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Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Sometimes, nothing is more beautiful than a simple bowl of pasta.

It’s when I’m really hungry that these words couldn’t feel more true, and this time of year, that means after a long, hot summer run. After one of those, first I want watermelon. And then I want pasta.

Summertime (er, late springtime). It feels so good.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

When the weather is nice, I spend a ton of time outside. More often than not, that means after work, I’m out strolling, cycling, running, or just hanging around until the sun just sets. I could be with my friends. I could be by myself. It doesn’t matter – when it’s warm out, I’m out. And I’m loving every minute of it.

However, this often leaves me locking up my bike at the end of the evening and heading inside with a sudden realization of hunger, and the urge to eat ASAP. Anyone else turn into a monster on occasion, too?

If so, you know that’s when simple recipes like this prove themselves to be rather handy.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Here, a quick saute of some onions, squash and spinach create a light and easy sauce for a meal you can make in under 30 minutes. It’s filling, yet not in the kind of way that will weigh you down on a balmy summer night, and is spruced up with parsley to make it feel extra fresh.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

I don’t cook with a butter a lot, but I find that adding a Tbsp. to this enhances the inherent butteriness of yellow summer squash. Feel free to use all olive oil if that’s your preference. However, a little browned butter goes a long way to enrich the sauce, and pairs well with the lemony tones of the parsley.

Also, be sure to stick with angel hair or spaghettini when choosing your whole wheat pasta. While this sauce is certainly flavorful, it’s delicate, so to truly experience all of its nuances, a thinner pasta works best.

Pasta_SummerSquash_blog

Pair this with a side salad, and a cold beverage of your choice, and you create a no-fuss summer meal for any night of the week.

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Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snack

Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snack

I’m not much of a snacker these days, largely because I just stopped buying snack food. I used to mindless munch away all afternoon, which never made me feel amazing nor enjoy dinner as greatly. And then I realized, snacks are rarely as tasty as dinner. Or as healthy. So I stopped.

Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snack

That’s not saying snacks don’t have their place. Sometimes a little mid-day recharging is a necessity. And if I were to ever cut bananas and peanut butter out of my diet, my refresher of choice, my life would not be the same. Please don’t do that to me.

These days when I do have a snack, I’m limited to the fruit and nuts I keep on hand. Lately, these lentils too. They’re my newest favorite salad-topper, and mid-day crunch.

Crunchy Garlic Lentil Snack

When New Years resolutions pour in along the lines of healthy eating, it can be helpful to have pre-made healthy options already laying around. Cut the snack-buying and begin the snack-making, and that way you can watch every single ingredient that’s going into your food. And then you can nosh on handfuls of things you feel good about, too.

These are simple and protein-packed, perfect for when your roommate’s/husband’s/whoever’s Oreos are calling your name. Cookies won’t beat lentils when it comes to how you feel, so no need to feel like you’re missing out on something there. Plus, cookies were so last month.

Feel free to play around with herbs and season these as you please!

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