I just love trying new lasagna recipes. This one is from the latest Cooking Light magazine so it’s practically guaranteed healthy and delicious.
Ok, so it would have been health-”ier” had I not doubled the cheese.
But can you blame me? Who wants lasagna if it’s not smothered in cheese?
After our second son was born and we brought him home from the hospital, we were so grateful when a few of our friends cooked us some casseroles to make life a little easier. One of those dishes was this delicious mouth watering cheesy spicy manicotti dish.
I have a new toy in the kitchen, well its not really “new”, its actually about 20 years old, but its new for me. My mom found a pasta maker buried in storage and she shipped it cross country to me. My mom is awesome.
Going to the Sunday morning Farmers market is an exciting family event for us. My 3 year old son gets $2 to spend on whatever he wants. He carries his $2 in my falling apart busted old red leather wallet… um… I mean his super awesome red Lightning McQueen wallet. We sample all the juicy sweet fruits, load up our tote bags with fresh produce, and my little guy buys honey sticks and a chocolate cookie. If you haven’t visited your local farmers market… what are you waiting for?! Go! You can support local farmers, get fresh-as-can-be organic produce at good prices, and have fun doing it.
So what to make with my bunches of beets and green onions? I found a great recipe to test out by Bon Apetit. I admit, I made this because I wanted to have colorful pasta, and I ended up with a totally delicious and super healthy dinner that the whole family loved… AND colorful pasta! Win win win.
The great thing about this recipe is that it uses the beet greens. I have never had beet greens before and I love the idea of not tossing them out. My husband recently ordered this new book “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods” because we are on a health kick right now. I think after having a baby we both need to loose weight! Isn’t that how it always is? Daddy Sympathy weight or something right? We also watched a great documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, it essentially sends the message about how veggies and fruits can help heal your inner body. So we bought a juicer and LOVE IT. Anyhow, back to the healing effects of beets… turns out that beet greens are healthier than the beet roots, who knew? I have been tossing out the best part! Here is a breakdown of how fantastically healthy beets are for you:
Beets have a stimulating effect on the liver’s detoxification process. A cancer fighting veggie with a favorable effect on bowel function and cholesterol levels. The beets and their greens together are loaded with calcium, iron, vitamins A & C & B6, folic acid, fiber, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, and iron. Phew!
Although I really enjoyed this dish, it was a little time consuming to prepare. A few tips:
- Wear an apron, beet juice stains!
- Take 30 seconds to sharpen your chopping knife.
- Boil the beets with more water than you think you need. For me, there just wasn’t enough beet water left for the pasta, so I had to add more tap water which diluted the color. I still had a pretty deep yellow pasta, but I was hoping for something more like orange. Next time I might do all red beets so the pasta will be pink… um… I mean Lightning McQueen red!
Summary: adapted from this Bon Apetit recipe, I changed it according to ingredients I had.
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups chopped Green Onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bunches of beets with fresh healthy greens (beets peeled and cut into bite size pieces. Greens chopped)
- 12 ounces farfalle pasta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Toast pine nuts in a large hot skillet for a few minutes until lightly golden. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Add 2 Tbsp oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and beet greens and 2 more Tbsp of oil to the skillet, cover and cook until the greens are tender (about 5 more minutes).
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil (pinch of salt). Add beets, boil for 10 minutes or until the beets are tender. KEEP the water! Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beets to a separate bowl. Bring the beet water back to a boil and use it to boil your pasta for about another 8 minutes (check your package). Drain.
- Stir onion-greens mixture and the beets into pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Serve!
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4