In an attempt to loose some of the margarita and cookie weight, we've decided to go on a diet. These mean a whole lot more veggies and less chocolate. Matt's started running again, but I'm not doing anything that drastic. Actually I start ballet next week, but that's once a week for an hour, so I don't think it counts nearly as much as running.
Last night's dinner was a perfect example of the new diet. Pasta with veggies, veggies, and more veggies. And a little bit of cheese so we'll actually eat it. These made enough for three servings.
1/2 lb pasta (We used farfalle because that's what we always have in the house)
1 c. frozen broccoli (Thawed in the microwave for 4 minutes to get it ready to use)
3/4 of an orange bell pepper cut into bite sized pieces (Clearly you can use a whole pepper of any color, but I was using up what I had)
1/4 of a red onion, diced (Again, using what I had, but I'd probably still use a red onion over yellow given a choice, but not the end of the world to use a yellow onion)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb of asparagus, cut into inch long pieces
2 TB toasted pine nuts
2 TB olive oil, plus 1 TB for cooking
2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: Goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, and/or chopped black olives
Prepare pasta according to directions on the box.
While pasta is cooking, heat a large saute pan with 1 TB olive oil. When oil is hot and glistening (it will move quickly in the pan, but not yet be smoking) add carrots. After 3 minutes, add the red onion. After another minute add bell pepper and asparagus. Saute until veggies are softened but not mushy, approximately another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper after every other veggie addition to season veggies without over salting them. In a small bowl combine remainder of olive oil, sherry vinegar, and honey. If you have it 1 tsp of Dijon mustard would also be a nice addition. Whisk until well combined. Just before draining pasta take 1/2 c of cooking liquid and add to veggie mixture. Drain pasta and add to veggie mixture. Pour oil mixture over veggies and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. I added a few chopped black olives and a little goat cheese to mine, Matt added a little shredded mozzarella to his, approximately 1 TB of cheese for each to keep it light. Both worked out well.
If you have them, cherry tomatoes would be a nice addition when you add the cheese and pine nuts.