Monday, May 17, 2010

Meatless Monday - The 21st Century Housewife's© One Pot Vegetarian Spaghetti Special

I’m so pleased that so many folks are embracing “Meatless Monday”, the international initiative to encourage us all to have one meatless day each week, benefitting both the environment and our health.  More and more people are getting involved, from bloggers to corporations, and gradually the message is getting out there that just this one small step could make a huge difference.  I was very pleased to see that Ocado, a major British internet grocery retailer, have begun promoting Meatless Monday to their customers.  Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney also have a very helpful website for those who want to take this small step to cut down on their meat consumption.  Although their site does tend to lean towards a total switch to a vegetarian diet, both of these resources have links to lots of great meat-free recipes to try. And the important thing to remember about Meat Free Monday is that it doesn’t have to be Monday - the whole idea is just to have one meat free day a week! 

Although I am only an “occasional vegetarian”, inventing new vegetarian recipes is something I really enjoy.  I’ve been making my own version of a spaghetti one pot for years, but always with the traditional meaty ingredients.  This variation was born out of a desire for an easy, one pot meal that was filling and delicious.  I was very pleased with the results. Don’t worry if you have leftovers, they keep really well in the fridge and are very tasty re-heated the next day.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
1 teaspoon Very Lazy Garlic or one garlic clove, chopped
2 peppers (I used red and yellow), de-seeded and sliced
1 cup (or about a handful) mushrooms, sliced
1 cup broccoli, finely sliced
2 small tins (about 14 ounces or 400 grams each) chopped tomatoes
2 tins of boiling water
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 generous tablespoons basil pesto
1 handful of whole wheat spaghetti, broken into short pieces
1/2 cup vegetarian cheese (use your favourite or what you have on hand - I like cheddar or parmesan)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or saute pan. Saute the onion over medium heat until it begins to soften.  Add the garlic, peppers and mushrooms and cook gently for a few minutes.  Now add the broccoli, tomatoes, stock cube, oregano, pepper, and boiling water.  Bring the mixture just to the boil, stirring gently.

Add the spaghetti, stir in and turn down the heat.  Cook until the spaghetti is al dente, about fifteen minutes.  Stir in the cheese and pesto until the cheese has melted.  If the mixture seems to thick, just add a bit more boiling water and stir through.  Serve with hot crusty rolls. 

I’m linking up to day with Meatless Monday at Hey What’s For Dinner Mom, Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale and Homemaker Mondays at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven. 

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