Today marks my last day of school. Ever. As a college student. Ignoring the fact that I have 8+ years more to go, it feels kind of liberating. Ever since I can remember, going to and graduating from college was what I worked towards. It was THE ultimate goal. And now, with just one paper and two finals left to go, I will have completed it. There will be MUCH champagne-drinking tonight, let me tell you (as soon as I finish the last paragraph of my paper). My roomie and I stole some Andre` from that formal we attended a few weeks ago and it is sitting in the fridge as we speak.

When I first started cooking, I made very simple dishes that consisted mostly, to be honest, of veggies and pasta. Keep in mind I was in super-diet mode at the time so this made sense. Then, once I reached my goal weight and started maintaining, I begin to incorporate more intense dishes into my repertoire (i.e. gorgonzola cream sauce) while still keeping up the theme of including tons of veggies, of course! However, there is just something about the warm summer weather that calls for a lighter pasta dish, filled with fresh flavors. I had bookmarked a recipe a while ago from Happy Herbivore for Indian-Spiced Chickpeas and Kale that I thought would go great over pasta. Plus, it helped that kale was on sale this week. Kale is one of those superfoods that you’re probably not eating. I had never heard of it a year and a half ago and, admittedly, I haven’t had it in a while but it is definitely a good thing. Kind of like spinach, but tougher and heartier. It’s the muscleman of the leafy greens. There’s no messing with kale.

My opinion about this pasta dish: it was good in that simple, light-hearted kind of way. If I made it again, I would probably double the tomatoes because they end up soaking up most of the Indian spices, and really you can never have too much of those. Also, I used bionaturae’s organic pasta (after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma, I’ve been trying to go organic and/or local whenever possible) and it was incredibly good. I liked that it had only one ingredient. I’ve been looking a lot at ingredient labels lately and if I can’t picture the ingredients in my head (and I’ve taken organic chemistry so I can picture a good many more than the average shopper) then it is NOT going in my shopping cart. Not that I want to get all heavy/controversial/political on you, but I will concede that if I could afford to eat all grass-fed meat and local/organic veggies then I would.

In the meantime, there’s always pasta.

Indian-Spiced Chickpeas and Kale Over Fusilli
Serves 4, adapted from Happy Herbivore

1 lb whole wheat fusilli
1/2 cup dried chickpeas, cooked the crockpot way (or 1 can)
14 oz fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen, for the record)
1 lb kale
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder
4 cloves garlic

Set up the water for pasta. In a separate pan, steam the kale for about 20 minutes (I’m telling you kale is TOUGH) or until dark green and wilted.

In yet ANOTHER pan, saute the tomatoes and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add in the various spices and chickpeas and cook on low heat, mostly just to keep warm until the pasta is done and the kale is cooked but also so that the flavors can meld. When the kale is done, add it in.

Mix with the pasta and serve with some parmesan cheese, if desired. Now how’s THAT for a 30 minute meal!

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Patsy of Family, Friends, and Food.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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15 Responses to The Countdown Begins

  1. Patsyk says:

    I love that this is a light dish! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night’s!

  2. ttfn300 says:

    fantastic!! CONGRATS on your last day of undergrad 🙂 have fun tonight!

  3. Daniel says:

    Joanne, a big time congratulations to you. And good luck in med school!! My best to you.

    Casual Kitchen

  4. Jeff says:

    Congrats on your final day! I start back in the fall and am dreading it 🙁

    Check out In Defense of Food. Same author as Omnivore and goes more into the marketing side of everything.

    I turned into a compulsive label reader years ago and thankfully I found a great local butcher who is comparable to the grocery store so I can enjoy awesome meat all year long for reasonable.

  5. Kim says:

    Congratulations on your last day of school! What an accomplishment! I hope you enjoy your champagne!!

  6. Reeni? says:

    Congratulations!! Reason to celebrate! This looks so good-I love kale!! I like to add it to my salads. I haven’t tried cooking with it yet.

  7. Michelle says:

    This looks really, REALLY good! I love chick peas in anything, any time!

  8. Michelle says:

    Oops forgot to say congrats on starting school. I was in school forever…loved it! But after 7 years, I thought it was time to leave. But I was back in a few years and still take classes every now and again. I’m a forever student.

    Good luck!!

  9. Nancy/n.o.e says:

    Yay, for being done! (at least for now…) I’m loving those Indian spices and veggies – over pasta! Way to mix it up.

  10. Natashya says:

    Looks tasty! I love pasta. Congrats on finishing school! (for now..:)

  11. Joanne says:

    Patsyk – Thank YOU for hosting, the roundup looks great!

    ttfn – Thanks, it feels so weird to be (almost) done.

    Daniel – Thanks a lot, the luck will be much needed.

    Jeff – Don’t dread school, it is something to be looked forward to (okay I’m just weird) but seriously if I could, I would stay in school forever. I tried to get In Defense of Food also actually, but all of the library’s copies were checked out so it will have to wait until I’m back in NY. That’s what I need…a good butcher.

    Kim – The champagne was excellent (partially because it was free)!

    Reeni – Thanks! I’ve never had raw kale, I would think it would be too tough to eat in salad but I guess not.

    Michelle – Me too! I am a chickpea whore. I plan on being a forever student as well. There’s always something new to learn.

    Nancy – Haha thanks! That’s what I figured as well, I wanted something different but find it hard to go a week without pasta.

    Natashya – I love pasta as well, thanks so much!

  12. Ruth says:

    Congrats on one milestone completed!

    And thanks for sharing another great dish with Presto Pasta Nights. I do hope there will be more of them coming in the next phase of your studies.

  13. Kalyn says:

    Hooray for last day of school! Even if it’s not really the last day ever, all those milestones feel good.

  14. Joanne says:

    Ruth – Thanks so much, there is definitely more to come! Pasta is my eternal comfort food.

    Kalyn – I know, I just need to think of it in little pieces at a time. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Su-Lin says:

    I can almost taste that beautiful kale in this pasta dish! Gorgeous and you’re incorporated some lovely flavours too. Congrats too on your last day of being an undergraduate!

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