Like most of you, I am busy. And like a lot of you, I am poor. And like all of us, I don’t appreciate either of those factors standing between myself and delicious, healthy food. I am constantly looking for easy, balanced dinners. As kitschy as it sounds, concepts like “Meatless Monday,” can structure routines for nutritious and satisfying meals when time and money are crunched. Plus, we usually eat like ravenous animals on the weekend, so by Monday evening we are both relieved to have lighter fare.
Last night I made an incredibly easy pasta dish featuring vegetables I needed to get rid of (just so happened to be broccoli and plum tomatoes) and a creamy lemon-yogurt-dill sauce. (The dill was an add-in because I had it and it was beginning to wilt in the fridge.) Jillian Michael’s has a recipe that is similar to this, but calls for zucchini instead of broccoli, leaves out the dill, and boasts some incredibly annoying name like, “Skinny Girl Fettuccine.” You can use whatever vegetables you have, whatever pasta you have, whatever herbs you have, but please for the love of God, don’t call it “Skinny Girl,” anything.
Whole Wheat Pasta With Broccoli, Tomato, and Creamy Lemon-Dill Sauce
(adapted from Ezra Pound Cake, serves 4)
- 8 ounces whole wheat angel hair or pasta of your choice
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium heads of broccoli
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pint cherry or plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions. Remove 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and set it aside. Drain the pasta. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, parmesan, lemon zest, dill, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and steam for ~9 minutes, stirring periodically.
4. Push the broccoli aside so a space on the bottom of the pan is clear. Add the garlic, and cook for 15 to 30 seconds, until golden but not really brown.
5. Mix the garlic into the broccoli.
6. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
7. Transfer the broccoli mixture into the yogurt mixture, and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta, and toss gently to combine. Add the reserved pasta cooking water a tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to thin it. Sprinkle with parmesean and serve with lemon wedge.