One hundred years ago I was a vegetarian. No seriously I was, but not one hundred years ago. It was more like 14 years ago. 🙂 When I was in my early 20’s, and working in Arizona, I read the book “Diet for a New America” by Jon Robbins. His family owned/owns the famous ice cream shop Baskin & Robbins. His book went into great detail about animal cruelty in slaughter houses and what these owners do to fatten up the animals to sell more meat. It was the most awful and eye opening book I’ve ever read. Only after reading chapter 2 I swore off meat completely. I vowed I would never eat it again.
I did go on to eat meat-free for over a year. I researched vegetarianism like crazy and taught myself how to get enough protein in my diet with vegetables, beans and rice. I lived a super healthy lifestyle that entire year until in the end it turned in to a little bit too much. I started exercising like a crazy person where it got to the point it was obsessive and I lost a lot of weight. Too much weight. My menstrual cycle even stopped. I honestly think I was really unhappy in the relationship I was in and this was a way to “control” what I couldn’t in the relationship. (I am not sure why I am going so deep into this but I guess I’ll keep going…)
I started realizing that I had a problem and needed to start taking better care of myself. I slowed down on the exercise and slowly added animal-based protein in my diet. I started with only organic meats like chicken and it was amazing how much better I felt. Now I am NOT knocking anyone on a vegetarian diet. This is just my story. If anything, I praise you if it works for you! For me it didn’t, but I will say I do like to make meatless meals for my family. I actually think it would be good for everyone to eat a meat-free meal more often than not.
So to stop with the serious stuff and to finally make my point- I love to make meatless meals. Adding lots of veggies to a dish can make it so amazing you won’t even miss the meat. This CREAMY PASTA PRIMAVERA is just that and more. It has become one of our favorites! The combo of the veggies and fresh Parmesan cheese alone makes this dish super comforting AND healthy. My kids eat this with no complaints! Seriously it’s that good. I think it’s the cheese and pasta that make them okay with eating a vegetable or two, and Momma’s okay with that! 😀
- 1 pound linguine pasta
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 large carrots, diced in ½ inch pieces
- ½ head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 small zucchinis (or 1 large), cut in half lengthwise then cut into ¼ inch slices.
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed then sliced into ¼ inch strips
- 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed then sliced into ¼ inch strips
- 1 orange bell pepper, seeds removed then sliced into ¼ inch strips
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons basil paste (or ¼ cup chopped fresh basil)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta to water and cook until al dente, according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add diced carrots to heated oil. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until carrots are softened. Add broccoli and zucchini to skillet. Stir and cook another 3 minutes. Then add all the bell peppers. Continue to cook and stir vegetables for another 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and basil paste (or fresh basil). Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat off and remove skillet from burner.
- Drain water from linguine. Return linguine back to the pot and add the cooked vegetables, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Carefully fold and stir to combine everything. Season again with salt and pepper. Serve warm with extra basil and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from the cookbook: IN THE KITCHEN WITH KRIS