Much to my husband’s chagrin I’ve been steering our family’s eating habits for about a year now away from meat. yes – I said it – away from meat. We still eat meat probably 3 times a week, fish a couple other nights but slowly but surely meatless meals are making more & more apperances in our diet. This summer I read an article about this very trend – who knew I was a trendsetter – it called it flexitarianism. This made so much sense to me and fit in very nicely with my other goal of the year which is buying more local foods. (here’s another article if you want to read more)

I don’t have any serious issues with meat. But I can do without it most of the time to be honest. I’m choosing to look for meatless meals because I think it’s healthier and frankly when feeding a family of 5 it’s cheaper too. I found some great flexitarian cookbooks this summer and I’ll start featuring some recipes out of them in coming weeks. In the meantime I’m featuring a soup recipe that’s a standby on busy nights. It comes together in about 20 minutes in a one pot and everyone likes it. Plus it’s super flexible… got some extra chicken? toss it in. Have different veggies on hand? Toss them in. Like different pasta? Change it. I’m making this tonight since we’ve got one of those nights where we’ll be eating in shifts and this can stay warm in the crockpot waiting for us.

Tortellini Soup
2 tsp dried basil
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp olive oil
6 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 package refrigerated tortellini (I use the family size because I like noodle heavy soup)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen, cut green beans
1-2 sliced carrots
salt & pepper

In your soup pot cook the basil & garlic in hot oil for about 1 minute. Add broth, veggies and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add pasta. Return to boiling and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle some parmesan on before serving. Note: if you’re using dried pasta you may want to add it first so it can cook a little longer.

I adapted this from my trusty red-checked Better, Homes & Garden cookbook. Tonight I’ll be tossing in some purple hulled peas that we got from this week’s farm harvest. They are yummy in soup – but I thought they were some sort of green bean at first πŸ™‚ here’s what they look like.

9 thoughts on “Flexitarian

  1. This sounds great, not to mention nice and quick. My favorite combo! I look forward to the other flexitarian recipes to come.

    I love the color of those peas.

  2. Tortellini Soup is one I’ve always wanted to try, but I haven’t yet gotten around to it! Hopefully this will inspire me πŸ™‚

    A good place to search for vegetarian/meatless recipes is at http://www.meatlessmonday.com. I work for the Meatless Monday Campaign, a nonprofit public health campaign that encourages Americans to eat less meat – and more vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. They have a lot of great recipes and tips on meatless cooking.

  3. I make a similar soup, but mine swaps the green beans and sliced carrots for a can of dark red kidney beans, an extra can of tomatoes, and a bag of frozen Mediterranean-style vegetables. Good stuff, and sooooooo easy. The kidney beans give it more of a minestrone vibe.

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