February 07, 2011

Another Meatless Monday

You'd think I was announcing the end of democracy from the reactions I got.  Seriously.  The passion, disagreement, and anger that was thrown my way was disproportionate to the news.  "Who do you think you are?  We have rights!!  How dare you!!".   I think it was a tad dramatic but you can be the judge.  Here is what caused it....

"We are now featuring vegetarian entrees and soups every Monday".  Yeah, so?

In the fallout of the Meatless Monday revolt, I met with our Director of Wellness.  We discussed strategies for health and wellness promotion and pondered why there is such resistance.  What has happened in our society that people claim their rights are being violated if we take away their hamburgers?  Why are we made out to be villains if we replace cookies with fresh fruit at meetings?  And why is having to walk an extra hundred steps from the parking lot a reason to launch a formal complaint?  Let me put it in perspective for you, and pass along an experience that this director shared with me.  At a conference she attended recently, she had the opportunity to talk to women from around the world, and they shared their goals for their respective communities.  Are you ready to hear them?  

Access to Polio vaccine. 
Adequate food intake.
Fresh water. 

It was enough to make me cry.  Here we are, surrounded by abundance and yet still complaining.  Around the world they simply want fresh water and enough calories to allow their children to grow.  In contrast, we want the right to eat whatever we want, whenever we want, regardless of the consequences.  We are demanding to be given meat at every meal when some people are lucky to eat it once a month.  We have an obesity epidemic in this country, while so many more are starving. 

So do I feel bad about jumping on board with the Meatless Monday campaign?  Absolutely not.  I want to to help do our part, and if I can influence just one customer, if it causes just one person to re-consider their choices, then it was all worth it.  If you took away my chocolate, then perhaps I'd have some angry words for you.  But until then, Meatless Monday shall go on! 

Here is one of my favorite, easy to make vegetarian pasta dishes. Pasta Primavera, which means spring in Italian, is typically made with the freshly harvested, new vegetables of the season.  But I like to throw them all in there.  With a plate full of vegetables, I certainly don't miss the meat.

Broccoli, onions, mushrooms and grape tomatoes

Toss with whole wheat spaghetti 

Top with bocconcini (which is Italian for small mouthfuls.  It is an unripened mild cheese, also referred to as fresh mozzarella), parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.  

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  1. Wow the Pasta Primavera looks delicious and so healthy. Are the veggies sauteed ahead of time in olive oil or are they raw? This for the uninitiated pasta preparers.
    Seems you have a tough group of diners to convince on eating meatless Mondays. Good for you. You remind me of Jamie Oliver in the Ozarks. You're in good company.

  2. Great post, Cal! I can't agree with you more. People take it for granted that we live in civilized society. Complaining about parking too far from the building!? They should feel good about having the opportunity to walk more!

    Your pasta looks fabulous!