This is simplicity at its best: seasoned black bean pasta (which happens to be low in carbohydrates and high in protein), lightly steamed kale, a chunky lemony artichoke tapenade, and gloriously sweet cherry tomatoes. It takes just minutes to prepare, and it is quite filling, which is really all you need when you're ravenous. And I was.
I'm always looking for alternatives to regular pasta. Although pasta is one of my favorite foods (actually, all food is my favorite!), I'm religious about upping the nutrition wherever I can. Black Bean pasta (Found here) is soy free, organic and made just with beans and water. How easy is that? If you're looking for something silky smooth, this isn't it: black bean pasta is hearty, dark and rich has a naturally al dente taste, with a rustic bite.
The artichoke heart tapenade is surprisingly simple but complex in texture and flavor: hints of garlic, fresh lemon rind, and a creaminess that is easy to love.
You can easily make this even more robust by adding in more mediterranean flavors: olives, sundried tomatoes, basil...feel free to play.
This recipe may look like it has a lot of moving parts, but honestly it's quite easy if you time things right: Two pots on the stove (one for the pasta, the other for the kale) and make your tapenade at the same time. For me, it came together in about 15 minutes.
Ingredients for pasta:
1/2 package Black Bean Spaghetti Pasta, cooked according to package instructions. After draining, lightly season with salt and black pepper.
Ingredients for artichoke hearts tapenade:
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 can artichoke hearts seasoned in oil and spices, liquid drained by half
2 cloves garlic, microplaned
the rind of one lemon, microplaned (just the top, no white pith)
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
In a food processor, combine the artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon, a few pinches of ground black pepper, and sea salt. Pulse lightly so the texture remains chunky. Taste to check seasoning, and leave aside.
Ingredients for Kale:
2 cups kale, torn, and lightly steamed until bright green, about 1 minute
drizzle of olive oil
squeeze of lemon
chili flakes (optional if you like the heat): I didn't add them but will next time.
Toss the kale with lemon and olive oil and season to taste with salt (and chili flakes). Leave aside.