Today was one of those days where the last thing I wanted to do after work was cook. Luckily, Matt took control of dinner prep tonight because this dish was worth it! Ok, I haven’t had a dish from Clean Eating that hasn’t been delicious so I feel like that is just stating the obvious.
(yes, we went overboard on the kale but I don’t regret it)
The dish itself was really good, but I wasn’t a fan of the prep. The cooking times listed in the recipe were true (about 30 minutes), but it is the type of dish where parts are prepared separately and mixed together at the end. We have a small kitchen and our counter space is limited so this can test our patience with each other (especially toward the end of the work week!). Overall, the meal was still worth the dirty dishes.
I was, however, a big fan of the leftovers! Hooray for lunch tomorrow and Saturday! By the way, in case you’re wondering (and even if you aren’t), Snapware is great.
Roasted Eggplant & Kale Penne (with toasted pine nuts & feta). Serves 6. Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 30 min.
Nutrients per serving: Calories 215, Total Fat 8g, Sat. Fat 1g, Carb 34g, Fiber 7g, Sugars 2g, Protein 8g, Sodium 216mg, Cholesterol 1.7mg
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
- Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 8oz whole wheat penned (we used a low carb white pasta because it is what we had in our cupboard)
- 1 bunch kale, stalks removed
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (time saver: use a garlic press)
- 2 oz reduced-fat feta cheese
- 1 tbsp torn fresh oregano leaves (we didn’t use fresh and it still tasted good)
STEP ZERO: I am adding this in because we always end up spending more time on pasta dishes than expected because we forget this step. Start boiling your water now!
STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 400F. Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, careful not to burn (we slightly burned ours and they still tasted great!), three minutes. Remove from baking sheet and set aside.
STEP TWO: Drizzle eggplant with one tbsp oil and season with salt and black pepper. Toss to combine. Spread eggplant out in a single layer. Roast in oven at 400F, stirring once, until soft and starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
STEP THREE: Meanwhile, cook penne according to package directions, until tender but firm. Reserve half-cup cooking water and drain pasta.
STEP FOUR: Chop kale roughly. Heat remaining tsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add crushed red pepper and garlic and cook for one minute. Using tongs, fold in kale and season with salt and black pepper. Add one tbsp water and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale wilts and becomes soft, about three minutes.
STEP FIVE: In a large serving bowl, combine penne, eggplant, kale, pine nuts and quarter-cup reserved cooking water, adding more if necessary. Top with feta and oregano and serve.
Let me know what you think if you cook this meal!