Inspiration for this Meatless Monday meal came from Moosewood Restaurant's Farm Fresh Meals Deck. It is this great little deck of cards that was sent to me for review. The deck consists of 50 recipes broken down by season. Each season gives you a variety of side dishes, main dishes, and desserts - my favorite! What I like about it - besides that it encourages you to eat seasonally using local ingredients - is that each recipe is contained within one card, including the ingredient list. All I have to do is take the card to the store with me and I already have a pre-printed grocery list. Very convenient!
Some of the recipes include:
- Black Bean & Citrus Salad
- Barbecued Tofu & Vegetables
- Navajo Peach Crumble
- Cranberry Bulgar Pilaf
- Pumpkin & Mushroom Lasagna
- Chocolate Cranberry Crunch
- Sweet Potato-Stuffed Eggplant
- Green & White Bean Gratin
- Lime Pecan Bars
- Potato-Leek Soup
- Spinach Artichoke Risotto
- Strawberry Chocolate Quesadillas
The recipe we used for Meatless Monday was pasta with broccoli, edamame and walnuts.
3/4 pound chunky pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 cups bite-sized pieces of broccoli
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, oregano, thyme, or marjoram*
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese (optional)
*In place of fresh herbs, you can add about 2 teaspoons of dried herbs to the skillet with the broccoli.
Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add the broccoli with about 1/2 cup of the hot pasta-cooking water, turn the heat to high, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the edamame, salt, and herbs. Continue to cook until the water evaporates and the broccoli is crisp-tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the pasta is done, drain it. In a serving bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with grated cheese if you wish.
I did not have any chunky pasta, so I used spaghetti instead. It was a nice light meal. My family is used to pasta smothered in sauce. It was good, but I could not help thinking this would be really good with some Alfredo mixed in. If your family are not slaves to the sauce then you would probably rate it higher. My family gave it lukewarm reviews.
Despite the lackluster results of the dish, the deck itself is great. Each recipe offers something different. When I feel like switching up our mundane weeknight meals this will be the recipe "book" that I reach for. The fact that it takes up very little space in my already overflowing collection is an added bonus. Heck, the whole deck can slip easily into my purse for a little farmers' market adventure. It retails for $14.99 and is available for purchase from these online bookstores: Moosewood Restaurant Farm Fresh Meals Deck.