meatless monday | baked rigatoni with brussels sprouts, figs & blue cheese

around this time last year, tom & i embarked on a new food journey…giving up meat for lent.

we had gotten too used to the idea that a piece of chicken, or pork tenderloin, or something similar, should be the anchor of every meal & had fallen victim to the convenience of running to the grocery store for a value pack of inexpensive meat, without a thought of where it had come from, or the impact of how it had been raised or processed.

we took the next forty days discovering new forms of meatless proteins & really learning about how what we eat affects not just our own health, but the health of others & the impact on the environment.  FoodIncFilm meatless monday | baked rigatoni with brussels sprouts, figs & blue cheesefood, inc. is pretty eye opening.

since then, we’ve reincorporated meat, but how we use it & how we shop for it have changed for the better.  we’re eating a lot less meat, using it more as a garnish, rather than centering an entire meal around it & the stuff that we are eating is more humanely raised & as local as possible.  5step labels meatless monday | baked rigatoni with brussels sprouts, figs & blue cheesewhole foods & the global animal partnership have a wonderful rating system to help you make informed choices.

this year, we’re not going meatless for lent.  instead, we’re heading on a new food journey, one that’s going to last more than forty days…the better part of a year, really.  we’re teaming up with several other wonderful food bloggers for the food matters project.

it’s based on mark bittman’s food philosophy of less meat & fewer processed foods, which is exactly what we’ve been trying to do. so, for the next several mondays, we will be linking up with the rest of the group, sharing our takes on the week’s recipe.

this week’s recipe included all kinds of ingredients we enjoy, pasta, brussels sprouts, figs & blue cheese.  DSC 5693 meatless monday | baked rigatoni with brussels sprouts, figs & blue cheese

but putting all of those things together?  we weren’t so sure.

it ended up being a wonderful surprise, though.  i didn’t think there was any way i would enjoy dried figs in a dish over having fresh ones, but they added a welcome sweetness to the entire dish.  the only thing i may change for next time is to opt for a funkier blue cheese…the creamy gorgonzola we used lost it’s punch up against the concentrated fig flavor.

for the full recipe, be sure to check out twenty by sixty.

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3 Responses to meatless monday | baked rigatoni with brussels sprouts, figs & blue cheese

  1. Margarita says:

    I agree. Foods, Inc taught me alot about the meat industry in this country. It is pretty sad how animals are mistreated. Glad you liked this dish, I was pretty surprised myself.

  2. Oh the irony. I was just talking about how I want to phase meat down a bit and concentrate on cooking more meatless meals. We have recently found several awesome vegetarian recipes & have really been enjoying them. I was also just talking about Food Inc. this morning, telling my friend that I have never seen it but I think it’s time I did.

    On a side note I can’t tell you how many times I have cooked that Tomitillo Chicken Stew, as well as that Tomitillo salsa, from that recipe too. LOVE IT!! Thank you!

    • mrs. lusher says:

      Food, Inc. brings up some really good points, without being as overly gross as i thought it had the potential to be. i’m glad you’re loving the tomatillo stew. tomatillos have such great flavor, i can’t get enough either!

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