Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cabbage and White Bean Pasta, Vegetable Barley Soup

Sunday was very busy at our house. We had a great day but it was busy one. Monday was not much different. We ended up spending a great deal of Monday in Annapolis being tourists and had a lot of fun. Isn’t it amazing how different a familiar city can be when you look at it through different eyes? I will be sharing those pictures with you as soon as I am home long enough to go through them.

Lunch on Sunday with my parents consisted of vegetable soup and pasta. This pasta dish was a huge hit with the omnis. If you are looking for a dish to serve omnis this one may fit the bill. Here is what I did:

Cabbage and White Bean Pasta
Serves 5


8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta, cooked 80% (will finish cooking in the sauce absorbing the flavor at the same time)
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
12 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 cups veggies stock
½ pound of cannellini beans, cooked until tender
2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water)
4 cups cabbage, very thinly sliced
8 fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
nutritional yeast necessary to achieve a buttery background (I used approximately 2 tablespoons)
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped


Sauté the onions and garlic in a little veggie stock. When the onions are tender add the remaining veggie stock, cannellini beans and the par cooked pasta. Cook until the pasta is the done then add the cornstarch slurry and stir to distribute. Add the cabbage and sage leaves and cook a few minutes to wilt the cabbage. Taste for seasoning and add pepper as desired. Add nutritional yeast a ½ tablespoon at a time and stir to incorporate. You are going for a background note of butter. If you add too much the sauce will be cheesy and will overpower the cabbage and sage, less is more in this situation.

To serve, top the pasta dish with the chopped walnuts.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 473.66
Calories From Fat (17%) - 82.72

Total Fat - 9.51g
Saturated Fat - 0.86g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 25.65mg
Potassium - 1052.95mg
Total Carbohydrates - 77.87g
Fiber - 15.5g
Sugar 5.51g
Protein - 20.38g


This dish was without question the most popular one on Sunday. It is a much more calorie dense dish due to the pasta but on a cool day like we had on Sunday it was a nice treat. It is always difficult to find things my omni parents will enjoy and pasta always works. As you know Dan and I eat very few dishes with flour but a little every once in a while isn’t going to hurt us. I made 2 ounces of dry pasta since that is a “serving” and found that it was really too much, at least for Dan and me. Next time we are going to make 1.5 ounces and see how that works.

The flavor of this dish was mild and cabbage added nice chew to the dish since I only cooked it until it wilted. Walnuts added nice crunch. Overall we all thought this worked very well which my parents volunteering to eat this again. You know that made me happy since I am always struggling to find thing they will eat.


Sunday started like normal at our place with an early morning trip to the farmers’ market. We got there before the official starting time like normal. Rudy (one of the organic farmers we always chat with on Sunday) didn’t have his stand set up yet so we helped him unload his truck since his helper wasn’t there yet. Next we did our produce shopping. We picked up: kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, peaches, watermelon, corn, eggplant, purple potatoes, spaghetti squash and other things I have probably forgotten to list. It was a productive trip to the market this morning.

Breakfast this morning was a strawberry and banana smoothie with cinnamon and ginger which I made for both of us.

Lunch was a bowl of the cabbage and white bean pasta above. To go with the pasta I made a pot of vegetable and barley soup. This is a simple soup which I made as follows:

Vegetable Barley Soup
Serves 8


1 red onion (allow to stand 10 minutes after dicing before heating)
12 cloves of garlic (allow to stand 10 minutes after dicing before heating)
½ cup water to sauté the onions and garlic
6 cups peeled diced tomatoes
1 large globe eggplant, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
3 carrots, finely diced
water sufficient to cover the veggies and cook barley
2 pinches saffron
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, or to taste
1/3 cup barley, hulled
½ ounce dried morel mushrooms, soaked and chopped (soaking liquid strained)
½ cup fresh basil leaves, finely shredded


Water sauté the onions and garlic until they just begin to soften. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Pour in enough water to cover the veggies by approximately an inch. Simmer the soup on low until the barley has cooked through (somewhere between 45 to 60 minutes). Be certain to stir periodically since the barley will try to stick to the bottom of the pan. Also you may need to add a little liquid to the pot as the barley swells.

Once the barley is tender taste the soup for flavor and add more fennel, salt and pepper as desired. You can add too much saffron which will become bitter so add that a little at a time you want more.

To serve, top the soup with the fresh basil at the last minute. The basil will turn black quickly so you don’t want to do this ahead of time. You can also serve this with fresh minced parsley, a little pesto, or pine nuts if you don’t have basil.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 74.3
Calories From Fat (8%) - 5.78

Total Fat - 0.7g
Saturated Fat - 0.1g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 37.93mg
Potassium - 740.48mg
Total Carbohydrates - 16.37g
Fiber - 5.48g
Sugar - 6.83g
Protein - 3.45g


I made the soup to accompany the pasta for a few reasons. One my soup is always low in calories compared to the volume. Also my soup is always packed with veggies which means more nutrition. This soup helped to keep us full as well as adding vitamins and minerals. I also like that soup is a great leftover to have on hand. Since the fat content is so low on this soup it needed the basil for flavor. To my parents serving I added a drizzle (maybe a ¼ teaspoon) of extra virgin olive oil to give the soup the mouth feel they were expecting. As always Dan and I had our soup without the added oil.

Dinner was a simple salad make up of leftovers from the prior day. I topped shredded romaine with leftover black beans salad, marinated tomatoes, onions and cucumbers (like yesterday), an avocado and a few marinated mushrooms. Nothing fancy, just a big salad of leftovers. I find that I love leftovers on salad particularly bean dishes.

Dessert was strawberry banana soft serve  (no oats since he is wants to drop a pound or 2 at the moment) for Dan, and watermelon for me.

Sorry I am getting so far behind on the blog. Clearly I have been having too much this long weekend hanging out with my hubby. Dan is also taking from work on Tuesday so I am going to be busy again. Hopefully I will be able to get caught back up this week. You can probably expect to see multiple posts a few days this week as I get back on track posting. Talk to you all again soon.


  1. Sounds like you are having a great long weekend. Enjoy your day with Dan!


  2. Thanks Courtney,

    We are both having a wonderful long weekend with more fun today.

    Gotta run, talk to you later,

    Well you have been busy this weekend!
    I am hopping a flight so I can get some of your soup. Break out your credit cards we'll go shopping too!!!

  4. Brandi,

    We have been busy and there is more fun and frivolity to come today. Yes there will be some shopping involved. ;-)

    I hope you had a great weekend. Talk to you later I need to pack some food so we can head out for the day.


  5. Sometimes being behind on the blog is a good thing b/c it means you were just enjoying yourself right? And how often does Dan take long weekends.

  6. Heather,

    LOL, how often does Dan take a weekend period? Very good point by the way. ;-)

    Today we are off to spend a little time at the beach and then outlet shopping. Definitely my kind of day.

    talk to you later,

  7. Whenever I look at one of your posts I think...this girl is amazing!!! That soup looks right up my ali;)

  8. I'm in cabbage land now, so this recipe will come in handy!

  9. Aimee,

    Right up my ali, cute, LOL. Thanks for the giggle and the compliment. ;-)


  10. Melisser,

    It is definitely cabbage season here now. I am always looking for more ways to use it this time of year. ;-)


  11. i love that little taureen that your soup is in. you seriously find the cutes dishes. good to hear you two are having fun ttysoon

  12. Michelle,

    I have two different versions of the little footed bowls. One is from Bodum and the other came from Crate and Barrel. The Bodum version I bought online. As you noticed has a bit of a "thing" for dishes. ;-)

    talk to you later,

  13. That salad with the avocado looks great! You are pretty much the soup queen huh! You are a pro!

  14. Carissa,

    We eat a lot of soup and salad because they are both easy to make healthy. Since I hate eating the same thing all the time I am forced to come up with variations frequently. ;-)



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