Posted February 05, 2010 by
For the last 6 weeks Greg and I have been about 90% vegetarian. We've made this change for a lot of reasons. Most of them having to do with books we've read and documentaries we've watched, and I have to say that it's felt really good. I feel better about what I'm putting in my body, I've lost a bit of weight, and I feel better about my participation (or lack thereof) in a corrupt meat industry.
Now, I'm not writing about this in order to pressure anyone into following suit. We all have to make our own food choices. However, I did come across an interesting movement recently. It's called Meat Free Mondays and it's spearheaded by Paul McCartney. The basic premise is that every Monday you go meat-free and by doing so you help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Did you know that livestock production is responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the world? Check out the site to learn more: Meat Free Monday
Anyway, I would have to say that the most challenging part of our transition to a mostly vegetarian diet has been what to cook! For the most part I've been making a lot of boring things like lentil and bean soups, copious amounts of salad and maybe some polenta here and there to spruce things up. But last night I finally made something worth sharing with you, dear readers.
Baked Gnocchi with Spinach and Fresh Mozzarella
- 1 lb gnocchi (most grocery stores sell packages of fresh gnocchi and feel free to make your own!)
- 1 bag fresh baby spinach (about 6 oz)
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- The Only Red Sauce You'll Ever Need
- Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Begin by making the red sauce (recipe found here) and leave it simmering while following the next set of steps.
2. Coarsely chop basil and spinach and set aside.
3. Boil water for gnocchi and follow cooking directions, except only boil the gnocchi for half the time recommended. (Later, as it's baking it will soak up more moisture from the red sauce and finish cooking.)
4. Lightly grease a large baking dish and preheat oven to 375.
5. Drain gnocchi and toss with warm red sauce inside the baking dish.
6. Fold in spinach and basil and toss several times until the spinach begins to wilt.
7. Layer the fresh mozzarella and then sprinkle the parmesan over that. Add salt and pepper.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Like this recipe? Find more here.