To give your hair, skin and nails a healthy boost here’s the perfect recipe! Enjoy the wonderful combination of flavors while knowing that the nutrients in this tasty fare are hard at work for your benefit.
The many vegetables in this pasta dish will contribute to healthier looking skin, enhance immunity and protect against colds, flu and infection. They also help protect cells and will slow the aging process. The carrots, red peppers, zucchini, grape tomatoes, arugula and parsley and even the red pepper flakes all contain beta carotene which contributes to better night vision and eye health, silky hair, strong nails and radiant skin.
Here are some of the benefits of a few of the vegetables in particular that are in this dish.
Arugula, part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, is a potent cancer fighter. It will stimulate enzymes which help the body cleanse itself of toxins and carcinogens. Being a great source of chlorophyll, arugula will help bring large amounts of oxygen to all parts of the body which in turn makes for an environment undesirable to harmful bacteria and viruses.
Zucchini has excellent anti-aging properties as it is very rich in anti-oxidants as well as many vitamins and minerals. Researchers have discovered that zucchini has the perfect combination of vitamins E and A with omega-3 fatty acids which stimulates absorption of the fat soluble anti-oxidants and assists in effective brain cell reconstruction. Because zucchini is high in vitamin C is helps cure asthma, scurvy, and bruising as well as provide protection from cardiovascular disease. With its combination of vitamin C and lutein it is also beneficial for better vision and healthy eyes. With its high water content, loads of nutrients including protein and low calories it is perfect for those who wish to enjoy good health and maintain a healthy body weight.
Red bell peppers are incredible sources of vitamin C and A with more than one hundred percent of the daily requirement for vitamin A and more than twice the vitamin C of an orange. Phytonutrients specific to red bell peppers are lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are known to help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Red bell peppers and grape tomatoes are some of the few lycopene-containing foods which can help prevent certain types of cancer.
The whole wheat pasta will also contribute to healthy hair and nails with its doses of zinc, iron and B vitamins.
1 lb. whole wheat linguine
1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4” cubes
2 T coconut oil*
3 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
2 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1 t red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh arugula leaves
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leafed parsley
Prepare all the vegetables. Soak the eggplant in a light brine solution for about 30 minutes, rinse and drain. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil add salt and olive oil. When water is ready, drop linguine noodles in boiling water. Cook 7 minutes until al dente.
In a very hot skillet, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and drop in the carrots. Sear carrots for about 1 minute. Add peppers and sear until tender. Remove to a large bowl. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet, add the zucchini and mushrooms repeat the searing process until tender and add to the large bowl. Add the eggplant to the skillet. Add the vegetable broth to cook the eggplant. When mostly cooked, stir in the tomatoes then add the garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Stir to thoroughly coat the eggplant and quickly remove to the large bowl. Add the arugula to the bowl. Drain the noodles and lay over the arugula allowing the residual heat to wilt the greens for 2 minutes. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the parsley, toss all together then arrange in a large pasta bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com