Grape Tomato, Olive and Spinach Pasta
Pasta is fat-free, low in sodium and helps the body sustain energy long after it’s eaten. Try this meatless, healthy option for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients: yields 4 servings
- 8 oz. uncooked penne
- 2 Tsp. olive oil
- ¼ Tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2 C. grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ C. organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson)
- ¼ Tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ Tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 10 Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 4 C. baby spinach
- ¼ C. torn basil leaves
- 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 8 minutes or until firm.
- Drain pasta and reserve a . cup of the cooking liquid.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add red pepper and garlic; sauté 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, broth, salt, black pepper, and olives; cook 6 minute.
- Add pasta and . cup reserved cooking liquid to pan; simmer 2 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and basil; cook 2 minutes.
- Divide pasta among 4 bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.
Nutritional Information: serving size: 1 ¼ C.
Calories 305; Total Fat 7g; Protein 12g; Carbohydrate 50g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 6mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 458mg; Calcium 123mg
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Squat and Plank Workout
Those holiday cookies and treats may have put love handles where you don’t want them. Try these exercises to take off the extra pounds while strengthening your thighs and core.
- Begin in plank position with your feet together.
- Start doing jumping jacks with your legs. Hop them wide then hop them together. Jump as quickly as you want.
- With feet shoulder-width apart and arms bent with hands at chest level, draw your knees and come into a full squat.
- Jump up as explosively as you can, reaching for the ceiling. When you land, lower back into the squat position to complete one rep.
- Do as many jumps as you can for 30 seconds.
Elbow Plank With Hip Dips
- From an elbow plank position, slowly rotate the spine to lower your right hip to just above the floor. Come back to elbow plank.
- Now lower the left hip toward the floor. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.
Visit Popsugar for additional moves and detailed steps in performing these exercises. As with all workouts, remember to make sure the exercises you are performing are right for you. Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
Health Benefits of Pasta
As a complex carbohydrate, pasta offers many health benefits when incorporated into your diet. Take a look at how eating pasta can enhance your nutrition.
Sustained Energy - Pasta provides glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. It also helps your body sustain energy.
Low Sodium and Cholesterol-Free - Enriched varieties offer a good source of nutrients like iron and vitamin B. Whole wheat pasta can provide up to 25 percent of daily fiber requirements per cup.
Folic Acid - A serving of dry pasta supplies the equivalent of roughly 100 micrograms of folic acid, or 25 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Balanced Diet - Current dietary guidelines call for up to 65 percent of daily calories to come from carbohydrates, such as pasta, just be sure to watch your portions.
Low GI - It does not cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly. Blood glucose is sometimes referred to as blood “sugar.”
Pair these Healthy Partners with your Pasta:
- Fiber-filled vegetables and beans
- Heart-healthy fish and oils
- Antioxidant-rich tomato sauce
- Protein-packed cheese and lean meats