School is going well, but busy. I just had my first exam of the new semester this week – whew! But I am so happy to finally be delving into the “meat” of the nutrition courses! This semester I am taking Methods in Nutrition Education, Energy Nutrients, Nutrition of the Life Cycle and Management in Dietetics; all of which are interesting in their own ways. Energy Nutrients is going to be toughest one because it is nutrition, chemistry and biology all coming together to talk about metabolism. Nutrition of the Life Cycle is the most interesting as we cover so much and get to do some case studies and “pretend” to be dietitians. I also started a new job at the local VA hospital as a diet aide. (I did the same thing previously, just at a different hospital, and for less money.) Three weeks in and all is well there too. Keeps me out of trouble, right?
And I am *trying* to be a good chairperson for our local support group. I have so many things I want to do with and for the group, but they all take time. Which is in short supply these days. And so I am working to improve my time management skills.
So, to honor that, I’ve been cooking, just nothing fancy. This is one of those easy and quick, no-recipe meals. An old friend of mine made this for me many years ago when I came to visit her (Hi, Jessi!). I’ve probably changed her recipe unknowingly over the years, but in spirit it is still her recipe.
Oh, and if you have some extra zucchini lying around from your overflowing garden, here’s another recipe to use up a couple of them!
Italian Chickpea and Pasta Skillet
Adapted from Jessica’s recipe, as remembered by me
8 oz pasta, cooked
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced thinly into rounds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, halved and sliced
1 Tbsp oregano
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups of fresh, chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste, (or nutritional yeast for vegan)
Cook the pasta according to the directions. (Tonight, for the first time, I tried Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa fusilli pasta. It was pretty good but be careful, it overcooks quick. I set the time for 6 minutes and it was already past al dente.)
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium.Add onions and carrots and cook until the carrots begin to soften. (It will depend on how thinly they were sliced.) Add garlic and zucchini and cook until zucchini begins to soften. Stir in oregano. Then add the chickpeas and tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup water and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in salt to taste.
Serve over the pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.