Vegetarian Recipe: Macaroni Stuffed Tomatoes

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I heard a fascinating interview on NPR today with Berry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill. He recently published a book called The World Is Fat, analyzing the amazing statistic that 1.6 billion people worldwide are overweight (compared to 100 million only 50 years ago). According to Popkin, there are twice as many overweight people in the world as are underweight or starving.

Explaining the rise in obesity, he said, "It's really a confluence of very rapid changes and accessibility to cheap animal foods, to cheap edible oils, to global sweetening of our diet, particularly the way we drink has changed remarkably..and at the same time the rapid shift in technology for how we move at work, at travel to work, at home, in producing food, and at leisure."

Here's a recipe to help you reduce your meat intake:

Macaroni Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffing one food into something else somehow makes the meal seem so much fancier, but I admit that when I usually make this meal, I just chop up the whole tomato and mix it all together. From start to finish, this dish takes 15 minutes or so to make.

COST: $1.75 per serving*

1/2 a box of macaroni
4 large tomatoes
1/4 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked pinto beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 c. cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Core the tomatoes. Scoop out the pulp and chop it up.
  • Stir oil, vinegar, herbs, cooked macaroni, and beans into the tomato pulp.
  • Stuff the tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top.
*Costs are estimates based on prices in my area. Your costs may vary.


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