I confess that I love cookbooks, cooking magazines and a handful of shows on Food Network. I love the layouts, photos and writing in cookbooks and the expert television presentations. I’ve always been the cook of the house and cooking-related media has always inspired me.
Through most of the years, I followed the recipes to a tee, but sometimes I would venture off course thus creating my own recipes. Whenever I have a surplus of bell peppers and asparagus, I like to either do a stir-fry with tofu or a pasta potpourri. I recently read that kale is the hot new veggie chock full of nutrients. With that in mind, I picked up some kale while doing some quick shopping. With my bell peppers, asparagus and onion, I threw the kale into the mix. Kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. On the calcium front: look out kidney stones! Well, I’m sure the calcium benefit outweighs the kidney stone risk. If kale is “not your thing” or if it’s not available at your grocer, then I would replace with 12 ounces of spinach. I tried mustard greens simply because those seemed similar to kale and the grocer did not have kale in stock. Trust me: mustard greens are incredibly spicy. When I prepared the dish, I put some extra prepared pasta sauce in the dish to drown out the spiciness. Perhaps, I will throw those in my next stir fry dish.
Anyway, I believe my Tri-Pepper Whole Wheat Veggie Pasta dish packs a nice punch. For extra flavor, add a dash of crushed red pepper.
OK, so you’re saying: what’s with the healthy thing? This is overboard. Well, you have to eat your veggies, right? Seriously, I choose to go with the healthier fare when I’m cooking. My philosophy is if I’m going to put all of that tough work into cooking, it might as well be somewhat good for me. I‘ll indulge when I’m occasionally eating out. Still, I get a lot of ideas when dining away from home.
Tri-Pepper Whole Wheat Veggie Pasta
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
16oz asparagus chopped
½ Vidalia onion diced
1 garlic clove minced
4 cups of kale chopped
24 ounces Prego mushroom pasta sauce
16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
Pepper to taste
Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
Prepare pasta as directed and set aside. Sauté the bell peppers, onion, garlic and asparagus until soft. Add kale and cook until softened. Serve veggies over whole wheat pasta. Add pepper and Parmesan or mozzarella cheese to taste.
Serve with salad and garlic bread.
In this case, I like a nice Sauvignon Blanc to go with this meal, but that’s just me.
Speaking of food, I have a cheap plug here. I'm helping to raise funds for my daughter's cheerleading squad. Right now, we are selling fruit cartons from Florida Indian River Groves. If you're interested, please contact me through Patch and I will hook you up with the best fruit that money can buy.