Lemon Pepper Tossed Penne

No doubt about it – life gets busy. Especially with the beautiful sunshine we’ve been getting these last couple of weeks despite Autumn being in full swing. Any tidbits that can save me time in the kitchen without compromising taste or nutrition quality is a huge win. Because the less time I spend cooking, means the more time I get to enjoy the meal and get my feet back into those hiking shoes and out onto the golden trails!

Stopping by one of the Asian grocer’s on my way home from the skytrain the other day, I picked up a couple bunches of watercress. This tender mustard green adds a peppery yet smooth edge to dishes. It can be a great addition raw in salads, or as toppings for sandwiches. In cooked dishes, it adds a kick to pastas, soups and quiches. Between April and Early November, keep an eye out for these crisp leaves and deep green colour. For best storage, place in the refrigerator with its stems in water, covered with a plastic bag.

If you enjoy a peppery, fresh and warm plate of zingy pasta – this is for you! And dinner is served in under a half hour. What’re you waiting for?

Lemon Pepper Tossed Penne

MAKES: 6 Servings

EQUIPMENT: Boiling Pot, Stove, Large Pan, Cutting Board, Knife, Spatula.


  • 1 Package (375g) Whole Wheat, or Lentil or High Fibre Penne
  • 2 Onions, Thinly Chopped
  • 2 Bell Peppers, Thinly Sliced
  • 4 Cups (1000mL) Watercress
  • 1/4 Cup (60mL) Olives, Drained
  • 1.5 Cup (375mL) White Beans, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) Lemon Juice
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • Chili Flakes
  • 3 Tbsp (45mL) Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Tbsp (15mL) Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan on each serving
  • Zest of 1 lemon to garnish


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta as per packaging. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, head oil, garlic and chilli flakes until slightly golden.
  3. Add onions and cook while stirring until golden.
  4. Toss bell peppers, white beans, olives and cook until just soft.
  5. Mix pasta into pot and add watercress and lemon juice right before removing form heat.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and nutritional yeast or parmesan. Serve warm with a garnish of lemon zest.

Nutritional Facts

Per Serving (Approximately 500mL) 

Calories: 414 kcal
Fat: 11 g
Carbohydrates: 67 g
Fiber: 11 g
(Net Carbohydrate: 56 g)
Protein: 17 g

A source of:

Vitamin A, C, K
Vitamin B12
Two servings of Canada’s Food Guide’s Grain Products, half a serving of Meat and Alternatives and Milk and Alternatives, and 2 servings of Vegetables and Fruit.


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