Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Meatless Monday and Lemon Asparagus Linguine

Earlier today, Weight Watchers tweeted a recipe for "Lemon Pasta." It looked good and seemed perfect for a "Meatless Monday."

Don't know what Meatless Monday is? Let me explain. Meatless Mondays date back to World War I when citizens were encouraged to conserve meat and more (there were also Wheatless Wednesdays). The idea being that the food was needed for troops fighting the war and Europeans left starving by the war. It returned during World War II.

Today, Meatless Mondays are promoted for both the health benefits and the impact of reducing meat consumption on the environment. I am by no means a vegetarian or a vegan. However, I do know that we eat far too much meat. As is the case with so many things, our "super-sized" portions are adding to the problem of obesity and the accompanying health issues we are facing. There's no harm, but a lot of good, that can come from Meatless Monday.
I highly recommend you seek out more information and consider this simple step.

As I said earlier, this recipe is inspired by one from Weight Watchers. It combines a lightened lemon sauce with linguine and asparagus for a lightly flavored, but wonderfully filling, meal for only 286 calories with 6 grams of fat and 8 of fiber.

Lemon Asparagus Linguine
Makes 4 servings
8 ounces (uncooked) whole wheat linguine
1 lb steamed asparagus (fibrous ends removed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces)
2 teaspoons light butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup evaporated skim milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Cook pasta to package directions, drain (don't rinse) and set aside.

Add butter and oil to the pasta pot over medium-low heat, whisking until the butter melts. Add broth and evaporated milk and continue to whisk and cook until heated through. Add pasta, cheese, lemon juice and zest and toss. Add asparagus and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

Top with parsley and serve immediately.

Deal of the Day: I sometimes like to hold on to pasta water to add to a sauce that might be getting too thick. That's harder to do if you are straining. One of these pasta pots would make life easier.

Asparagus on Foodista


Christina said...

Mmm this dish looks like something I'd really enjoy, I'm going to have to remember it! What a bright fun dish for Spring! Asparagus is one of my favs!

You should submit this to Just Another Meatless Monday! Link:

DailyChef said...

Love the idea of Meatless Mondays. I'm going to try that myself :)

bunkycooks said...

Great dish and idea to leave meat out at least once a week!

Laura said...

Oh YES!! this looks so spring and fresh, thanks for the link up. Hope to see you next week too.

Viviane, Taste-Buds said...

Looks good! Asparagus and pasta are a very successful combo. I think Mediterranean food got the meat/veggies combo right. Here in Lebanon, if eating traditional food, meat consumption is very minimal, we even have meatless recipes that are amazingly delicious and healthy which does not make me unhappy: I am not a great meat fan. Legumes such as chickpeas and fava beans are a great meat replacement too, usually provide proteins, so they are filling and do not have as much fat and calories.

Scott K said...

Viviane, I have to say the best part of my stay in Lebanon (Marines in 1983) was the food. It's funny, because right before you posted this comment, I sent the following to my wife: tonight's dinner menu: Spiced Chicken topped hummus with tomato relish, Baked Falafel with yogurt sauce, Chickpea salad.

Marly said...

What a great recipe. We can add a vegan twist to this and give it a try. I agree with your comments on meat. Most people eat way too much of it.

Casey Angelova said...

I can put asparagus into anything! My Mom works for Weight Watchers, so I should share this with her!

Cocina Savant said...

looks delicious! we go through phases of eating more or less meat, because people really do eat way way too much, this looks like a rewarding treat for one of those evenings!

Biren said...

I like the sound of Meatless easy to remember. With a pasta dish like this, it is not difficult to go meatless :)

Linda I. Duggan said...

Love Meatless Monday's! Read something recently from Sir Paul that asked everyone to give it a try. I'm in!

Scott K said...

Thanks guys, I really like the idea of meatless Mondays too.

Marly, I'd love to hear what you do with the recipe to make it vegan and would like to post it as an addendum.

penny aka jeroxie said...

Awesome! I have a meatless day once a week too!

Monica said...

Meatless Monday Fail today. I had a roast beef roll and won't need meat for a week :| Shall try something similar to your recipe tonight! Looks great!

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