You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as many recipes for sweets and other baked goods lately. That’s because my pregnancy causes me to be glucose intolerant, meaning I don’t have full gestational diabetes (as I did when I was pregnant with Julia), but am just borderline diabetic. While pregnant, I have to follow a special diet, limiting the amount of carbohydrates I eat, and sweets are off limits. Being pregnant and not able to indulge in cookies, pastries, ice cream, and other treats is not so fun, but having a healthy baby makes it totally worth it.
I chose to try this salad recipe because it fits the requirements for the carbs I’m allowed at dinner time. The carbs in this dish come from whole grain pasta and chickpeas. Since there is plenty of arugula in the salad, you’re able to use less pasta and still enjoy a full plate of salad. Mozzarella cheese and the chickpeas add protein to help stabilize blood sugar levels and make the salad more filling.
When it actually came time to cook this for dinner, I wasn’t all that optimistic about how it would turn out. I was tired, and wasn’t sure if this was exactly what I wanted to eat. But I stuck to my plan and went ahead and made the salad anyways. It turned out to be super easy (the only actual cooking required is to boil the pasta), and, more important, delicious. The peppery arugula adds lots of flavor, as do the Parmesan cheese and sun dried tomatoes. All in all, this dish has a really nice balance of ingredients and flavors. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day, and enjoyed them even more than I had enjoyed the dinner the night before. I think the fact that the leftovers were chilled from being refrigerated made the difference, since this is best served cold, like a pasta salad. The only thing that would have made this meal better would have been a warm, buttery homemade roll to go along with it. Soon enough, I’ll be able to enjoy it that way, too.
One year ago: Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies (Oh, how I wish I could be eating one of these right now!)
Arugula Salad with Penne, Chickpeas, and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
- 6 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 3 cups baby arugula (be sure to use baby arugula as it has a milder flavor)
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly shaved or grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and cool the pasta.
- Toss the pasta with the baby arugula, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas, mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic, half of the Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 4 plates and top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately at room temperature or chilled.
Source: Slightly adapted from Skinnytaste