Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Leave it to me to post a "meatless Monday" recipe on a Tuesday. I'm sorry but those s'mores consumed my life the other day and there was no room for this faux pasta dish on the blog docket.

Now tell me something? Have you ever?

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This was probably one of the most beautiful plates I've seen of just plain ol' veggies in a long time. One of the main reasons I made this was to use up some of the recent garden haul from our backyard. My husband's zucchini, bell pepper and tomato crops are at full picking force right now.

It truly is my favorite time of the year.

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The tastes. The colors. Oh my.

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Here's a little secret. This may be a meatless dish but it doesn't mean I didn't sneak in a little side of bbq'd chicken for protein. Cluck cluck.

If you're one that wants a strictly vegetarian only dish, just do it and add in some legumes - which I can't stand. Did I tell you I have an aversion to beans? Specifically LIMA. Don't even try to fool me by disguising them on my plate. I will hunt them down one by one, spear them and throw them onto your plate.

Of course there's a story behind the creation of this dish. I really wanted to "spiralize" these veggies. So off I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy another gadget for my kitchen. I stood in the spiralizer aisle for 39 minutes staring at the array of SPIRAL TOOLS.

After speaking to a few strangers about other useless gadgets, I settled on a handheld vegetable spiral thingy that was green and looked like a dual ended pencil sharpener. I paid $19.99 less my 20% off coupon and quickly headed home to "curl" my vegetables. I was actually quite excited about what the end result would be after all the spiralling.

SO.

Here's what happened. I stuck a zucchini into this green pencil sharpener and it didn't do what it promised to do and that was TO SPIRAL the stupid vegetable.

THEN.

I tried a carrot.

THEN.

I packed up the green spiralizer that didn't spiral and took out my mandolin.

THEN.

My mandolin wasn't cooperating and my zucchini fell on the floor.

THEN.

I had laughing fit to the point of crying ....you know ...when you laugh so hard you start to cry for no apparent reason except for the fact that you're nuts and alone in the kitchen with a zucchini on the floor and a slippery mandolin? Ya. That's what happened.

THEN.

I had to settle for julienne instead of curly cues.

The end result tasted the same and I'm thrilled that I will be getting my $19.99 less the 20% coupon back.

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Meatless Monday Faux Pasta

1 large zucchini or 2 small ones, julienned 1 bell pepper, julienned 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned 2 tbls olive oil any type of freshly grated cheese if desired 1 recipe fresh garden tomato sauce 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 3/4 large vidalia onion, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook tomatoes and basil over medium-low heat until tomatoes are soft. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add onion mixture to tomato mixture then sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Let simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until thick. Keep stirring on the 1/2 hour to make sure it isn't scorching. I like to puree the sauce afterwards with a handheld blender but it's also nice with the texture of the tomatoes left in. Place vegetables in a large skillet with 2 tbls olive oil and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Just until cooked through but not mushy. Serve with fresh tomato sauce and freshly grated cheese if desired. Serves 2.

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See ya next week!

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