How to: Quickie Meal – Kale and White Bean Whole Grain Spaghetti

IMG_4285Your doctor is gonna thank me.

More importantly, your taste buds will.

This is where healthy and delicious become BFFs.

IMG_4227I’m normally not a huge fan of whole grain pastas.  I find them too dense and their flavour too overwhelming when pairing them with tomato or cheese based sauces.  I find they can work with bold flavours and textures, though. Pesto for instance.

IMG_4254Also, anchovies!


For those of you who think anchovies are nasty, this recipe will make you a believer. And I promise to the moon and back that no one will know there are anchovies in this recipe.

They lend a meaty, savoury undertone when used in small amounts.

You can banish this blog for all time if you try it and hate.

















While the prep work for this recipe is rather minimal, I get that shredding and de-stemming fresh kale can be a pain in the A.  Feel free to use frozen kale for this, too.  I love the Cooking Greens brand.  You can also opt for broccoli rabe or even rapini if you’re feeling feeling especially bold.

IMG_4267If using frozen kale, defrost first and skip the steaming step.  Just toss with the oil mixture and ensure it’s warmed through before adding the pasta.

IMG_4272Reserving the pasta water is a non-negotiable.  I do this for nearly every pasta dish I make now.  It’s a life saver when you need to loosen up the pasta after it has cooled.  When I pack up leftover pasta for lunches, I always add a couple of Tbsp to my container just before packing it away.  Do not mix it in!  When you go to reheat, stir your pasta halfway through cooking time, your extra pasta water will loosen things up and rejuvenate your lunch!

You probably won’t have leftover for this one though.



Kale and White Bean Whole Grain Spaghetti

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes


  • 300g whole grain whole wheat pasta
  • 1 bunch kale (stems remove and chopped or torn in to bite sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets (about 2 tsp - minced)
  • 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add 2 tsp salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 10 minutes for while grain pasta depending on the brand). Strain pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add kale to sauté pan and reduce heat to medium-low. If the kale is no longer wet from washing, add 2 Tbsp water to the pan. Toss kale with oil mixture carefully to ensure it is well dispersed. Cover sauté pan with a tight fitting lid and allow kale to steam for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add pasta and white beans to the sauté pan with the kale mixture. ¼ cup at a time, add the reserved starchy pasta water as you toss everything together until a light sauce covers everything. You will probably only need ¼-½ cup of the pasta water if serving immediately. Keep the remainder if you plan on reheating later.

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