Carbing Up With Healthy Pasta

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 23, 2007
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Making a commitment to the community means looking out for people of all ages. That’s what’s apparent if you look at the events sponsored by the very generous First Hawaiian Bank, which helps organizations with projects assisting everyone from keiki to seniors.

One non-profit that spans the gamut is the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific. While many people think of it largely catering to seniors, that isn’t the case, as medical director Dr. Gary Okamoto knows. REHAB has helped babies who have had seizures, teens who have had accidents driving or riding in cars, young adults who had strokes and so many others who have been given back the ability to live their lives to the fullest.

To raise funds for all these programs, plus programs like post-polio support groups, help for those with joint replacement surgery, out-patient physical therapy and so much more, the First Hawaiian Bank REHAB Golf Challenge is coming up May 30 at the Hawaii Prince Golf Course. A record 300 participants will be there in what has become the largest single charity golf tournament in Hawaii. Michael W. Perry, chair of the REHAB Foundation Board, will be the emcee and at the helm of the post-event banquet. There will be catering by Auntie Pasto’s and Airgas, margaritas from Compadres Bar & Grill, and the famous Spam musubi put together by Auntie Edith Leong and her committee.

So hats off to everyone at First Hawaiian Bank, including tournament chair Tony Guerrero and his hard-working committee which includes Sharon Brown, Brandt Farias and Susan Kam, and to all the golfers, led by honorary chair Mike Irish, who knows firsthand, after his UH football injury years ago, that you should “get your rehab at REHAB.”

Pasta is a good source of energy and protein, and is rich in carbohydrates in the form of starch. Because starch is absorbed slowly by the body, it is recommended for athletes needing long-term muscle fuel, and for endurance competitions.

Whole wheat pasta contains thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper.

This is one of my favorites; it’s great served with a tomato salad and sliced garlic bread.


* 1 round eggplant, cut into thin slices, and cut slices in half
* 1 medium Maui onion, cut into slices, and cut slices in half
* 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
* 3 carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced
* 6 asparagus spears, tough ends removed, and cut in half
* 1/2 cup julienne-cut sweet red pepper
* 2 medium cloves chopped garlic
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
* salt, to taste
* 1 12-ounce package penne pasta, cooked al dente and drained, add a bit of olive oil to coat pasta so it doesn’t stick together
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a shallow baking pan with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray. Toss vegetables and garlic with olive oil to coat; arrange on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. When veggies are done, coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat until warm. Add cooked pasta and parsley and toss to combine. Heat pasta in skillet, stirring gently until heated through. Add the roasted veggies and toss gently until mixed. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve.

Makes six servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 200 Fat: 4 grams Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Sodium: 200 milligrams, depending on how much salt added

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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