Meet challenge with easy, tasty veggie dishes
Penne with garbanzo beans: Eliminating some animal proteins and fats are a good way to achieve healthy eating goals. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup sour cream thinned with a little milk, optional
1. Roast peppers directly over a gas flame, turning often, until skin is nicely charred on all sides but flesh remains somewhat firm. (Alternatively, roast over a gas grill or under the broiler.) Cover with a towel; let cool. Gently rub blackened skin off peppers. Cut a slit in the peppers; gently work out the seeds with your fingers.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. For filling, mix corn, edamame, diced roasted red peppers, half of the cilantro and green onions and salt in a bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese.
3. Put half the rice over the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch buttered baking dish. Gently pack corn mixture into peppers. Arrange peppers, seam side down, over the rice in the dish. Cover peppers with remaining rice. (Recipe can be made to this point a day in advance; refrigerate covered.)
4. Pour chicken broth over all. Cover tightly with lid or foil. Bake until very hot, about 30 minutes (add 10 minutes if peppers were made in advance and chilled). Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; bake uncovered until cheese melts, about 15 minutes.
5. Let stand a few minutes before serving sprinkled with remaining herbs and drizzle of thinned sour cream.
Per serving: 552 calories, 21 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 66 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein, 980 mg sodium, 8 g fiber.
Penne with garbanzo beans, arugula and spicy tomatoes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
4 large ripe plum tomatoes diced
½ large seedless cucumber, diced
1/3 cup finely diced red onion, well rinsed
Roasted tomato vinaigrette, see recipe
12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
½ to 3/4 cup shredded Italian four cheese blend (Parmesan, asiago, fontina, provolone)
2 cups baby arugula leaves
½ cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
1. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, mix beans, tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss to mix well.
2. When water is boiling, add pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (a little toothsome in the center), about 10 minutes. Drain pasta. Add to bowl with bean mixture; toss to mix well.
3. Stir in cheese, arugula and basil. Serve warm.
Roasted tomato vinaigrette: Put 1/4 cup olive oil, half of a 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes into a blender. Process until smooth.
Per serving: 574 calories, 19 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 84 g carbohydrates, 22 g protein, 782 mg sodium, 12 g fiber.