Whole Grains Sampling Day – Pasta with Peas

Photo courtesy Oldways Whole Grains Council

Have you had any whole grains yet today? If not, there’s still snack time and dinner. Today is the day for celebrating whole grains as it’s A Whole Day for Whole Grain. Every year the Oldways Whole Grains Council designates this day for sampling whole grains.

It used to be thought that the only significant difference between refined and whole grains was the fibre content. Maybe there were just a few nutrient shortfalls but since refined grain products are generally enriched with nutrients, that concern was no big deal. But scientific research over the past few years has exploded that myth. Whole grains provide an entire package including the fibre-rich outer coating of the bran, the central endosperm and the nutrient-packed inner germ.

During the milling process, refined grains have their bran and germ removed and only the endosperm, the least nutritious part of the grain remains.

Besides the fibre, whole grains contain vitamins including a number of B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals and an assortment of phytochemicals including those with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Saponins, lignans, phytosterols and tocotrienols are just a few of these phytochemicals.

The fibre itself has long been known as a boon to bowel regularity but we now know there’s much more to fibre than simply helping you move your bowels. Some types of fibre reduce blood cholesterol readings and help to regulate blood sugar levels.

Others act as a prebiotic by stimulating and promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut which can have an array of benefits for your health including a healthier immune system. Read more about whole grain benefits here.

If you’re still wondering what to make for dinner, here’s a delicious dish you can make in a flash – 15 minutes. That’s faster than ordering take-out. It’s from the Oldways Whole Grains Council. For more information on the range of whole grains you can sample and how to cook them along with recipes, check out the Oldways Whole Grains Council website.

Pasta with Peas

2 eggs, beaten
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup frozen peas
12 ounces whole wheat linguini
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and break linguini in half and cook according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the eggs and cheese in a small bowl, beat, and set aside. Put peas in a strainer, rinse under hot water, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté for several minutes, until it softens. Add the peas to the skillet and cook for about one minute longer.

Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Toss gently to mix. Create a well in the center, add the eggs and cheese, and cook until the are starting to firm up. Toss with the pasta and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition information per serving:
• Calories: 450
• Protein: 20 grams
• Fat: 11 grams
• Saturated fat: 3 grams
• Carbohydrate: 72 grams
• Dietary fibre: 10 grams
• Sodium: 260 milligrams

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Nutrition Month, Recipes

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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