Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean and Feta Penne

Here is a great recipe from Clean Eating Magazine.  I didn’t have the veggies called for, but used as a base. I’ve never tried pasta and white beans together and it was great! We used tomatoes, asparagus and a dash of white wine in our version and tossed with shrimp.  The combo of feta, pasta and beans added an almost creamy texture and we will definitely make again!

  • 6 oz whole-grain penne pasta
  • 1 cup cooked canned white beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into eighths lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta (we stick to regular feta)
  1. Cook penne according to package directions, adding beans during the last minute of cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, vinegar, basil, pepper flakes and salt; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet over medium high heat, tilting skillet to coat bottom lightly. Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes or until edges begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook for 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in tomato mixture and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp oil. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Drain penne-bean mixture, place in a serving bowl, sprinkle evenly with rosemary and all but 1/4 cup feta. Spoon vegetable mixture over top and finish with remaining feta.
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Vegan Vegetable Barley Soup

Did you know that one cup of barley has over 3 times the amount of fiber of oatmeal?
We have been trying to use a variety of grains and healthy starches in our meals, and my mission this week was to use barley in a main course as it’s full of dietary fiber and offers numerous heart-healthy benefits. Here is a truly filling soup that is almost a stew and rivals a restaurants’ top vegan dish. Only 150 calories per serving.  If you do not need the dish to be vegetarian, a couple of good dashes of Worcestershire sauce adds a hint of warmth. (for those who may not know, Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies!)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (vegan)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked barley
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery and its leaves, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can sodium-free diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup navy beans (rinsed if from can, or dried and soaked over night)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon natural sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper
  • juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

Pour the vegetable broth into a large pot. Add the barley, carrots, celery and leaves, tomatoes, zucchini, navy beans, onion, garlic and bay leaves. Season with the sugar, salt, pepper, curry powder, paprika, chili pepper and lemon. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 90 minutes. Add water if soup thickens too much, and remove bay leaves prior to serving.  We served this with Angela’s E-Z Drop Biscuits.  Enjoy!

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Thank you Gretchen Kennedy!

  • 2 cups canned or cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon raw/natural sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; toss well.

Spread chickpea mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put in over, roasting 20-25 minutes; toss mixture halfway through. Remove from oven when chickpeas as dark brown in spots and cool.  Enjoy and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.