Eating for Life recipe: Adding arugula to recipe helps keep calories down and nutrients high

07/29/2014 10:21 AM

07/29/2014 10:22 AM

Asking spouses of the candidates to trade cookie recipes has become a part of the modern presidential campaign.

But in 2008, it was all about arugula instead.

Maybe you missed then-Sen. Barack Obama’s arugula moment: “Anybody gone to Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” he asked a group of farmers on a campaign stop in Adel, Iowa. “I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

Unfortunately, arugula has suddenly become a symbol for snobby tastes.

Sure, it probably doesn’t help that the store already has gained the moniker “Whole Paycheck.”

The Star’s Arugula, Squash and Tomato Spaghetti, or “traffic light spaghetti,” features the slightly astringent Italian green with summer squash and grape tomatoes over whole-wheat spaghetti — all foods dietitians consider “nutrient dense,” or rich in nutrients when compared to their calorie content.

A 1/2 -cup serving is just three calories and is high in vitamins A and C. Plus, high nutrient density is a good way to assess the true value of an item when grocery shopping.

Shopping tip: Arugula is usually sold in small bunches with the roots attached. Its leaves hold a lot of grit, so wash them well.

Storage tip: Arugula is highly perishable and usually lasts no more than two days if tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Arugula, Squash and Tomato Spaghetti

Makes 4 main dish servings or 8 side dish servings

2 cups grape tomatoes

1 medium yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced 1/2 -inch thick

8 ounces whole-wheat or whole-grain spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and well drained on paper towels

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 cups arugula

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil generously with nonstick spray. Place tomatoes on one half of baking sheet. Arrange squash on the other half. Spray vegetables with nonstick spray. Roast 20 to 25 minutes until tomatoes burst and squash is beginning to brown.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, omitting salt, until al dente.

Heat olive oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and capers and cook 1 minute. Stir in crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and stir arugula into lemon mixture. Drain the spaghetti and toss with lemon mixture, tomatoes, squash, Parmesan cheese and pepper.

Per serving, based on 4: 223 calories (24 percent from fat), 6 grams total fat (no saturated fat), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 32 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams protein, 291 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

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