Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6th - Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Arugula, Capers, and Olives


Yesterday was opening day for our Chicago White Sox.  (Please, don't get the impression that I am a baseball fan.)  The reason I'm bringing it up is that it officially begins HOTDOG season!  I LOVE me a good hotdog. 

So yesterday, while I'm grocery shopping, I decide that as a treat I should buy some hotdogs.  Have you ever picked up a pack of hotdogs and actually looked at the nutritional information?  OMG (or oh my gosh for you non-texters).  I was shocked!  And it must have showed, because an old lady scooting past with her cart says to me "those things are no good, honey".  A whopping 19 grams of fat per hot dog?  Made with processed chicken and pork "pieces"? (I'm not kidding, it really said pieces).  Oh, my beloved hotdog.  Say it ain't so!  Needless to say, I didn't buy any hotdogs. 

As I wandered around the grocery store in half shock and sorrow, I noticed that a lot of the food items that were cheap and fast were also the most unhealthy for you.  Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, taco shells, canned chili, spaghetti-o's, microwave popcorn, jarred spaghetti sauce.  Reading the back of the box/can/jar became the judas kiss for me.  They were full of fat, calories, salt, and sugar.  I will probably never eat those things again!  Oh my poor hotdog.  I'll miss you!


Tomatoes: $1.79
Kalamata Olive: $1.10
Arugula: $2.99
Olive oil: had
Capers: had
Garlic: had
Crushed Red Pepper: had
Pasta: $0.99

Total: $6.87

I love super easy pasta recipes.  It reminds me of my time living in Italy.  Pasta was super cheap, so we'd stock up on it.  We'd go to the market, buy some fresh veggies, and just toss them into some pasta and olive oil.  It was a quick meal that filled us up and kept costs down. 


FAST:  The recipe calls for letting all of the ingredients (except the pasta) sit in a bowl (at room temp) for 30 minutes to let the flavors mesh.  Add the pasta boiling time (15 minutes) and prep time (10 minutes)  and you're looking at about 55 minute before dinner gets on the table.   Not so quick.

EASY:  Super E.  Just chop and toss.  Boiling the water for the noodles will be the most difficult part (unless you bought kalamata olives that weren't pitted...like I did...BUY THE PITTED KIND!)

FRESH:  This recipe is the epitome of fresh.  Salty olives and capers with the sweetness/acidity of tomatoes, the bitterness of arugula, and the creaminess of olive oil.  Delicious!

OVERALL:  Loved it.  I added some leftover basil, asparagus, canned artichoke hearts, and chicken that I had in the fridge.   Simple, fresh, and full of healthy veggies.    This is one of those recipes you can use to clean out the fridge/pantry. 

Alright.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I will be cooking fresh artichokes for the first time ever!  Exciting.  See ya tomorrow!


NikiTheo said...

You don't have to nix hotdogs all together! I'm sure Whole Foods or Trader Joe's has some sort of not so bad for you hotdog out there!

SuperStar Chef Mark said...

Brian tried to get me to eat fake hotdogs. I believe they were chicken or turkey. It wasn't the same. Once you take away all the sodium and "mystery meat", they donn't taste anywhere close to the real thing.

NikiTheo said...

That's sad :(

Well, maybe one every once in a blue moon might not be so bad...