One of the first things I learned to cook, pasta is still the foundation of my favorite meals and the inspiration behind today's Meatless Monday recipe: a Spring Garden Pasta that is so flavorful, you'll forget that it's chock full of nutrition.
Pasta is packed with complex carbohydrates, your body’s main fuel source and fresh vegetables provide many essential nutrients--a winning combination that will keep your energy level high. There is a reason I always fill my plate with pasta before a long run!
Fuel and flavor up with this recipe:
Spring Garden Pasta Recipe
- 3-4 zucchini or yellow squash
- 8 oz of sliced mushrooms
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green pepper, chopped and seeded
- 4-5 tomatoes, diced
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 oz pasta, cooked
- Optional garnish: parmesan cheese, fresh herbs
- In a large pan, saute onions and garlic. Add squash, zucchini, mushroom and diced tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Cook on low heat until juices begin to boil.
- Stir in cooked pasta.
- Garnish with fresh basil, oregano and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
I love that this recipe is easy to adapt depending on what is in season or what you have in your garden or fridge. Some days I'm feeling italiana and I chop and sautee eggplant, broccoli, and peppers to be mixed with whole-wheat linguine or rotini noodles.
Other days, I'm inspired by mi suegra mexicana and add some spice in the form of peppers.
Jalapeños: 1 alarm.
Serrano peppers: 2 alarm.
¿Habaneros? Call the firemen to put out that fire!
The Wise Latina Club Veggie Pasta Health Tips:
- Opt for whole-wheat pasta, packed with minerals
- Choose tomato sauces over Alfredo and other cream-based sauces to trim fat and calories from your plate.
- Already making your own salsa? Try making your own tomato sauce to avoid excess sodium and sugar found in jarred sauce.
Vegetarian pasta dishes are so satisfying, you'll want to fill up your plate with these kind of meals on more days than Meatless Monday.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.What is your favorite pasta dish?