Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Too Busy to Cook Pasta e Fagioli

You might be able to guess this, but I love talking to people about food, about being vegan, about getting healthy, about losing weight. My blog was inspired by my desire to have a continuous conversation with a lot of people about the joy and exuberance that has filled my life over the last year.

One thing that always comes up is time. People never seem to have enough time to take good care of themselves. Between work, friends, family, significant others, kids, going to the gym, traveling,and more, eating well gets pushed to the bottom of the list. I understand that compared to many people, the demands on my time are low, but eating healthy food should be at the top of all of our priorities, both for ourselves, and for our loved ones.

One of my strategies for eating healthy when my life is going full-speed, is to make a huge portion of soup, stew, or pasta on Sunday, and live off of it for 3 or 4 days. Alternatively, if you crave a bit more variety, you can make a large portion, and freeze single servings to thaw and enjoy at a later date. Being short on time does not have to mean sacrificing your health. So, the next time you’re looking at a hectic week, invest in your well-being with a pot of this pasta e fagioli.

Pasta e Fagioli

adapted from Dynise Balcavage’s The Urban Vegan

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
3 16 ounce cans of cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups vegetable stock
1 pound ditalini or elbow macaroni
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Sauté until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the crushed rep pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans and the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the basil, and taste for salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, and add to the other ingredients. Stir to combine, and serve immediately!

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