Whole Wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Kale, and Chickpeas

Did anyone else gain a little bit of weight over the holiday season? I actually didn't gain that much, but I was really sedentary, which is always my main concern. I know I'm pretty lucky that I don't gain weight easily (although I don't lose it very easily either), which I mostly chalk up to eating a lot of veggies and being naturally muscular. Brian, on the other hand, keeps complaining about how chubby he's gotten. I hadn't noticed any difference, but I figure a hearty, filling, but still healthy pasta dish might help him feel a little better.

I was vegan for quite a while, and when I'm trying to be healthy I tend to revert back to that style of eating. It's just so easy - what I learned was that any meal feels complete if you have a green, a grain, a protein, and a sauce. This is an easy sort of recipe in that you can use whatever you've got on hand. Gluten free? Sub out the whole wheat pasta for your favorite gluten free variety. No cauliflower? Broccoli works just as well. Don't like chickpeas? White beans are a delicious alternative. You get the picture.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Kale, and Chickpeas 

Core and chunk a head of cauliflower. Lightly coat with olive oil and salt, and roast at 350° until golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring once about 10 minutes in.

roastedcauliflower

 Heat up a medium frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Drain the liquid off your chickpeas, and saute them over medium high heat until they start to brown. Make sure to keep them moving so they don't stick. Turn off the heat, and add salt, garlic, and crushed red pepper to taste.

chickpeas

I like to multitask a little bit by blanching my kale while I'm boiling my pasta. I just strip it from the stem and throw it in the pot about 5 minutes before my pasta is done.

A touch more olive oil and the juice from half a lemon will finish. The lemon is a nice touch because it brightens up the heavy ingredients, and it has the added benefit of helping your body absorb the iron in kale. I made this ahead of time to bring to work for lunch. It was really tasty, and it kept me going all the way until dinner.

lunch

Anyone else feeling particularly health conscious right now? What are your tips and tricks for getting back on track?