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In this series we have been discussing the many benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health, food safety, animal rights, public health, food and water security and the immense contribution of meat production to climate change (pdf).

Time for a Meatless Monday update to let you all know how Meatless Monday is taking the world by storm. Take a look at the graphic by Health Perch below; pretty impressive! And I'm proud to welcome San Jose, CA as the latest US city to join the Meatless Monday campaign!

You know we can't do this without providing fantastic vegetarian food options to ease the transition and today I'm going to feature some simple recipes from the iconic food diva: Martha Stewart. Martha so permeates our culture that sometimes she's taken for granted. But, Martha is her own force and as far as vegetarian and vegan cooking she is at the top. Her recipes are distinguished by their simplicity and creativity. Martha does indeed make everything look easy. So today I'm focusing on two of my favorite Martha recipes. You know that if they're my faves they have to be fast, easy, economical, healthy, earth friendly and delicious and these recipes definitely meet all my criteria.  
ONE PAN PASTA
This one pot meal could not be easier. It's a go-to recipe at my house.

    12 ounces linguine
    12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
    1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
    4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
    2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    4 1/2 cups water
    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

    Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.        

    Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

ONE PAN ORRCHIETTE with CHICKPEAS and OLIVES
Another one pan meal perfect for summer and absolutely delish!

    12 ounces orecchiette or your fave pasta
    1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1 6-inch sprig rosemary
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
    1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 1/2 ounces), plus more for serving
    2 cups baby arugula (about 2 ounces)

    Combine pasta, chickpeas, olives, tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, oil, pepper flakes, and 5 cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and liquid is reduced to a sauce that coats pasta, 12 to 15 minutes.    

    Remove skillet from heat, discard rosemary, and stir in cheese. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin sauce if necessary. Divide pasta and arugula among bowls and serve immediately, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese and pepper flakes.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat. Yes, the Martha in the vid was Paul's dog who inspired his song which inspired my post.:)

What have you all been cooking? Please share your veggie recipes here!

Originally posted to Meatless Advocates Meetup on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and Shamrock American Kossacks.

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