lemony penne with chickpeas, feta and tomatoes

While this dish is yummy and super flexible, the best things about it are how healthy and easy it is. I like to eat vegetarian dishes once a week or so, but I like to find meals that don't feel like they're missing something. Chickpeas and other beans usually satisfy me and provide good protein without unhealthy fats. It's a good trade off. This is a great, simple weeknight meal that squeaks in lots of good veg and whole grain. I put everything together while I waited for the pasta to boil and then stirred it together in a pretty bowl. I was in and out of the kitchen - including doing the dishes - in less than 30 minutes. Perfect.

Lemony Pasta with Chickpeas, Feta and Tomatoes
To mix it up, try adding spinach, cooked chicken, broccoli, mushrooms or other add-ins.
  • 8 ounces whole-grain penne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/3 cup small fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 Greek seasoning (or dried Oregano)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon rind, grated (use up to a whole lemon to taste) 
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in bell pepper and chickpeas; sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in pasta and reserved cooking liquid; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Add feta, Parmesan and remaining ingredients; toss to combine.
 Want other easy, healthy weeknight meal ideas? Try these:

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