Want something quick and healthy? We’ve got you covered.
By cooking for yourself, you know exactly what you’re eating. Now, with cooking comes cleaning, you’ll certainly dirty a dish or two. And judging by the number of dishes we wash each day, you’d think we just LOVE doing dishes. For me, it is the joy of cooking—not the fear of dishes—that keeps me in the kitchen the most!
From time to time, though, we all need a quick meal. And quick means quick, clean up time included. In these moments, we still want our meals to be tasty and nutritious. The quick and simple fallback? One-pot Mediterranean pasta!
Let’s use whole grain pasta—miles ahead of regular old pasta. Whole grain means more fiber and higher quality nutrients. Because the grain is kept intact, the nutrients are in their original and most beneficial state. See our Whole Grains post for more great information on the topic! You can even download our whole grains guide!
Naturally, I packed this dish with veggies, lots of em!
Because there’s no rule against having loads of veggies in a quick meal! Cherry tomatoes, artichokes, capers, onion, garlic, parsley and watercress for a real Mediterranean inspired dinner.
The Mediterranean way of eating has been extensively studied and remains one of the top “diets” for positive heart health. I generally don’t like to use the word “diet” because it’s often associated with short-term, extreme and restricting eating patterns. Diet, in the traditional sense of the word—and how I mean it—just means a way of eating.
Mediterranean Diet Pattern Basics
- Plant-based – lots of plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains
- Uses herbs and spices to season foods, instead of salt and butter
- Swaps out animal based fats and uses plant-based fats instead (i.e. olive oil instead of butter)
- Check out our lowdown on fats for more information about the different kinds of fats!
- Limits red meat consumption and replaces with plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts!)
- Consumes cold water fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and anchovies
Other key elements of this diet include the lifestyle components, such as getting plenty of exercise, enjoying meals with family/friends and drinking alcohol in moderation.
Why is Mediterranean cuisine so beneficial?
The Mediterranean diet pattern has been associated with many health benefits:
- Reduces heart disease risk
- Can lower bad cholesterol—oxidized LDL or low density lipoprotein
- Can improve rheumatoid arthritis
- Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Decreases the risk of cancer as well as other age-related health conditions
The Mediterranean diet pattern is by no means a miracle diet, but it can be a nutritious way of eating that tastes good while reducing your risk of heart disease! Sounds like some great multi-tasking!
Here are some tips to help you get started with the Mediterranean diet pattern:
- Sauté in olive oil instead of butter
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grains
- Start planning your meal with vegetables and add meat as a flavor enhancer or garnish
- Choose fruits and vegetables for snacks instead of highly processed snack foods
- Experiment with herbs, spices, lemon, garlic and onion instead of just salt to flavor your foods
Now, on to our quick and tasty, Mediterranean-inspired one-pot pasta dish!Print
Packed with veggies and super flavorful. This one-pot mediterranean pasta dish is quick and easy and doesn’t require lots of dishes!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
- 3 cups broth or stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 8 ounces whole grain angel hair pasta (spaghetti would also work)
- 1 12-ounce jar artichokes
- 1/4 cup capers
- About 8 ounces salmon – ideally sustainably-sourced and wild caught (fresh, canned or pouch will also work)*
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Handful of watercress leaves and parsley (if you don’t have watercress on hand, you can use spinach, arugula or basil instead)
- A sprinkle of lemon juice
- Feta cheese
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat
- Add onions and garlic, sauté about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent
- Add tomatoes, stock and pasta, bring to a boil and stir occasionally to make sure pasta noodles are submerged
- Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, cook for 7-10 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente
- Add artichokes, capers, salmon and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Remove from heat, garnish with watercress and parsley, sprinkle with lemon juice, and top with feta cheese.
* If you’re using fresh salmon, make sure to cook it before adding it to the pasta.
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN: omit the salmon and feta, you could add in white beans for extra protein
**There will likely be extra liquid, this is normal and makes for a tasty sauce!
What are your go-to quick and easy meals? Comment below – I’d love to hear from you!
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