By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

As trends push us towards a more simplistic way of eating, it’s no surprise that there are more products touting “natural” now more than ever.

The FDA has not established a formal definition for the term “natural”, however the agency has not objected to the use of the term on food labels provided it is used in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and the product does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.

Shopping for Natural foods is easy! Natural foods are minimally processed and free from added colors, artificial ingredients, preservatives or sweeteners and do not contain high fructose corn syrup.”

Simple examples include lean meats, seafood, produce, whole grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa and oats just to name a few!

Whole Wheat Pasta is an all-natural, high in fiber and versatile staple to add to your kitchen! Here is a quick, healthy and delicious recipe your whole family can enjoy.


Beet Green Pesto Pasta with Zucchini and Chickpeas


Don’t discard the leafy green tops when you buy a bunch of beets from the farmers market. Instead, use them to make pesto.


Total Prep: 40 Minutes

Makes: 4 Servings


  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • ½ cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • 1 bunch beet greens, washed thoroughly (can substitute with 1 ½ cups spinach)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz whole grain pasta, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved



  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Season zucchini slices with ¼ teaspoon salt & ¼ teaspoon pepper and roast for 25 minutes.
  3. While the zucchini is cooking, add walnuts to a high powered blender or food processor, and pulse until it reaches a fine meal.
  4. Add the beet greens, garlic, basil, lemon juice & zest, half of the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and pulse until the mixture begins to combine (you may need to pause and scrape down the sides).
  5. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil and blend until well combined.
  6. In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with the zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes, and pesto sauce.

Recipe source: Oldways Whole Grains Council