Pasta with Broccoli and Beans
If your family is like most families, yours enjoys pasta just as much as the rest. The wonderful thing about pasta is that you can buy whole grain pasta and cook it in so many different ways. You can also add so many different things to pasta that you are pretty much provided an endless resource of meals.
For this recipe, you will need whole grain pasta, a head of whole fresh broccoli crowns (preferable organic), and some fresh legumes such as raw, white kidney beans.
For this simple three-ingredient recipe, you will need:
1 package whole-grain pasta
1 bunch of broccoli crowns, preferably organic
2 cups of dried white kidney beans
It is preferable to soak the dried white kidney beans overnight. To do so, place the kidney beans in a pot of cold water, cover, and soak overnight. The following evening, rinse and drain the kidney beans before cooking.
To cook the kidney beans, simply place them in a pot of water covered by about two inches over the top of the beans and cook for approximately 1 and ½ hours. Many individuals like to cook the beans in chicken broth, which, of course, would have to be organic as well, if you are thinking healthy.
Once the beans are tender to the touch and soft, they are ready to eat.
Put up your pasta according to the package directions and you can cook your broccoli crowns in many ways. Some individuals put the broccoli crowns in the boiling water a few minutes before they add the pasta to the boiling pot of water.
You can steam the broccoli crowns, sauté them in olive oil and garlic, or microwave them. However you choose to do it, just try to choose the healthiest method, which would probably be steaming.
Once your broccoli is steamed and your beans are cooked, place them in a pan with some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add the olive oil and broccoli. Mix well in the pasta. If you serve this with a salad on the side, your family will be sure to be pleased.
The kidney beans are an excellent source of protein. The broccoli has antioxidants and calcium and, of course, everyone loves pasta. In addition, the best part of the whole meal is that it is healthy, quick, and super inexpensive to create.
If your family enjoys the lemon-marinated chicken, here is a slightly different, but just as simple version.
Lime Chicken with Rainbow Peppers and Broccoli
For this recipe, you will need a few simple ingredients:
4 boneless chicken breasts (no skin and preferably organic)
A rainbow of peppers from orange and red to green and yellow
Again, marinating this the night before will work wonders with the flavors of the lime and the chicken.
Mix a ¼ cup of extra pressed, extra virgin olive oil, the juice of the limes, two cloves of garlic, some parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken breasts in the mixture of marinade.
Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. The next evening, all you have to do is stir-fry your rainbow of peppers and broccoli in a sauté pan with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Once the vegetables are sautéed, meaning that they are cooked through but still have a little bit of a bite to them, add the chicken to the pan, sautéing on each side until lightly browned and no longer pink on the inside.
You will have a combination of lime chicken, rainbow peppers, and broccoli. Adding a whole food such as a legume like black kidney beans will add to the recipe and fill up your family.
Once again, you have a tasty delicious, nutritious, satisfying meal in a hurry – using three ingredients.
Now that you have a little background on how easy it is to make three ingredient meals and how doing so with whole foods is something achievable, here is some information about preparing whole foods ahead of time.
Not only does preparing whole foods ahead of time make life easier and quicker, it really is one of the healthiest ways to go, as far as quick meals are concerned.
Preparing Some Whole Foods Ahead of Time
As with any type of meal plan, whether it is vegetarian, whole foods, or traditional cooking, the only sure way to success is meal planning and preparation.
1. Meal Planning – Sitting down with yourself and, yes, even your family on a Sunday evening, to plan out the week’s meals is a wise choice, indeed. Without a plan, you will more than likely find yourself staring into the freezer asking yourself why you did not remember, once again, to defrost something for the next day. A little planning in the meals department is a lifesaver for the sanity of the rest of your work week.
2. Meal Preparation – While it is not possible to completely plan ahead, there are a few things you can do to make meals simple and easy. You may have to set aside one whole day per week for food shopping and meal preparation, but on that night, why not treat yourself and your family to a nice, light, and healthy meal out that evening?