Because you can't go wrong with cartoon-inspired dinner recipes!
The "Healthy Recipe" contest ends in a couple of days, and I wanted to get just one last entry in before it closed. Now, before any of you accuse me of selling out to the gluten-free trend, I had a reason for making this dish GF. Umm, my reason was that, besides the pasta, all of my ingredients were already gluten-free, so why not? Actually, since it's free of gluten, dairy, and eggs, this is a very allergy-friendly dish!
I liked the idea of making a Popeye-inspired pasta dish, using spinach and olive oil as main ingredients. For being as simple as it is, this recipe was surprisingly flavorful and super easy to make. I used GF pasta made from corn and veggies, like spinach and red bell pepper. As with the last pasta recipe, if you're not following a GF diet, use whatever pasta you'd like. And if you are GF, but can't find veggie pasta, use brown rice, quinoa, or other GF noodles.
It should be noted that, seeing as the sauce is made almost entirely from olive oil, this entree is certainly not fat-free, and not even low-fat. But it is packed with nutrients like iron, potassium, calcium, lots of vitamins, and antioxidants, thanks to the spinach. I used frozen spinach because it was cheaper and easier to give a specific measurement, but fresh baby spinach would be lovely as well. Just add it as directed in the recipe, but only cook until the leaves are just wilted.
1 lb gluten-free pasta
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1 lemon (just under 1/4 cup)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water pressed out
1/4 cup sliced black olives
Salt and pepper
In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta according to directions on package.
In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic, and pepper on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add olive oil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, spinach, and olives, and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
When pasta has finished cooking, drain and return to pot. Add the veggies and sauce to the pasta. Stir to combine, add more salt and pepper as needed, and drizzle with extra olive oil, if desired.