Friday, October 5, 2012

Rotini with Greens and Beans

I grew up in the South where cooked greens were a part of most social gatherings. A lot of people I know don't seem particularly fond of greens, which I think is sad considering how packed with nutrition dark leafy greens are. I also know many others who only eat greens raw in salads. Thankfully, I live in a place where a variety of greens suitable for cooking are in plentiful supply and grow almost year round. I am always looking for more ways to use what grows locally and to think about vegetables in different ways than I already know. If you can get yourself to eat greens, this is a nutrition-packed easy weeknight dinner.

Rotini with Greens and Beans
8 oz. or 1/2 pack rotini
Olive oil
8-10 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups cooked white beans (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
3/4 cup water
1 veg stock cube (I stock up on MSG-free cubes when they're available)
2 bunches leafy greens, washed, trimmed, and chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. To make this truly a one dish meal, I cook the pasta, drain it into a colander and continue with the rest of the recipe in the same pot. Saute the garlic cloves in olive oil until just beginning to turn golden. Add the leafy greens and stir to get the garlic off the bottom of the pan. Once the greens begin to wilt, add 3/4 cup water and the veg bouillon cube. Allow the greens to cook down in the broth for about 5-10 minutes or until a lot of the liquid has evaporated. Add the beans and pasta to the greens and stir to combine. Salt generously and add pepper. If you're not using canned beans, you will need more salt. Sprinkle each dish with parmesan cheese.

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