I am a guilty carnivore. There I said it. My heart wants to cut the meat, but my body says, “No Liz, you need the iron and the protein! You need variety in your diet”. My body always wins. Therefore, I remain feeling guilty about eating meat while knowing that I am helping myself remain strong and healthy.
That is why I love the Meatless Monday concept. If you are a huge meat eater, I encourage you to cut the meat out of your diet at least once a week. This is a great example of how to bring BALANCE and VARIETY into our diets. Human beings are creatures of habit. We tend to reach for the same protein, starches, and vegetables at every meal. Your body does not have to work as hard to digest them though, so it is important to switch it up! You need to balance your meat-based meals with some vegetarian meals. Add some new recipes into your routine like this FIT-approved Vegetarian Recipe, originally adapted from this recipe.
Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Egg
- 2-3 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, very coarsely chopped
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- Quinoa Pasta – Spaghetti
- Bag of Baby Spinach
- olive oil
- squeezes of lemon & some lemon zest
- 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (or perhaps olives)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or herbs of your choice)
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional) to taste
- Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, or Asiago Cheese (optional)
- Roast cauliflower, shallots, and garlic in a 450 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Be sure not to chop your garlic too small or it will burn before the cauliflower is done. Once it’s golden brown, remove from the oven. Mix it all together and taste a piece, it should taste nutty and delicious. If it doesn’t, add a small drizzle of olive oil, a teeny bit more garlic, and a pinch of salt if necessary. Set aside.
- Cook your pasta for about 12 minutes or until it’s done but al dente. Place spinach in a large bowl, and scoop your pasta noodles into the bowl with the spinach and toss so the spinach begins to wilt. Add some pasta water to help that along.
- While pasta is cooking, poach eggs. If you have an egg poached, great! If not: First bring water in a saucepan to almost boiling. If the water is already boiling, lower the heat until it is no longer boiling. At this point, you can add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water, if you want. The vinegar will help the egg whites to congeal more easily. We use seasoned rice vinegar. Working with the eggs one by one, crack an egg into a small cup, then place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently drop the egg into the water. With a spoon, nudge the eggwhites closer to their yolks. This will help the egg whites hold together. Turn off the heat. Cover. Let sit for 4 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked. Lift eggs out of pan with a slotted spoon.
- Next add half the roasted veggies, another drizzle of olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon, some lemon zest, sun dried tomatoes, feta, red pepper flakes, and basil, and toss everything together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with the rest of the roasted cauliflower. Top with the poached egg.
- Top with cheese