Veggie Baked Pasta (AKA The time I went vegetarian) | Back Home Again: Veggie Baked Pasta (AKA The time I went vegetarian)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Veggie Baked Pasta (AKA The time I went vegetarian)

Have I ever told you about the few months I went vegetarian in grad school? In an effort to be healthier, I gave up meat for Lent. It forced me to be really creative with cooking and I wound up liking it so much that I didn't go back to eating meat after Lent was over. That is until my husband and I's first date, where I had chicken :-) While I could easily go without meat all the time, I will admit that I enjoy a nice steak every now and then. One of my newest blog friends, Bekah has recently become a vegetarian and has been gracious enough to share one of her recipes. This sounds so yummy and I can't wait to try it!

Take it away, Bekah!
***
I am so excited to be featured on Back Home Again today! Thank you Holly for this opportunity!

I noticed that Holly, like many of us ladies, has a weight loss goal. I also noticed on her “101 in 1001,”
she noted that she would like to try 101 new recipes! I am happy to share a recipe with you all that will
address both of those goals.

For those of you who don’t know me, I blog over at re•solve. I made the decision in January to become a
vegetarian after seeing arguments that eating meat isn’t as beneficial to humans as we like to think (the
full story begins here if you are interested.)

I’m not here to judge anyone; if meat is important to you, do what you need to do. The key is
moderation like it is in many things. I can tell you that my indigestion went away when I stopped
eating meat and I lost eight pounds in the first month (I stopped right there because I still love sweets.
Whoops!) But, I also know that it is easy to fail if we don’t pace ourselves or find what works for us. For
me, giving up meat was easy, but I knew I would need dishes that were easy to prepare and that my
hubby would enjoy as well.

Baked Ziti has always been a favorite of mine (as is most pasta)! And is an easy starting point for even
the novice in the kitchen. You can remove the cheese from this recipe and make it vegan, or if you want
to eliminate meat but not dairy, you can add sour cream and other cheeses such as ricotta in the middle
layer to make it richer. Since I’m all about balance, I kept this version of the dish simple with cheese as
the only dairy.

Another thing I like about this recipe is that you can easily make it yours! Choose the veggies you like
most and boot out the ones you don’t. Or, if you think you don’t like any, take a few, run them through
a food processor, and mix them into the pasta sauce. You will have the nutrients without actually feeling
like you’re eating veggies! Enjoy!

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You Will Need:

112-oz box penne veggie or whole grain pasta
1 16-oz jar pasta sauce of choice (I like traditional marinara)
1 zucchini
1 green bell pepper
(any veggies of choice!)
Shredded cheese of choice
Olive oil
Optional: Italian seasoning and garlic salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic salt and Italian seasoning if desired.
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
Chop vegetables while pasta is cooking and mix with sauce.
Spread half of drained pasta in dish.
Top with half of sauce mixture and then cover sauce layer with shredded cheese.
Repeat layering process with pasta, sauce, and cheese.
Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
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2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! I love hearing how many people have tried veg. since I started blogging. I never would have guessed!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Props to y'all. I tried to a "cleanse" in college, with a friend, for a week. Our cleanse wasn't all that healthy. We were just going to eat fruits and veggies. Needless to say by the second day we reasoned french fries were a veggie since they came from potatoes. That was the end of my attempt to be veggie.

    ReplyDelete

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