Mediterranean Pasta; I’ve died and gone to heaven. I’ve always been a sucker for mediterranean food, so it’s no surprise that my first #MeatlessMonday entry would be a dish from this region. Meatless Mondays, what’s that you may ask? Well, it’s essentially just that. No meat on Mondays. There’s many reasons someone stops eating meat – whether it be for dietary or religious reasons, or just personal preference. However, there’s another reason I’d like to start incorporating Meatless Mondays, and this has to do with our planet. Specifically the harm we’re doing to it by our mass consumption of beef and dairy. According to the World Economic Forum, the beef and dairy industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies.
Research shows that in combination with technical advances in agriculture, dietary change is suggested to be necessary to reduce the environmental impact of the food system …. the results suggest that a dietary change, in areas with affluent diet, could play an important role in reaching environmental goals, with up to 50% potential to reduce GHG emissions and land use demand associated with the current diet.
I’m not here to tell you what to eat. Hell, even if some of you consider Meatless Mondays you may ask yourself, “What kind of impact would one person have by not eating meat one day a week?” I know, I get it. How could one person make an impact? I use to be told all the time, “Carmen, you can’t save the world.” But, I refuse to believe that. Because I can, and we will. Because one person making a change, turns into two people making a change, and two into three, and three into four, and so on, and so on. Don’t ever underestimate what you can do as an individual. Even if it’s just starting with Meatless Mondays. Let’s do what we can to help our planet – this gorgeous planet that gives us so much, and asks for so little in return.
And hey, if you’re not ready to give up a little meat – that’s ok! It’s a wonderful free country we live in. But perhaps you could look into other ways to give back to the planet – like recycling, or being less wasteful, or using re-usable mugs or cups. It’s the small things that matter 🙂 But in the odd case you’re on the fence about Meatless Mondays, here’s some sexy veggie photos to convince you to make the change:
And the bonus of making this Meatless Monday Mediterranean pasta? It only takes a few simple ingredients, and it’s incredibly easy to make.
- 8 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta (most packages come as 16 oz., so use half)
- 6 ounces Kalamata olives, pitted, sliced in half
- 12 ounces marinated artichokes, drained
- 2 cups of mixed baby tomatoes (cherry is fine too), halved
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cups of spinach
- red chili flakes, to taste (more for spice)
- kosher salt
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced lengthwise
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Feta cheese (optional)
- In a large pot bring water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package, until al dente
- While pasta cooks, heat skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/4 olive oil. Add sliced garlic, and pinch of salt, and let cook for 5 – 6 minutes. *Be sure to stir, you don’t want to burn the garlic
- After 5 minutes, add olives, tomatoes, artichokes and red chili flakes; stir together and keep heat on medium-low
- When pasta is ready, remove heat, drain water; use tongs to scoop pasta into large skillet. Toss and stir (gently – don’t mush the tomatoes!) to coat thoroughly.
- Top with Feta Cheese (optional), and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately
- Category: Bites
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Mediterranean Pasta
Want another delicious Mediterranean Recipe? Click here!