One of the easiest things I can do to help myself be healthier is to eat more veggies. It seems simple enough, but in the winter months in Chicago, truly flavorful vegetables tend to lurk in the cruciferous and tuberous families. Ok, really what I mean is that there's broccoli and potatoes.
Today, on an excursion for Cupcake Club, I braved the produce market near our house and picked up a lovely variety of fresh produce. Since I don't usually take pictures of my grocery haul, I completely forgot to take a picture of the veggies, but in my bag was:
- grape tomatoes
- red peppers
- olives (in a can)
- an onion
I was so relieved to see peppers and tomatoes for less than a small fortune! I had it in my head that I would be making some vegetable-based pasta dish with tons of flavor and not a ton of fat, which would be a meal in its own right.
Makes 8 servings
- 1 bag whole wheat pasta, cooked and kept hot
- 1 lb. broccoli, steamed
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 4 red peppers
- 2 cups small mushrooms
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tb. olive oil, divided
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 can small black olives, drained
- 2 chicken breasts, diced (optional, leave out for a vegan option)
- 10 large basil leaves
- salt & pepper
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat the oven to 450*F. Slice the red peppers in half and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven, turning occasionally, for about 25 minutes until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the crushed garlic and diced onion. Cook these over medium-low heat until very aromatic and the onions are slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Add the diced chicken and cook a few minutes until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. While the tomatoes are cooking, peel and slice the roasted red peppers. Add to the pan with the tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook another few minutes, then add all the vegetables to the cooked pasta, drizzle the whole mixture with the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and S&P. Roll the basil leaves up together and slice, making a chiffonade(or small strips). Serve the pasta, top with basil and parmesan, and serve.
Mission 1: ACCOMPLISHED
Revel in the flavors that bring back the vague memories that is last summer. Pat yourself on the back for eating so many vegetables. Be grateful that there are enough servings for lunches for the rest of the week. Enjoy the fact that I calculated nutrition information for you:
Spring will be here soon. The first clue? It's light out after 5 p.m.!
That, in itself, is enough for me.