Meatless Mondays?

20 09 2013
Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

If you haven’t heard about Meatless Mondays, here’s the scoop. Meatless Monday is an international movement to help people reduce meat consumption by 15%, to reduce the risk of chronic, preventable diseases, and to reduce our carbon footprint as well as our consumption of fresh water and fossil fuels.

There are many health benefits to going “meatless” or incorporating more plant-based meals in our diets. Research suggests that high intakes of processed and red meat are associated with both colon cancer and type two diabetes. Cancer risk is shown to be reduced with high intakes of fruits and vegetables. Eating plant-based meals can decrease intake of saturated fats and increase intake of heart healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats, thus decreasing risk of heart disease. Plant-based diets are also associated with lower blood pressure and lower body weight. Those who consume meatless meals regularly may also live longer and take in more essential nutrients such as fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium.

Choosing meatless meals can also reduce our carbon footprint by eventually decreasing the large amount of man-made greenhouse gasses that are created by meat production. It can also help decrease the use of water and fossil fuels that we depend on for caring for and transporting livestock and meat products.

To learn more about the Meatless Monday movement, just go to:

So as you plan your meals for next week, try getting a little creative and incorporate a meatless meal. You just might enjoy a little change of pace…your body and the environment will thank you!

Braised Cauliflower and Squash Penne Pasta

Courtesy of Eating Well Magazine

Makes 4 servings (1 ½ cups each)             Total time: 30 minutes


1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp crushed red pepper

4 cups vegetable broth/stock

8 oz whole wheat penne pasta (about 3 c)

2c 1 inch cauliflower florets

2c 1 inch pieces peeled butternut squash

Fresh ground pepper to taste

1/4c  finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese


Heat oil in a large saucepan over med high heat. Add garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add broth, penne, cauliflower and squash. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thickened and greatly reduced, 14-16 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in fresh pepper and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve topped with cheese.

*For convenience, look for butternut squash that already peeled and cubed in the produce section of your super market (often by the salad).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 330 calories, 8g fat, 56g carbohydrate, 11g protein, 9g fiber, 594mg sodium. Sodium may be reduced by using low sodium broth.




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