Monday, June 13, 2011

AiS: Meatless Monday (sort of )

Years ago, I worked in public relations for the meat industry. Their nemesis, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, had a campaign that asked people to go meatless on Mondays. I thought it was pretty cool, actually, not because I don't like meat. I do. Passionately. Beef, especially. I also am in a minority in my belief that meat is actually a healthy food. However, I don't believe that all meals need to revolve around meat.

So that's why on Mondays I try to have a meatless dinner. It's cheaper and adds a little variety. We've tried things we wouldn't normally try, such as kohlrabi quiche (years ago when I was getting a weekly CSA box), squash and goat cheese burritos, black bean lasagna and Swiss chard with chick peas in a marinara sauce over rice. (And if anyone wants these recipes, feel free to email me. Click on my profile to the left and you should find my email address.)

For tonight's meatless offering, I chose a recipe from the Kraft foods web site. And adapted it, because there was no way I was going to buy their overly processed, onion and chive flavored cream cheese. Although, anytime I can put an entire block of cream cheese, albeit fat free, in my dinner, I am a happy woman. The rest of the ingredients were simple and fresh and I had them all on hand.

Linguine with mushroom sauce 

1 lb linguine
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon or so of onion powder (I eyeballed this)
1/4 (?) cup of parmesan cheese (yup, eyeballed again)
4 cups baby spinach leaves

Cook pasta. (Duh. I know.)

Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook and stir for 8 minutes or so. Soften cream cheese in the microwave. Mix the onion powder, parmesan cheese and broth into the cream cheese and add it to the mushrooms. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.

Add bacon bits. Even if it is meatless Monday. Really. It's so worth it. (I couldn't resist. I had a bag of bacon bits that jumped into my cart at Sam's Club a few weeks ago. Oops.)

Spoon it over the pasta. Top with cracked black pepper.

Loved it. The baby ate every bit. Even the spinach and mushrooms. (He really did.  The high chair and the floor were both clean.) And my husband got up right after dinner and started cleaning up dinner dishes. This is how I know a recipe is good, people. Not that he doesn't usually clean the kitchen. He does and I am a very lucky woman. But when he does it right away, well, I know that I've found a keeper recipe.

The other two? Not so much. Fiona didn't eat it right away, but eventually ate most of it. Danny took one bite and told me he didn't like it. (WHY?? How could you not like something with cream cheese and bacon??)

Anyhow, try it. And if you don't like it, well, there is something wrong with you because like I said ... cream cheese AND bacon, people.


Hi, My name is: Tim said...

Hi, My name is: Tim said...

Just a thought for next week. I made it for my mom (veg head) and it was delicious.

Josee said...

sounds delicious! i'm growing eggplant this year and we have a good crop of basil. I will definitely try this!

Monica said...

tried your mac and cheese in a little homemade hamburger helper type thing. delish! thanks! might have to try this one too!