With the bounty of vegetables at the market next door, I have been in heaven (both cooking and eating). We haven’t eaten meat (except a slice of ham in our morning egg mcmuffin today!) for lunch or dinner since last week, and neither of us are complaining. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with all of the local vegetables and coming up with new concotions.
This recipe was born out of just that. I’ve found that, to no surprise, I am enjoying a baguette almost daily with CH. While I will never complain about that fact, given I am in France, my dresses/skirts may have something to say about it in a few weeks. Thus, I am focusing on reducing the amount of grain products (i.e. pasta, bread, rice) in my lunches and dinners. Lunches are easy, salads with lots of veggies and proteins. Dinners are a little trickier, especially because I have a 6ft 2in hubby who can eat like a machine and not gain weight (argh, again not fair)! Thus, dinners have to be something adaptable to both of our taste, and this recipe did just that – I had mine with zucchini “noodles” and CH had his with bowtie pasta. One simple switch, two delicious meals and two happy people.
Just as a disclaimer – I am not going on a carb restrictive diet – I am just focusing more on the local vegetables and fruits available in France and leaving room to enjoy the baguettes, cheese, croissants and pain au chocolates….and of course, more wine. Diet and healthy living to me are all about everything in moderation, but enjoying things without guilt or hesitation. Thus, if you make healthy choices most of the day, there is always room for treats here and there. And, to top off this little blurb, CH and I are still training for our first 10km race, hopefully at the end of summer, so we are running as much as possible, in combination with this healthy eating approach. Each run = more fun!
This dish was delicious and CH liked his version too. It had subtle flavours that blended really well together, yet the garlic gave it the little flavour kick it needed. The colors were beautiful on the plate, and it really satisfied me for the entire day (it was lunch!). Feel free to switch up some of the ingredients – add more cheese (CH did), more garlic, omit the beets and substitute with eggplant or red peppers. Whatever you enjoy and have on hand.
Zucchini Pasta with Chickpeas, Beet and Basil
Servings: 2 large servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 2 medium zucchini, julienned
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup cooked beets, drained well and cubed
- 1 large shallot (or two small), diced
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 8 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
- 2 or 3 tbsp grated pecorino or mozzarella cheese (I used some delicious aged goat cheese I can’t remember the name of)
In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil until glistening. Add onions to the pan and cook until translucent (4 – 5 minutes).
Add chickpeas to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add beets and garlic to the pan, and cook for 5 – 10 minutes, until warmed through.
While beets are cooking, placed julienned zucchini strips into a microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave on medium-high heat for 3 – 4 minutes, ensuring that the zucchini softens but still has a slight bite to them (just like pasta!)
Season the chickpea and beet mixture with S&P and remove from heat. Stir-in the basil pieces.
Place zucchini ‘pasta’ into two bowls and top with chickpea and beet mixture. Sprinkle each bowl with grated cheese.
A JBean French Cuisine Creation