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White beans, pasta and broccoli raab simmered in

White beans, pasta and broccoli raab simmered in vegetable broth. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

WHITE BEANS, ROTINI AND BROCCOLI RAAB

1 bunch broccoli raab (about 1 pound), trimmed and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups rotini (6 ounces)

2 (15.5-ounce) cans low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed

1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the broccoli raab, return to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the rosemary; cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly golden, about 1 minute. Add the broth and pasta; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes; the pasta will be softened but not cooked through. Add 2 cups water, beans, broccoli raab, red pepper flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary and salt; stir and cook until pasta is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Parmesan. Top with shaved Parmesan if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 425 calories, 20 g protein, 70 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 722 mg sodium

TIP: Low-sodium canned beans are not only better for you, they also tend to be less mealy.

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VEGETABLE AND BROWN RICE PAELLA

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 ribs celery, cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces

1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), trimmed, quartered lengthwise and cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces

3⁄4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 cup quick-cooking brown rice

1⁄4 teaspoon saffron threads, lightly crushed

2 cups vegetable broth, divided

1 (15.5-ounce) can low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed

1⁄2 cup frozen peas

 

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the celery, bell pepper, zucchini, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 to minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

2. Return the skillet to the stove and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice, saffron and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until rice is lightly toasted, 1 minute. Stir in 1 3⁄4 cups of the vegetable broth, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is almost cooked, 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1⁄4 cup vegetable broth, return the rice to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender but not mushy, about another 5 minutes. Add the reserved vegetables, beans and peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 5 minutes. Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 391 calories, 12 g protein, 67 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 8 g far, 1 g saturated fat, 645 mg sodium

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BLACK BEAN AND VEGETABLE QUESADILLAS

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 (15.5-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1⁄2 cup prepared salsa

4 (8-inch) tortillas

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar (about 4 ounces)

1⁄2 avocado, thinly sliced

 

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high; add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

2. Lightly mash the beans with a fork; stir in the salsa and set aside.

3. Working one at a time, place a tortilla on the work surface. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cheese on half the tortilla; top with one-fourth the bean mixture. Sprinkle with one-fourth the red onion and top with one-fourth the avocado slices. Top with another 2 tablespoons cheese and fold the tortilla over to enclose the filling. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

4. Brush the skillet with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Carefully place 2 quesadillas in the skillet, cook until golden on the undersides, about 2 minutes, turn and cook until the cheese is melted and the quesadillas are again golden on the undersides. Transfer to a platter and wrap to keep warm while you repeat with remaining oil and quesadillas. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 415 calories, 16 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 20 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 762 mg sodium

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