Friday, January 16, 2015

Organic quinoa with fava beans, organic whole wheat pasta with pesto

Organic quinoa with fava beans, diced tomatoes and whole garlic cloves is a one-dish meal that can be easily prepared in an electric cooker.

Organic whole wheat spaghetti from Italy in a rich pesto sauce.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

One of the filling side dishes I've come to rely on is organic quinoa prepared in an electric cooker.

This one-dish meal is assembled easily in an electric rice cooker with 2 cups of quinoa, 4 cups of organic chicken stock, a large can of organic diced tomatoes, a can of large fava beans and a couple of handfuls or more of peeled garlic cloves.

I measure with an 8-ounce cup, not the small cup that comes with the rice cooker.

Just add a couple of ounces of extra-virgin olive oil and a little salt, cover and plug in the cooker. 

The garlic cloves retain their shape, but turn creamy. You'll have plenty of leftovers for several meals.

Quinoa has fewer carbohydrates than brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Most of the ingredients for organic quinoa with fava beans are available at Costco Wholesale.


Whole wheat pasta with pesto

Unfortunately, my Hackensack Costco doesn't carry organic whole wheat pasta, but it is widely available at ShopRite, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market and Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood.

Costco does have one of the best prepared pesto sauces available, made with basil grown in Italy and sold under the Kirkland Signature house label ($7.99).

A few ounces of organic whole wheat spaghetti dressed with a couple of tablespoons of pesto makes a rich and filling dish.

The refrigerated pesto doesn't need to be heated, but should be added to the hot, drained pasta immediately.

Quinoa and whole wheat pasta are two of the substitutes I rely on to help me stick to my no-bread, no-pizza diet.



To boil organic whole wheat spaghetti, I use an oval pot long enough to accommodate the strands of dried pasta and a minimum of water, and I never salt it, knowing that the pesto or other sauce has plenty of sodium.

During the Can Can Sale at the ShopRite in Paramus, a 1-pound package of Luigi Vitelli Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti from Italy is only $1.25. 

In the same aisle at ShopRite, another brand of organic whole wheat spaghetti imported from Italy was $2.59 a pound. At Whole Foods Market, 1-pound packages of whole wheat pasta in several shapes are $1.49 each.



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