Whole Wheat Pasta w/ Chickpeas, Swiss Chard, Chicken and Fresh Basil

Some of you may know that I have been working with the foster care population for over 7 years now. I must say, it’s one of most rewarding things I have EVER done.  One of the main parts of my job is working with Transition Age Youth (TAY), those who are 18 and aging out of foster care or those who have been out of care for a couple of years.  The youth (young adults) who are currently living in our Transitional Housing Program (TLP) are blessed to have an organic/edible garden on the premises.  Each week, along with a master gardener, they help to prepare the soil for planting, harvest crops, guide climbing plants through garden trellises, and any other tasks good gardeners perform. It is a beautiful thing to see them working together learning about gardening from someone who decided a garden free of pesticides would be a great gift for the program participants.  She was absolutely right. 

Since the young adults aren’t always sure about what to do with the crops they harvest from the garden, one of our very talented staff members (who is a fantastic cook) always brings the youth into our on-site kitchen and shows them how to use the fresh fruits and veggies from the garden to make amazing/simple meals. 

This tasty pasta with chickpeas, fresh basil and swiss chard turned out to be quite  fabulous.  I HAD to share 










Whole Wheat Pasta

Fresh Basil

Swiss Chard (sauté in Extra Light Olive Oil and garlic)

Canned Chickpeas

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Kosher Salt

Crushed Black Pepper

Balsamic Vinegar

Extra Light Olive Oil

Minced Garlic

1 Lemon

Chicken Breasts


Boil whole wheat pasta (al dente – cooked to be firm but not hard)

Sauté Chard in Garlic and Olive Oil (do not over cook—it will lose nutritional value)

Add chickpeas, chard and sun dried tomatoes, fresh chopped basil, to pasta

In a separate bowl, mix 3 parts EVOO to 1 part balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh squeezed lemon. Pour over pasta and mix all ingredients together.

Grill chicken breasts in EVOO, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper

Chop chicken (I suggest you serve separately in case people do not want chicken added)


  1. moto olje Nice entry, thanks. Do you have a Twitter account?

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