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In this series we have been discussing the advantages of a vegetarian diet. These benefits include better health, animal rights, frugal living, food crisis, and protecting the environment.

Did you know that If all Americans didn't eat meat for just one day a week, this would save the same CO2 emissions as 90 million plane tickets from New York to LA or from LA to New York.. And If all Americans cut out meat for three days a week, they would save almost three hundred megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. This would have a greater impact on reducing global warming than if all cars in the US were replaced with Toyota Priuses.. This information comes from Meat The Truth

There is somethimg very simple that we all can do to reduce greenhouses gases that will have an immediate effect and that is to reduce our consumption of meat.

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.  Meatless Monday is urging President Obama to call on americans to go meatless on Mondays.

In this series we don't just talk about the advantages of reducing meat consumption we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to some great Beatle/McCartney music!

One of my favorite quick meals is pita because you can do so much with it. You can stuff it, use it as a pizza base and even make croutons out of it. Here are some recipes I use often:

GREEK SALAD PITA SANDWICHES

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups (loosely packed) thinly sliced romaine lettuce
2 cups diced seeded tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
6 6-inch pita breads, top 1 1/2 inches trimmed

Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add next 4 ingredients and toss to combine. Season salad with salt and pepper. Carefully open pita breads at cut end. Fill each with salad and serve.

FALAFEL PITAS

1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I use panko)
1 15 ounce can garbanzo/chickpea beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
about 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley(I use italian flat leaf)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

water
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large pita breads, halved crosswise (I like whole wheat,but what you have)
some romaine lettuce leaves
1/2 small cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small tomato, thinly slices
1/4 to 1/2 cup plain yogurt, (I have been using Tofutti sour 'cream' in place of yogurt and I love it)

Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and set aside. Put the beans,onion,cumin and salt in a food processor, cover and process until mixture is coarsely ground. Stir in the parsley and flour

Shape the bean mixture into four patties about 3 inch diameter, brush with the water, than coat both sides with bread crumbs.

In a nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat and cook the patties for about 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned turning once.

Fill the pita halves with the patties, lettuce, cucumber and tomato and drizzle with yogurt

PITA PIZZA

1 6 pita rounds
1 1/2 cups Best Basic Red Sauce,  or store-bought pizza sauce, divided
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella or Monterey Jack (about 6 ounces), divided

Make sure the oven rack is in the lower 1/3 of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lay the pita rounds on 2 large baking sheets. Pour 1/4 cup of the Best Basic Red Sauce or pizza sauce on each round and spread it evenly with the back of the spoon. Top each with 1/4 cup of the grated cheese.

Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the sheets from the oven. Cut each pita pizza into 6 slices with a sharp knife or pizza cutter, transfer them to a plate using a turner, and serve immediately.

MEDITERRIAN PITA PIZZA

Spread pitas (I like whole wheat for this) with any prepared hummus. Top with strips of roasted red pepper and quartered, drained artichoke hearts.
Top with some crumbled feta cheese and warm in toaster oven until cheese is slightly soft.   Enjoy!

"Lovely Rita"  The Beatles

"Maybe I'm Amazed" at all you can do with a pita by Paul McCartney
I absolutely love this song!

What are you all cooking? What do you like to stuff in a pita? Please share your favorite veggie recipes and Beatle/McCartney music here.

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:03 PM PDT.

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