Foody Tuesday! Whole Wheat Pasta & Black-Eyed Peas – A Healthy & Lucky Start to the New Year

ImageOur first Foodie Tuesday blog post for 2012 is going up halfway between Western and Chinese New year.  So we figured why not feature a folate-full recipe that will bring luck, too?  Today’s offering is a modified version of a recipe featured in Martha Rose Shulman’s Recipes for Health: Lucky Foods to Ring in the New Year, published in the New York Times on December 26, 2011. 

The folate comes in the form of enriched pasta, black-eyed peas and spinach.  Where does the luck come in?  African-Americans eat black-eyed peas for luck on New Year’s because they resemble coins.  Noodles are considered in many Asian cultures to bring long life.  Many cultures, East and West, eat greens on New Years because their resemblance to folded money is supposed to bring wealth during the coming year. 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + extra for spaghetti cooking water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut in small (1/4-inch) dice
1 can black-eyed peas, drained, 1/4 cup canning liquid reserved
Pinch red chili flakes or to taste
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dry
8 oz. bag pre-washed baby spinach
8 oz. whole grain thin spaghetti
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh ground parmesan or to taste
2 tbs chopped parsley

  1. Put pasta on to cook according to package directions.
  2. As pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet.  Add red pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add red chili flakes and thyme, cook for one minute more.
  4. Add the beans with their reserved liquid, and stir in the spinach. Continue until it is wilted, and remove the pan from the heat. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to pan with vegetable mixture and toss to combine. 
  6. Sprinkle on parsley and grated parmesan.  Serve.


NUTRITION INFO: 405 calories; 11.6 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated),  65 grams carbohydrates; 6.3 grams fiber; 15 grams protein; 56% DV folate.

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