Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli, Artichoke and Feta

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Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli, Artichoke and Feta: What I've Learned So Far

This recipe for whole wheat pasta with broccoli, artichoke and feta takes advantage of the additional fiber, vitamins and minerals in whole wheat pasta, the vitamins in broccoli, and the overall deliciousness of artichoke hearts, feta cheese and pine nuts!

When you first start eating whole wheat or whole grain pasta, you may think it's too chewy - give it a chance. While you'll get slightly fewer calories in the same amount of pasta, you'll eat less because it's more filling - it contains about twice the amount of fiber as regular pasta. And that's a two-fer for your gut - better digestion AND fewer calories!

Ingredients for whole wheat pasta with broccoli, artichoke and feta

We've said it before, but it's worth repeating - refining flour (for bread, pasta, pastries - anything) strips it of most of its B vitamin content. These are essential vitamins, especially for vegetarians. They metabolize your food, repair DNA, make red blood cells and support nerve health. They're especially critical to your neurological health.

Whole wheat pasta also retains more of its mineral content, with 10% of the daily value of iron, compared to 3% for regular pasta. It's also got about twice the amount of magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese - all important for your overall health.

Although eating whole wheat and whole grain products can take some getting used to, it's well worth the effort and soon you'll find you prefer them.

When you're buying whole wheat or whole grain products, be sure to look at the ingredients. They need to say things like, "100 percent whole wheat." Words like "whole grain" or "stoneground whole wheat" should be at the top of the list. "Wheat flour," "organic flour," "durum wheat," and "multigrain" may indicate that parts of the grain are missing. "Enriched flour" is a refined product - and not what you're looking to buy!

Making Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli, Artichoke and Feta

You'll Need:

• 1/2 lb. whole wheat pasta

• 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets

• 1 14 oz. can artichoke quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

• 8 oz. crumbled feta cheese

• 4 Tbsp (1/4 C) olive oil, plus some for drizzling

• 1 clove minced garlic

• 1/2 tsp dried parsley

• 1/4 tsp dried basil

• 1/4 tsp dried oregano

• 1/4 tsp salt

Do This:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat 4 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Toss in the garlic and cook for one minute.

4. Add the broccoli florets and pan fry for about a minute. Add 1/4 C water, lower heat to low, cover and steam for about 5 minutes.

5. Remove cover, return heat to medium and add the spices, artichoke hearts and pine nuts. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until all ingredients are hot.

6. Mix the vegetables in with the pasta, drizzle with some olive oil, season with salt and fresh black pepper. Mix in crumbled feta cheese.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli, Artichoke and Feta: Recipe Notes

• Some people rinse their pasta after cooking to reduce the stickiness and remove the starch. This also means whatever you put on the pasta won't stick as well - so I recommend NOT rinsing your pasta.

• I like to toast my pine nuts before using in recipes. I just use my oven's broiler. Put the nuts on baking sheet and broil. You have to check often, because they'll burn quickly! Stir them around so they get evenly toasted.

• This dish would also make a good cold salad in the summer.

Whole wheat pasta with broccoli, artichoke and feta

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