There I was. On the treadmill watching Food Network. Kind of ironic, exercising while watching people prepare and eat lots of yummy foods. Especially so with the abundance of butter, cheese, eggs and meat being served up whilst I have become vegan. Giada to the rescue! I caught a “Meat-free Monday” episode! Yay! Giada was making this pasta salad to serve cold or room temperature at a block party. Her version uses oil to saute and is served with cheese, but I’m here to tell ya, totally yummy without either! Michael thinks it’s as good as the house favorite goulash; high praise indeed!
Head out to your garden or local produce section for a big ol’ bunch of greens and a few other things:
- 1 pound of small pasta (I used whole wheat “gnocchi”)
- 1/2 to 1 cup veggie broth
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 12 oz Swiss chard, about 2 bunches (I used rainbow chard, because it’s pretty!)
- 12 oz spinach, either baby spinach in a package or leaf spinach (Remove stems if spinach is large)
- 1 (15oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 to 1 cup pasta water
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare pasta as directed, reserving pasta water.
The pretty stems of chard are tough, so remove them after you wash each leaf. To do this, fold the leaf in half and tear the stem off.
Add some veggie broth to a large, deep skillet and place over medium heat. Rough chop chard leaves and spinach. Add to the pan along with the garlic. Saute to wilt, adding more veggie broth as needed.
Add tomatoes and garbanzos. Cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low. Add pasta, lemon zest and juice.
Stir to combine, adding pasta water to thin as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dish yourself up a bowl and enjoy!
Warm, comfort food-esque, healthy, fat-free, vegan and yummy! Meaty garbanzos, savory greens and brightly acidic tomatoes, brightened further with lemon. I made a “parmesan” from 1/3 cup cashews and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast whirred up in a food processor to sprinkle over the top. Just the thing. Yum-yum-yummy hot, especially with it being so cold outside. I’ve sampled a few bites of cold pasta, while waiting for a portion to reheat for lunch the next day. Yum! This pasta salad will be super yummy served cold when summer gets here.
I confess to being a bit overwhelmed and at the same time underwhelmed with the prospect of going vegan. Not any more! I’m finding lots and lots of yummy recipes like this that can be easily adapted. I feel happier, healthier, have more energy and (!) I’m losing weight. I hope you’ll follow along on my yummy vegan journey.