Cooking with Broccoli Rabe


Cooking a delicious, low fat and low cost meal can be challenging, but this recipe makes it easy. This “any night of the week” dish is full of good taste and it’s quick to prepare for a weeknight meal, any time of year! Nutritious garbanzo beans (chick peas) add taste and texture, while tangy broccoli rabe adds color and crunch.

When purchasing broccoli rabe, make sure the florets and leaves are green, with no yellowing edges, and the stems are firm, not mushy. Clean the broccoli rabe by first trimming off the tough, thick stems. Place the trimmed broccoli rabe into a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Swish the broccoli rabe around to loosen debris and then place it into a large colander. Continue to rinse the broccoli rabe thoroughly, under cold running water, until it is dirt free.

So, if you have not tried broccoli rabe before, here is a simple, delectable and jazzylicious recipe to try. Happy, healthy cooking!

Whole Grain Penne with Broccoli Rabe and Garbanzo Beans  


Low Fat and Low Cost Recipe


1/2 pound whole grain or whole wheat penne pasta

1/2 vegetable boullion cube, crumbled

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned, trimmed and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/8 to 1/4 crushed red pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon organic tamari 

Sea salt

1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ

Pour 1/2 cup water into the bottom of a large skillet. Add the crumbled bouillon cube and bring to a simmer. Stir the bouillon cube into the simmering water until it is dissolved. Add the broccoli rabe, garlic, garbanzo beans and crushed pepper to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, adding a bit more water, as needed, if the pan becomes dry. Add the tamari. Cover and simmer a few more minutes, or until the broccoli rabe is tender, but still firm. Do not overcook!

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the penne. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the penne is tender, but firm. Drain the pasta well.

For each serving: Place one to two cups of the cooked penne into a pasta bowl. Sprinkle with one teaspoon of wheat germ. Top with a generous portion of the broccoli rabe mixture, making sure to include some of the broth, adding flavor to the penne. Season the pasta with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired.