October 17, 2011

Vegetarian for a Day

It's my favorite night of the week - Meatless Monday!  I think I like it so much because it forces me to be a bit more creative in the kitchen. After living with Sam, I've pretty much mastered the protein/veggie/starch dinner combination. Nothing fancy, but consistently tasty and always satisfying. This year though, we're committed to eating less meat, for our health and for our planet.  We try to buy only humanely raised beef, pork, and chicken, but it never hurts to leave it out completely a couple of times a week.  Meatless Monday is not a new concept, but I encourage you all to try it out if it's not already a standard in your household.  It doesn't have to be Monday, but knowing that you'll be eating like a vegetarian on the same day every week will help you stick to it.
This meal is simple because it's centered around my favorite method of cooking vegetables - roasting.  By now you've realized that I roast every vegetable I can get my hands on. It's a great way to muti-task on those evenings when you have things to do at home and need a little time before dinner to get everything done.  This recipe can be altered to include any roasted vegetable you have on hand, including veggies that may have been roasted for the previous night's dinner.  I loved the combination of roasted tomatoes and cauliflower, and the sungolds happened to look amazing at the market last week, but I can imagine using kale, brussels sprouts, peppers, or even carrots.  Just remember that Farro (which can be found in most specialty food stores) has a nutty, rustic flavor that craves the balance of something a bit acidic.  Top it off with a bit of parmesan and you have a delicious meatless meal.

Roasted Tomato and Cauliflower Farro
Makes 2-3 main servings
2 cups cherry tomatoes (I used sungolds)
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups cooked Farro
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt & pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the tomatoes and cauliflower on a baking sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with the olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  While you're making the Farro, roast the vegetables until the tomatoes begin to wrinkle and the cauliflower begins to brown, about 35 minutes. Remove the veggies from the oven. Once the Farro is ready, pour into a large bowl.  Pour the vegetables and their juices over the Farro and toss to combine until the Farro is coated.  Add the parsley and parmesan and toss to combine.  Season with more salt & pepper to taste, and serve with additional grated parmesan.  

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