Friday, October 21, 2011

Are you ready for a healthy eating challenge?

A year and a half ago our family chose to go vegetarian for Lent and ever since then, despite reincorporating meat and seafood back into our diet, our overall meat consumption is way down. The result? Lower grocery bills, healthier bodies (SPH's cholesterol dropped more than 40 points), greener eating and just overall, a better, healthier lifestyle.

So now I have a challenge for you, my readers: join me in taking the Meatless Monday Challenge.

Meatless Monday has a fascinating history, dating way back to World War One. More recently endorsed by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, it is a way to encourage individuals and families to more healthfully.

To encourage you to join in this movement, I am starting a new feature on Sweet Peas and Pumpkins: each Friday I will share a meatless recipe with all of you, complete with a shopping list so you can easily make sure you have all the items on hand for your menu plan. Then, our family, and I hope yours too, will plan to eat meatless each Monday.

We will see how this goes. Give me your you like this idea? Also, once you try it, let me know if it is working for you and your family.

Together, we can do this!

For Monday, October 24, I chose a very easy, family-friendly Baked Penne Pasta (click link for recipe).

(As you will read in this recipe, you can use any combination of vegetables you have on hand to adapt it to your family's taste and whatever is seasonal and fresh)

Sweet Peas and Pumpkin's Baked Penne Pasta Grocery List:

1 small head broccoli (you can use other vegetables--you need one and half cups of cut up veg)

1 pound, whole wheat* (or regular) penne pasta
1 - 26-32 ounce jar pasta sauce
1 - 15 ounce jar diced tomatoes

1 - 16 ounce container fat-free or part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
8 ounce package part-skim shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese

garlic powder
ground oregano

Add these items to your grocery list and you'll be ready to on Monday!

Life is sweet,


Slacker Mama said...

Oooo! I'm in! Monday night is Ballet night 'round these I like the idea of having something ready to go when we get home. And the girls, of course, love them some pasta!

JerseyBaby said...

I'm in! (But am I cheating?)

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Yay! Glad you are both "in!" And JB, I thought of you and my other veg friends and should have mentioned that for you "every day is Meatless Monday!" No, you're not cheating, you are just doing lots and lots of extra credit.

Laura said...

I'm going to do our meatless meal tomorrow, but I could post about it on Monday! I want to do falafel and I need to have backup with the kids, so it's a weekend food. :) I'm going to try and sneak in vegetarian meals once a week, but I'm attempting this with a meat and potatoes man and toddler... wish me luck!

whitneyingram said...

LOVE this. We are in.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Laura, you can do it! My SPH used to be a devoted carnivore. Hoping you can convince L and your DH to give it a whirl!

Whit, so glad you are in! Fun!

John Green said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe, can't wait to try this....