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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

why eat meatless?

i am by no means a vegetarian, but do love to eat meatless, or at least make a dinner with no meat every now and then. as meat is a traditional part of american meals, you may face understandable skepticism or even protest from say, your meatier half, when placing a meatless dish on your dinner table. thanks to my friend stacey for asking me to post about this! here are a few skinny-bovine worthy arguments with which to combat this protest:

  • "eating meatless (at least occasionally) is cheaper than eating with meat." if you are married to an accountant like i am (or any other form of stingy, money-saving, male) this argument can definitely hold weight.
  • "eating meatless is really healthy." you can choose better calories by replacing a meat with a protein-rich non-meat or eliminate an unnecessary carb load by replacing it with a veggie.
  • "saving calories with less meat means more room for dessert." enough said.
  • "we can be more adventurous in our food choices by eating meatless." some of my favorite meatless recipes are curries, indian dishes, etc. these types of fun recipes keep me from getting bored cooking and my husband from getting bored eating. don't be afraid to try new things!

and of course if i'm going to try and convince you to eat meatless, i'd better give you a fun, meatless recipe. i made this one last night and was pleasantly surprised at how yummy it turned out... all of the veggies in the sauce were fabulous!! besides, it was really fun to make noodles out of squash. i felt so professional. thanks again, stacey, for passing it along!

spaghetti squash with red sauce

6 servings

1 medium spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup diced green pepper

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup diced red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

grated parmesan cheese (optional)

1. cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds. place squash, cut side down, on a microwave-safe plate. microwave, uncovered, on high for 14-16 minutes or until tender.

2. meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté tomatoes, mushrooms, green pepper, carrot, onion, garlic, italian seasoning and pepper in oil for 6-8 minutes or until tender. add tomato sauce; heat through.

3. when squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate strands (see pic below). place squash on a serving platter and top with sauce. sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

i made a few changes of course - i was saving my fresh tomatoes for something else so i used a can of diced (drained) and i think mushrooms are yucky so i left them out.

here's my suggestion, try something meatless that is fabulous like no-cream pasta primavera or taco soup (vegetarian modification) and then sneak a meat substitute into something and see if your eaters like it (try tasty lentil taco meat in burritos or enchiladas or something!) your sneakiness will pay off! trust me.

click here for all of my meatless favorites!

recipe from


MondayCampaigns said...

Wow - I have never heard of spaghetti squash before - it sounds like a perfect alternative for me because I love making pasta based dishes but hate to load up on carbs (I've been buying the barilla plus variety so I feel less guilty but this sounds much healthier)

I love your "reasons to go meatless" too! I actually work for a campaign called Meatless Monday where we advocate going meatless one day a week to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. We have a ton of recipes (with nutrition facts!) that you might enjoy. Just go to

Also - another reason for eating a few meatless meals is that you are reducing your carbon footprint. Here's an article if you want some more info about that:

BrittWilk said...

hi monday!

thanks for visiting the skinny bovine's kitchen! i love this "meatless mondays" campaign! it is a fabulous idea! i will do a spotlight it on soon and try one of the recipes. they all look so yummy.

and reducing your carbon footprint is another good reason i hadn't thought of. thank you so much for sending the article!

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!