A really simple way to transition to a more plantiful diet is to up the plant-power in a familiar meal, like spaghetti. Spring is the perfect time to start greening up your favourite pasta dish. This recipe switches out the marinara for a primavera that’s filled with cremini mushrooms, rainbow chard and green peas for a wallop of nutritional goodness.
Primavera Nutritional Goodness:
Swiss Chard is full of vitamins and minerals that promote healthy blood, hair and eyes, protects the body from disease and helps your body regulate blood sugar.
Cremini mushrooms are rich in B vitamins and D, which can help protect the body from certain diseases, such as colon and breast cancer, contribute to healthy brain and nervous systems, and supports a healthy immune system.
Green peas not only add a fibre and protein boost to the dish, but they also support you liver, boost your immunity and protect your body from the effects of aging.
Plantiful Rainbow Primavera
This primavera is filled with cremini mushrooms, rainbow chard and green peas for a wallop of nutritional goodness.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Heat oil in a large sautee pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and sautee for 2 minutes, until they start to soften. Stir frequently to prevent any burning.
Next add in the mushrooms and stir to coat in the oil and onions. You want to sautee the mushrooms until they start to release their liquid (about 7-10 minutes). At this point you can add in 2 cloves of the garlic and sautee for another 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms start to show a little brown colouring.
When the mushrooms start to caramelize, add in the stock (or wine and stock) to remove any of the cooked bits of onion, garlic or mushroom from the pan with a wooden spoon. Keep the heat on medium high so the liquid starts to evaporate, letting it simmer for a minute. Reduce heat to medium-low, taste and adjust salt accordingly and place swiss chard in the pan, layered on top of the mushrooms, and cover with a lid.
Allow the greens to steam for 3 minutes and then remove the lid and incorporate all of the pan contents. Season with salt and pepper, the last clove of garlic and let cook until all of the swiss chard is wilted, yet still dark green in colour.
Toss in your favourite cooked pasta ensuring all of the noodles are coated, while drizzling in another 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Taste again to see whether you need to add any salt or pepper and adjust accordingly. Mix in the walnuts and serve.
Put your pasta water on to boil when you are on step 2 above. Put it in to cook when the swiss chard is steaming. When you get to step five, have your pasta drained and ready to mix in.
*Note: it's a good idea to keep at least a cup of the pasta water in case your pasta is dry and want to create more of a sauce without adding in more oil.