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Dinner of champions

March 11, 2005
photo by justin

So you’re poor, you say? Can’t afford elaborate meals or tons of veggies? No time to cook? Looking for something fast, healthy, and yummy?

There are so many quick and easy meals you can prepare with things you have in your pantry. Take this meal, for example. We had a bit of angel hair left in the box, so I boiled it up and tossed it with a little olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. While that was cooking, I heated a little olive oil in a pan, added some chopped garlic (one or two cloves) and some sliced zucchini (I used two, halved lengthwise and sliced into moon-shapes). I cooked that for a bit, until the zucchini started to get softer with lovely golden edges. Then I added one can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, and one can of basil and garlic flavored diced tomatoes, stirred it all up, and let it simmer while the pasta cooked. When everything is hot and ready, just plate it up, sprinkle some fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top, and serve with a simple salad (we like field greens or spinach, whole peeled carrots, sliced tomatoes, and some dressing). Voila! It’s a 30-minute meal that’s also inexpensive.

We vary this recipe a lot…if we have fresh mushrooms or maybe bell pepper, we’ll throw that in with the zucchini. If we don’t have chickpeas, we might leave them out or try another bean (like cannellini beans). If we don’t feel like having pasta, we might saute up some rounds of polenta.

It’s a meatless meal that still has some protein from the beans, tons of veggies, and very little added fat (good fats from the olive oil, and a little bit from the cheese). You could use whole-wheat pasta to boost up the fiber, or try it with whole-wheat couscous, brown rice, or even bulgur.

Just an idea in case you were pondering what to make for dinner…

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Discussion about this post
  1. Joey E. says:

    Isn’t it funny the kind’s of things you can make with what you think are “meager rations”? Looks good. But you know me… where’s the tortillas?!

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