I got back into the kitchen last night, and with a vengeance! (Seriously, I think that was the largest, most ridiculous mess I’ve EVER made in our kitchen)
That’s a serious confession right there, folks. No, no, not the mess. The kitchen itself. Yes. We live in a 70s kitchen. Is that counter really yellow? Yes. Yes, it is. It’s sad and… sad. Trust me, we DREAM of the day we can completely gut and redo the whole ding dang thing. But the mess is pretty impressive.
Now, before making a mess, I had to make a plan. First, I took a step outside my normal recipe go-to spots and discovered a rather dusty cookbook of the husband’s. The New Abs Diet Cookbook. I’m fairly certain neither of us has ever used it before. Knowing that I already had a chicken meal for later in the week, but that I’d been making a lot of fish lately, I was looking for something different. I found pasta. Pasta, to me, always seems like an unhealthy choice. But this was a cookbook for ABS. It HAD to be healthy. Is it ever! It includes 6 (count ’em, 6) powerfoods. It also comes in at only 370 calories per serving, but 13 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber.
Oh, and it’s delicious.
Penne and the Jets
The New Abs Diet Cookbook
12 oz whole wheat penne pasta*
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, soaked in water, and drained
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
10 oz baby spinach
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted**
1/2 cup chickpeas
** Consider slicing the Kalamata olives into halves, if not fourths. They’re a powerful taste and would likely blend better in smaller bites.
Tip: Prep all secondary ingredients while pasta/water is boiling. If you’re making side dishes that require your attention, it would be best to prep everything before beginning to boil water. Once you get past the pasta prep, things move quickly!
1. Cook penne pasta per package directions. Drain pasta.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic for 1 minute.
3. Add spinach and tomatoes to skillet. Saute until spinach begins to wilt.
4. Turn off heat. Add penne and rest of ingredients to skillet.
5. Toss and serve.