Monday, March 1, 2010

Meatless Monday

The reason I sought out a CSA was for environmental reasons. I wanted to start cooking and eating ingredients that were local. I have discovered there are other ways to eat that help the environment, one of which is Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday is from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns Inc. Here is the website…

If the United States went meatless every Monday for a year

it would lower greenhouse gas emissions as dramatically as every American switching to an ultra-efficient hybrid vehicle.

12 billion gallons of gasoline would be saved.

And by switching to soy on Mondays each individual could save about 890 gallons of water a week.

These Meatless Monday methods to help the environment can be found at Wikipedia.

So here is what we are having for dinner Monday night…

Pasta with Lentils and Arugula
Originally Published May 2005 from Everyday Food

12 oz. orecchiette pasta
2 T olive oil
4 cups onions, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
2 cups diced tomatoes
¾ cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
8 oz. arugula, stemmed and coarsely chopped (LOCAL! I got mine at the market!)
½ cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Cook pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water; drain pasta and reserve in pot.

Meanwhile #1 - Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and ½ tsp salt; cover, and cook until onions wilt, about 20 minutes. Uncover; raise heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until onions are dark brown, 20-25 minutes more. Add ¼ cup water; stir to loosen any browned bits from the pan. Stir in tomatoes; remove from heat.

Meanwhile #2 - In a medium saucepan, cover lentils with water by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer. Cover; cook until lentils are tender, 15 – 20 minutes. Drain; stir into onion mixture when it is done. Season with salt and pepper.

To the reserved pasta in the pot add lentil mixture, arugula, cheese, and reserved pasta water; toss. Serve with more cheese if desired.

NOTE: There is a lot going on at one time in this recipe. It took me several times running through this recipe to organize in the following way…I get the pasta water going and cook that to al dente. I get the lentils going. Once they are tender, I drain them and usually reserve them till the lentil mixture is finished. Then I work on caramelizing the onions. During the down time I chop the arugula and tomatoes. It all gets tossed together in the end, so just make each thing, toss and enjoy!

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