Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Spaghetti with Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes, and Chickpeas

So dinner's starting to look a lot like Christmas...I swear it wasn't intentional, but the red, white and green colors of this dish do look rather attractive in this decidedly healthy contribution to Sweetnicks ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday (ARF=Antioxidant Rich Food): Spaghetti with Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes, & Chickpeas.

This is one of those incredibly fast and easy suppers that looks and tastes great, while supplying a powerhouse of nutrients to keep you healthy and happy.

I haven't done much with broccoli recently, but it is definitely a vegetable to include in your diet as frequently as possible. According to the World's Healthiest Foods, 3-5 servings per week of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables significantly lowers your risk of developing prostate, colorectal and lung cancer. Broccoli is also an excellent source of Vitamins C, K, and A and is especially delicious with lots of minced garlic and a little olive oil. To maximize the nutrients in broccoli, cook it as little as possible and buy organic whenever you can. These organic cherry tomatoes from the Farmers' Market were incredibly sweet and tasty and also provide plenty of Vitamin C. The chickpeas provide a nice dose of protein and the crumbled feta topping brings all the tastes and textures togethers beautifully!

Spaghetti with Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes, and Chickpeas

6-8 oz spaghetti
1-2 cups Broccoli florettes
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4-6 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 oz crumbled feta

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. For the last 1-2 minutes boiling, add the broccoli florettes. Drain.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and gently fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes (don't let it brown). Add the broccoli and chickpeas and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Add the drained spaghetti and toss until well combined. Season and serve in your favorite pasta bowls topped with crumbled feta.


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