Monday, January 9, 2012

Roasted Eggplant & Kale Penne

I am a disbeliever in the common thought that Mondays suck.  I don't usually have a problem with Mondays.  I'm usually alert, rested from my weekend, and while I wish the weekends were longer, I don't blame Mondays for being Mondays.  Tuesdays however are a different story.

Tuesday, is when it all catches up to me.  Tuesday my body feels the drag for my shifted hours from the weekend.  Tuesday feels the pains of the exercise I had the extra time to try out on the weekend, or the somnolence that comes with getting not quite enough sleep Sunday night because I slept in Sunday morning. By Tuesday, I'm really back at work.  By Tuesday, I have to be fully "there", regardless of distraction, excitement, or event going on in my non-work life.

This Tuesday's going to be out for me.  I can feel it, and it's only Monday night.

Sunday was great.  Sunny, beautiful, and crisp.  Too cold with the wind to do the whole distance planned for my weekend walk, but an enjoyable trip for the part I did walk.  I had a great visit and meal with the ladies after, and a trip to Luna after that.  Saturday I slept in, enjoyed great company for dinner, and saw a new movie. 

My weekend was worth it.  But still, Tuesdays suck.

Roasted Eggplant & Kale Penne
Makes: 6 servings

2 Tbsp pine nuts
1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
8 oz whole-wheat penne pasta
1 bunch kale, stems and stalks removed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 oz reduced-fat feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.  Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, careful not to burn, three minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and set aside.
 Drizzle eggplant with one tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Spread eggplant out in a single layer.  Roast in oven at 400F, stirring once, until soft and starting to brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook penne according to package directions, until tender but firm.  Reserve half-cup cooking water and drain pasta. 

Chop kale roughly.  Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in a large skilled over medium-high heat.  Add crushed pepper and garlic and cook 1 minute.  Using tongs,  fold in kale and season with salt and black pepper.  Add 1 tablespoon water and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale wilts and becomes soft, about three minutes.
 In a large serving bowl, combine penne, kale, eggplant, and pine nuts, and 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water, adding more if necessary. Top with feta and serve.

Source: Best of Clean Eating Magazine, page 88.

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