Monday, April 1, 2013

Meatless Monday: 1 Box + 2 Cans = One Great Meal

The recipe came from a box, and it’s a keeper — No foolin’.

The vegan counterpart to what I knew as “Train Wreck,” a one-dish meal of elbow macaroni, canned tomatoes, and ground beef, this hearty entrée was just what we needed after a full day of gardening and heavy lifting. 

The recipe was printed on the back of a box of Vita-Spelt® spelt elbows. The other main ingredients are a can of canned tomatoes and a can of garbanzo beans. All you need to complete the recipe is a couple of cloves of garlic and some common kitchen spices.

This dish was delicious! The spelt is less heavy than than whole wheat pasta. [Note: It is also very high in protein, 9 grams per serving.]

Elbows, Chick Peas, & Tomatoes 
Serves 4

  • 1 package Vita-Spelt® Elbows
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (16 oz) Italian tomatoes, chopped with their juice [I like Muir-Glen Fire-Roasted, organic and packed in a BPA-free can!]
  • 2 T fresh parsley, minced (or 1 T dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (16 oz) chick peas, rinsed well and drained

  • Heat oil in medium skillet over medium flame for 30 seconds. 
  • Add garlic and sauté, stirring for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes (with juice) along with the spices, stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Lower heat so mixture bubbles gently. 
  • Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  • Stir in the chick peas and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes more.
  • Cook elbows according to package directions.
  • Drain macaroni and transfer to a warm bowl.
  • Pour in the chick peas and tomato mixture and toss gently.

See how easy? If you keep these few staples on hand, you will never be more than 30 minutes away from a healthy, satisfying meal. Thanks Vita-Spelt® for this great recipe — for, as we all know, not every day can be a slow food day.

Happy April Fool’s Day! Have a great week.

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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