Do you want to add vegetables into your life but you get overwhelmed when it comes time to chopping, prepping, and cooking them? If so, you’re in luck with this week’s easy-to-incorporate vegetable on No Recipe Recipes. In case you’re new to these parts, No Recipe Recipes is a weekly dose of recipes so easy you don’t even need a recipe.
Before we get to it, let’s chat about arugula….Did you know that this vegetable is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family and closely related to cauliflower? Unlike cauliflower or broccoli, it tends to be easier to digest (whether arugula is raw or slightly cooked).
Arugula is a spring time green leafy vegetable that adds a peppery punch to your plate. It’s often served with fruit, creamy dressings or a heavier meal (risotto, pasta, pizza) to help lighten and wake up the food.
Arugula was not a vegetable I grew up with and I probably didn’t try it until my mid-20s. Now, it’s a part of the weekly rotation of greens. I serve it cold to add punch to salads or warm chopped and stirred into soups or warm grain/lentil bowls. Not only is arugula versatile in cooking, but similar to other cruciferous vegetables, arugula is one of the most nutrient dense greens out there. It contains high amounts of folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, iron, and calcium.
Arugula Basil Lemon Pasta
One of our favorite meals while we’ve been on the road and it requires hardly any prep at all. This pasta dish whips up in less than 10 minutes and the fresh flavors will give your taste buds (and family) something to talk about!
Cook pasta of choice according to package directions. I really like the red lentil and pea pastas for extra protein and the whole wheat or brown rice spaghetti, but choose what suits your fancy! While the pasta is cooking, chop 10oz package of arugula leaves in half or thirds. Drain a 15oz can of garbanzo beans and set aside. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pot. Stir in can of drained beans (or other protein of choice), chopped arugula, a few spoonfuls of basil olive oil (this REALLY makes any simple pasta or rice dish taste decadent but regular high quality olive oil will do), juice of one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Toppings can really add a lot to meals and I suggest topping this with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese), fresh basil leaves cut into ribbons, or crushed red pepper flakes.
Arugula topped Pizza
There is a good reason why salad and pizza go together so well… the light cool crispness balances out the “heaviness” of the bread/cheese/sauciness. When I say heavy, know that I am referring to terms in Ayurveda, which looks at elements of food to create balance on your plate and in your body.
The great part about topping your pizza with arugula instead of having a salad is that the peppery component compliments the cheese/cheese alternative so well. I also enjoy arugula on pizza instead of a salad because no additional salad vegetables or fancy salad toppers are needed – just the greens.
Arugula goes fantastic on ANY pizza – so this is not a recipe – only a suggestion that the next time you have pizza, pile this green on top and enjoy!
Spring Quinoa with Peas, Dill, and Arugula
The earthiness of the quinoa and peas is balanced out with the light wakeup call of the arugula and dill. The entire dish is simple and hearty – grain meets pasta, it’s great for lunch or dinner.
In a medium saucepan, heat a spoonful of olive oil over medium heat. Add ¼ – ½ an onion chopped (or 2-3 shallots), and half a bag of frozen peas. Cook until browned, about 10 minutes. At the same time, cook ½ cup dry quinoa with 1 cup water or broth of choice in a sauce pan according to package. Add a 10oz package of arugula (this is a lot of arugula, use less if desired) to a large mixing salad bowl with cooked quinoa, onion, and peas. Add a few tablespoons of chopped fresh dill, juice of one lemon, and drizzle with high quality olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and/or top with hemp seeds, sliced almonds, currants/raisins, or feta cheese (if you choose). Enjoy the possibilities and get creative!
Check out my Facebook Videos to see short step by step videos of past recipes and stop back next week for a different food to be featured! If there’s a food you’d like to see included, comment below. Now, go get your greens on! 🙂