauces like this from scratch, I confront time limitations like everyone else so I welcome simple to prepare meals. There is also something to be said for making Meatless Mondays as easy and approachable as possible. (I guess that’s true for the rest of the week, too.) Love, tolerate, or loathe her, de Laurentiis makes a good pasta sauce – the recommendations proved to be true. And bucatini – a hallowed spaghetti noodle – may be our new favorite pasta. The hole throughout the long, slender noodle allows sauce to creep into the center of the pasta, adding flavor from the inside out. Bryce and I will definitely cook with both products in the future, and we look forward to trying the bucatini in other recipes (like Anne Burrell’s Carbonara).
14 May 2012
Meatless Mondays are not just about dinner, but I find breakfast and lunch less challenging than dinner when excluding meat from the menu. With breakfast I am just a big kid – I love my cereal. Honey Nut Cheerios, Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs, Special K, Golden Grahams, and Cocoa Pebbles (yes, I said Cocoa Pebbles) enjoy a steady rotation on our cereal shelf. As long as I have access to cereal, making Monday mornings meatless will never pose a problem. Lunch might seem a bit more tricky, particularly when you consider that I work in a restaurant, but never fear. I relish a salad tastefully crafted with fresh ingredients – one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes. I also like some microwave meals by SmartOnes and Lean Cuisine. They provide a quick lunch without the heaviness (and temptation) of nearby fast food joints. You might be asking, “Really? Diet meals?” Yes! A few years ago I started Weight Watchers Online and lost 50 pounds over the course of six months, and part of my success is due to those heat-and-eat meals. For this Meatless Monday I tried the Spinach and Mushroom Pizza by Lean Cuisine for the first time, and the pizza’s flavor surprised me in a good way. Future Mondays will no doubt feature the Spinach and Mushroom Pizza again.
21 May 2012
FAIL. We ate meat. Swedish meatballs at IKEA to be exact. While Bryce and I visited family in New Jersey we elected to consume meat on Monday conscientiously, choosing instead to go meatless on Tuesday for our journey home to Virginia. The challenge then became to avoid meat throughout our interstate travels. Success required a little forethought and planning, and we landed at a Panera Bread restaurant, which proved to be an adequately appropriate choice. Panera offers a number of soups, salads, and sandwiches without meat, making it a great lunch option for making Monday meatless on the road.
28 May 2012
Remember two weeks ago when I tried and liked the Spinach and Mushroom Pizza by Lean Cuisine? I was inspired by that meatless meal in the creation of this week’s dinner – Garlicky Mushroom and Spinach Pizza. We even had homemade chocolate chip coconut cookies and vanilla ice cream for dessert!