I made this recipe on Thursday night for my husband and myself with a little hesitancy, but I was pleasantly surprised!! If you need a quick weeknight meal this recipe is for you! This pasta dish contained a lot of flavors and made enough for a large group or lunch leftovers! Mike and I both ate the leftovers for lunch on Friday cold, and the dish cold was just as good as the original dish right off the stove! The star ingredients contain vitamins and minerals that have a major impact on our health as indicated below:
- Spinach in this dish makes it a great source of potassium, iron, and folate
- Olives make it a great source of Vitamin E which has anti-inflammatory actions, helps reduce the severity of conditions caused by high levels of free radicals (asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer), and may help reduce the frequency and/or intensity of hot flashes in women going through menopause.
- Whole Wheat Pasta makes this recipe a great source of dietary fiber and provides other health benefits such as lowering risk of metabolic syndrome, lessens chronic inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health!
- Olive Oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which lowers rates of heart disease, diabetes, and asthma. By reducing inflammation and free radical damage , dietary olive oil protects the lining of our blood vessels, helping to maintain its ability to relax and dilate which prevents high blood pressure.
- Feta Cheese is rich in calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. Calcium is required for the development of bones. Riboflavin is required by the body as it aides in metabolism of macronutrients (carbs, pro, and fat). Phosphorus plays a major role in the formation of bones and teeth and Vitamin B12 is required by the human body to keep red blood cells healthy, supports function of the immune system, and prevents heart disease.
It reminded me of a dish that would be served at Taziki’s, maybe similar to the oh so famous Friday’s Special!! I highly recommend this recipe to my NutriFocus family!! If you try this dish, please share your comments!! Bon Appetit!!
Penne with Spinach, Feta, and Olives
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne (about 12 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
2 cups chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pasta, spinach, olives, capers, and cheese; toss well.
Cooking Light, May 1998