Penne with Fennel and Spinach
The other day I put together this healthy working lunch. A few nights before I had made a baby spinach salad with fennel, and orange with a citrus dressing. I served it with a roasted vegetable pasta with feta cheese. With the left over cup of pasta, and salad I threw together this quick working lunch.
Pasta with Fennel and Spinach
1 cup of cooked penne pasta, 1 cup of baby spinach leaves, 1/2 cup of sliced fennel, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp orange juice, 1 tsp of red wine vinegar, 1 tsp chopped garlic, cracked black pepper, salt, crushed red chili flakes to taste, Parmesan cheese to garnish
1. Dressing: Whisk the olive oil, orange juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, black pepper, crushed red chili flakes, and salt.
2. Add the dressing to a hot pan and slightly cook the garlic.
3. Add the spinach, and fennel until the leaves wilt.
4. Add the pasta and mix together.
5. Top with grated Parmesan.
Fennel is packed with powerful antioxidants. Fennel is a good source of niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese. Fennel seeds, known as Saunf, often help to overcome gas, cramps, acid indigestion, and many other digestive tract maladies. They are used in Indian Cooking, and are often served after dinner as a palate cleanser and to help digestion.
Verdict: I really enjoyed the taste of the fennel with spinach. I've been eating a lot of the standard 'english' vegetables, as Shankar's grandmother refers to them. So going beyond the cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, peas, cabbage, and potatoes is a big adventure for me. I find as an adult my palette has certainly matured, I am really enjoying more complex flavors and foods that are slightly bitter or sour. Some new favorites of mine include, fennel, arugula, mustard greens, and bottlegourd which you saw in my last post.
I'll leave you all with a funny joke told to us by one visiting uncle: He took his grandkids to the Field Museum in Chicago. Upon arriving at the museum CK Uncle proceeds to tell his grandkids how long it has been since he's been to that museum, and things may have changed since he last visited. His young 7 yr old grandson gently takes his hand and says
"Thatha, when you last came here it was a Zoo, and the dinosaurs were all playing around here!"