Review: WW Eat! Move! Play! (Recipe: Fusilli with Broccoli, Beans & Walnuts

There's been a lot of talk in the media the last few years about childhood obesity.  It has become a nationwide problem, which sparked Jamie Oliver's quest to bring his Food Revolution to the U.S.  I agree with his ideas that school lunches need to be improved.  Kids will eat healthy food when it's offered to them regularly.  But, the other piece of what he's been trying to change is that healthy eating needs to start at home.  So, when the opportunity to review a new cookbook from Weight Watchers that focuses on this theme was presented, I knew it would be something I should share with readers of Family, Friends and Food.

This cookbook is not just a book with recipes, it also has some no nonsense guidelines on raising healthy kids.  The tips in the book can be applied to any family, whether there is an existing weight problem or not.  Simply put, keep the kids moving - limit screen time - healthy food applies to all members of the family! 

The recipes are simple to follow and are wide-ranging in flavor and cuisine.  They are geared toward getting kids to enjoy healthy foods in a variety of ways.  The first recipe I made was the Fusilli with Broccoli, Beans and Walnuts.  I did end up leaving out the walnuts- mostly by accident since I made it ahead of time and forgot to add them later.  I do think the additional crunch would add a nice contrast in texture to the dish.

The garlic flavor really comes through in each bite from the little bit of oil it was cooked in and then combined with the rest of the ingredients.  I don't think that's a bad thing at all, in fact I really loved that for a healthy dish it had so much flavor.  I think its best served warm, and it does make wonderful leftovers for lunch!  With the beans adding protein and the whole wheat pasta and broccoli packed with fiber this is a great dish for lunch or a meatless dinner.

The recipes all have full nutrition details, but the book is not focused on the WW Points plan - if you are counting points, there is enough nutrition information for you to calculate them yourself.  It's definitely geared toward making healthy food palatable for kids so that they grow up loving food that is good for them.  I have several more recipes marked to try and will share them as I make each one. 

Fusilli with Broccoli, Beans and Walnuts
Source:  Weight Watchers: Eat! Move! Play!

2 cups whole wheat fusilli pasta
1 head broccoli, florets halved and stems peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
15 oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Cook the fusilli according to the package directions, omitting the salt if desired.  Four minutes before it's done, add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook until the pasta and broccoli are tender.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Return the pot to medium heat.  Add the oil and garlic and cook until the garlic begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the beans and pepper flakes.  Add the reserved pasta water, then the drained pasta and broccoli.  Add the cheese and walnuts and toss until combined.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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Megan said…
Hi Patsy! I so agree with Jamie Oliver and his mission. I work in the school cafeteria and I see that the kids eat the veggies they grew. We just have to get whole foods into thier choices and they do respond. I remember when we took the Ranch dressing away. I thought that would never make it but 2 years later, were still Ranch free.
My school cafeteria (only one in the distric) is going through MAJOR revamping. Homemade, fresh, and local, I'm sure I'll learn a lot from all this revamping and I couldn't be happier. The big joke at school is that I'll have very early hours so I can go milk the cows and collect the eggs. At least, I hope it's a joke! ;)
The recipe looks delicious. And easy, always a bonus!
I could use a heavy dose of healthy eating for every meal. It doesn't have to be bland, but delicious like your dish here.
diffinitly one of my favorite dishes great photo as well!
Jhonny walker said…
Hello Patsy,

I am new to your blog..sort of strolled over and viola..nice tasty healthy motto of food is healthy and delish..

love your blogspot...

following you ...just so that I don't miss up on the good one you come up with :)

christine said…
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