Saturday, August 21, 2010

garlicky mediterranean pasta

Interestingly, eliminating a number of food groups (I'm on day 6 of a 4-week cleanse, which in a nutshell, means I've cut dairy, meat, and anything including wheat or sugar from my diet) has manifested in me eating a greater variety of food. Peculiar, right?

I think because I'm restricting my intake to primarily fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, I'm getting more creative with the combinations. Particularly at evening meals, I find I'm combining many more vegetables in a single dish than I typically would. The blooming garden and recent trips to the farmers' markets have definitely played into this. At the farmers' market, I go without a list and pick up anything that catches my eye (which is typically a lot of different things - so much is in season locally right now!). Back home in the kitchen, it becomes a sort of exciting puzzle to figure out how to put it all together. The following is one of the palate-pleasing culinary adventures I found myself on earlier this week. Here's what I did:

Garlicky Mediterranean Pasta
Serves 2

4 oz. penne pasta*
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. yellow onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 handful cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 handful mushrooms, quartered
1 handful spinach
1/4 c. kalamata olives, pitted & halved
1/4 c. artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil, drained
pine nuts
*I used rice pasta, since I'm avoiding gluten at the moment.

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; saute until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add oregano and chili flakes. Stir and cook 1 minute. Add pepper and cook until crisp tender. Add tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook 1 minute. Add pasta, spinach, olives, and artichoke hearts stir and cook until heated through and spinach is beginning to welt. Serve topped with pine nuts.

One year ago: veggie fajitas

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