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Whole Grain Penne with Spinach and Creamy Goat Cheese

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Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Serving Size: 4 Servings

If you enjoy eating healthy, homemade meals but don’t want to spend all night in the night in the kitchen, then this Whole Grain Penne with Spinach and Creamy Goat Cheese is a quick and easy solution. Simply cook the pasta, toss with the other ingredients and you’re done.

The hot pasta wilts the spinach, warms the tomatoes, and creates a creamy goat cheese sauce, while the lemon gives it that burst of freshness. This is a dish that has it all - whole grains, fresh veggies, plus it's easy and delicious!

Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach with its delicate texture and dark green color provide more nutrients than any other food. Spinach protects against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, and other diseases at the same time. Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.

These compounds have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. The vitamin K provided by spinach - almost 200% of the Daily Value in one cup of fresh spinach leaves – is important for maintaining bone health. Vitamin K1 helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone.

1 pound whole grain penne
5 cups spinach, gently packed
4 ounces chevre (creamy goat cheese), broken into pieces
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup pasta water, reserved
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a handful for the pasta water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Tip - this is the best time to season the pasta, so add enough salt to make it like the sea! Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add the spinach, chevre, tomatoes, lemon zest, juice, 1/4 cup reserved pasta water, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve immediately. Leftovers make a great lunch warm or cold!

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