Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meatless Mondays -- Baked Spaghetti

So hubby and I are initiating Meatless Mondays.  We're traditional Iowans in respect to our meat and potatoes.  Trying to go meatless is to help us balance our meat intake with more fruits, veggies, and fiber.  

I totally respect people who have an ethical dilemma about eating meat.  Unfortunately, meat is just too tasty to stop eating.  I also wish we could purchase cage-free, grass-fed, hormone-free, farm-raised happy meat, but the markup is waaay out of our price league at this point.

In the meantime, the best I can do is be thankful that an animal died so I can eat, portion control so we're mindful of our consumption level, and prepare it so we waste as little as possible.

This week's venture was Baked Spaghetti

13x9" pan

8oz wheat angel hair pasta (1/2 box)
14-16oz jar pasta/pizza sauce
14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan

Prepare pasta according to package. Rinse and cool enough to handle.

Create three sets of layers starting with
1) sauce + tomatoes, then 2) pasta and 3) cheese.  Just like assembling lasagna. 

Bake @350 25 minutes covered with foil.  Uncover last five minutes.

This recipe creates 6 generous sized pieces.

Cost based on Walmart purchases:
$0.78 cents for tomatoes (Hunts)
$1.08 for jar of pizza sauce (Ragu)
$0.89 for half box of angel hair (Barilla)
$1.00 for half bag of shredded mozz
$0.60 cents for 1/2-1c Parmesan
$4.35 or 73 cents a serving

Nutritionally, this is a fantastic meal.  Lots of vitamins from the infusion of tomatoes, Barilla's wheat pasta has tons of fiber and added Omega 3's, and this recipe can easily adapt to lower amounts of parmesan and adding 2% cheese.

Nutrition Profile per serving:
306 calories (15% based on 2,000 cal)
11.3g fat (17%)
6g saturated fat (30%, and based on a full cup of parmesan)
815mg sodium (34%)
5g fiber (20%)
59g carb (19.5%)
18g protein (36%)
8g sugar 

This is pretty good considering we can do about 1.5 servings (plus veggies) and we're full.  

Paired the meal with a spinach salad.  We really like Brianna's Dressing.  It's a little more on the expensive side (around $3-4 a bottle, depending on where you're at) but there are no preservatives and the taste is restaurant quality.

This is one of those foundation recipes that's simple and quick, but has room to jazz up or down based on your preferences.  We also had enough leftovers for both Mike and I to have lunch the next day, making this a double punch for healthy and economical!

Question of the Day: What's your favorite vegetarian dish?


  1. Ratatouille (in season), absolutely.
    No, wait... yemista, or maybe briami or... that's a tough one. Yemista usually has ground beef but using bulgur rather than rice makes the meat pointless. North African tagines, east Indian vegetable curries.... I would have a really hard time deciding, love them all.
    Just don't expect me to do vegan, please.

  2. I have never had ratatouille, but after seeing Ratatouille and the very pretty plate at the end, I've been wanting to try it. I'm just not ambitious enough to make it on my own yet. Perhaps this summer.