Many of us don’t have time to prepare lavish feasts every night, and more often then not resort to quick, easy, and unhealthy. My roommate Amanda and I do our best to prepare healthy complete meals every night, but both of us commute every day from Berkeley to San Francisco and often don’t get home until after 7:30 PM.
As I often tell the patients I work with, being healthy when you’re busy takes preparation. My advice is to do your grocery shopping on the weekend and to make sure you always have vegetables and whole grains on hand. My roommate and I tend to buy a giant box of greens every week. Having greens on hand is great, because we know we can always have a side salad or throw in a side of greens to whatever we’ve prepared for lunch. This week I purchased arugula.
I like arugula for a couple of reasons:
- It doesn’t wilt as quickly as other greens.
- Arugula is rich in phytochemicals: indoles, thiocyanates, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates
- It contains high levels of vitamins C, A, K, and B.
Amanda and I have been working long hours, and so my solution to the dinner dilemma the other day was a giant pasta dish full of arugula and chicken sausage and tossed with a tomato, garlic, and red pepper sauce. The whole dish took less than half an hour, and provided a protein, carb, and veggies to boot. Sadly, my boyfriend wouldn’t touch it as it looked too healthy. If you have any picky eaters, you can try blending the arugula with the sauce in a food processor, to create a kind of arugula pesto.
Next time you’re short on time, don’t reach for that box of mac n’ cheese, but try making this healthy tasty pasta salad instead.
Whole grain Spaghetti Garlic Arugula and Chicken Sausage
- 3 Tbs. Olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic peeled
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup red wine
- salt to taste
- 5 chicken pepper sausages (I prefer Applegate farms)
- 1/2 package whole grain spaghetti
- 3 cups arugula
- 1 tbs. chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbs. Grated Pecorino Romano (optional)
Place 2 quarts of water in a large saucepan and place covered over high heat.
While you are waiting for your pasta water to boil, place oil and whole garlic cloves in a large pot or wok over low heat. Cook for a few minutes until garlic is soft and golden, but not burnt. Add tomatoes and red wine and cook over medium heat. Continue simmering over medium heat until tomatoes are soft. Add chicken sausage and cook until pasta is done.
Once pasta water is boiling add a pinch salt to raise the boiling point of the water. Wait for the water to boil again and add your pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. Rinse and drain pasta in a colander.
Add pasta to sauce in wok along with arugula, red pepper flakes, cheese, and fresh basil. Toss until ingredients are mixed.