Curiosity got the best of me. After tuning in to multiple television features of Kathy Freston and her book, “Veganist,” I decided I had to read it! Me Vegan? I never really considered adopting a vegan diet, because giving up all animal products – no meat, cheese, fish or eggs just wasn’t what I wanted to do- or was willing to do. HOWEVER, food as a means to avoid or even reverse disease will always get my attention.
Getting older – aging – is a fact of life, sooner or later the aches and pains…and extra pounds just start to BUG ME! Maybe it was just the “moment” I was in while taking in all this vegan information, but as Freston says, “lean in to it” or try going “vegan-ish” – so, I did…for a few days. I was eating like a peasant, fruits and vegetables by the cart load, but feeling queen-like. I did not feel deprived, I felt great and really became aware of what I was eating. Eating vegan-ish for a few days re-focused my food choices to fresh, quality, local plant foods simply prepared. I did not miss eating meat, but did realize I probably could be more flextarian then vegan, I love my cheese, fish and eggs too much. Reading the “Veganist,” did motivate a healthier mind set for me to eat animal products of all kinds in moderation. My new diet – flextarian, has my entire family eating more consciously, more plants less meat.
My Flextarian Pasta Salad ~ Cheese Included
adapted from Bon Appetit August 2000
“Food for the Road” by Ina Garten
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 lb. campanelle shaped pasta
12 oz. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, water packed, drained and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, blend until well mixed. This is the pasta vinaigrette, set aside.
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and put in a large shallow bowl. Add vinaigrette to warm pasta and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the cooled pasta and stir to combine. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Can be refrigerated but bring to room temperature before serving.