A Quick & Frugal Pasta Bowl [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-75 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, roasting tin, silicone mat (or kitchen foil), large pot w/lid, colander, large mixing bowl and/or resealable container

Notes

Our pasta bowl was hearty and delicious…and if you fancy a healthy, frugal and quick lunch then you’re in the right place! Just throw together some tender veggies, hearty pasta and your favourite dressing!

The great thing about pasta salads (apart from their speedy preparation!) is that you can use whatever you have available (or fancy) and produce enough to last for several lunchesYup, a couple days off cooking sounds pretty perfect to us! 😀

As we had previously meal planned to eat this lunch over a 3-4 day period. We preferred to use predominately cooked/roasted vegetables; the taste and integrity is preserved a little better, as opposed to using fresh ones. However, it was also still pretty cold outside, so the thought of eating lettuce for four days was not very appealing!  

We prepared a fresh mustard vinaigrette dressing, but feel free to use some fresh herbs, spices, a dip, tahini sauce or even just a splash of olive oil instead!

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++1.6kg       Vegetables (for roasting!)
++++++++++++++++                Low-fat cooking oil spray
++++++++++++++++                Salt & ground black pepper
++++++++++++++++120g        Frozen green beans
++++++++++++++++5g            Fresh flat leaf parsley
++++++++++++++++1               Tin kidney beans (unsalted; 240g drained weight)
++++++++++++++++180g        Cherry tomatoes
++++++++++++++++1               Lemon (zest & juice)
++++++++++++++++80g         Black olives (pitted)
++++++++++++++++75g          Wholemeal pasta/person; (GF if required)
++++++++++++++++15g           Wild rocket/ person

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat or some parchment paper.

2. In the meantime, prepare your preferred vegetables for roasting. NB: We roasted some butternut squash, courgette, bell peppers and carrot. Tip: Oops! We would have roasted some red onion too, but it had rolled behind our jar of olives! Place the vegetables into the roasting tin. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil. Season to taste with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Toast for 30-45 mins or until tender and slightly browned. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

3. In the meantime, prepare your dressing (if desired).Tip: We made a mustard vinaigrette dressing out of some: olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, lemon juice (from one lemon) and a drop of agave syrup (all to taste).

Prepare any other fresh or frozen ingredients you plan on using, e.g. some frozen green beans! NB: We steamed and cooked some green beans, washed and chopped some flat leaf parsley, drained and rinsed some kidney beans (not chickpeas), washed and quartered some cherry tomatoes, washed the lemon; grated some zest and then juiced it, peeled and diced a red onion, and drained, washed and then sliced some olives.

4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain

5. Assemble the salad. Place the fresh (or relatively fresh!) ingredients into a large mixing bowl or resealable container (as applicable). Add the roasted vegetables and the pasta. Pour over the dressing. Toss together. Taste ans season the salad as necessary.

6. Serve. Place some rocket into the bottom of a serving bowl. Spoon over the salad. Garnish with nuts or herbs (if desired).

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and then freshen with more dressing (if desired) and consume within 3-4 days.

NB: We garnished our salad with some pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and dried chives!

 

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Orzo Salad

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: ≤20-30 minutes.

Notes:

We’ve never experimented with Orzo before, one because it costs more than typical pasta and two it’s a form of ‘white’ pasta. Generally, we prefer to have wholemeal varieties; they provide a good source of insoluble fibre, protein and a range of B-Vitamins!

Orzo (which means barley in Italian) is a small form of pasta that resembles large grains of rice. It can be used in soups, as a side dish or a main course. Typically, cooked orzo is low in fat and salt, has a suitable quantity of protein, but it is also low in dietary fibre.  With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to pair it with vegetables, beans and healthy forms of fat (as we have); this will help lower the meal’s glycaemic index (G.I.) and make it a balanced meal.

This recipe is extremely easy to prepare and of course, versatile. Make it as expensive or as frugal as you desire… by using any (or all!) of your favourite vegetables and beans to turn this recipe into a fibre-licious meal!  🙂

NB: If gluten is of concern, substitute the orzo for quinoa, millet, GF couscous or your favourite type of rice instead!

We used: frozen broad beans, parsley, courgette, garlic, red onion, chestnut mushrooms, salad tomatoes, artichoke(60g), green olives(20g) and one lemon.

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g     Dried Orzo
+++++++++++++++++++++++++800g     Vegetables (Fresh, frozen and/or seasonal!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++260g     Beans (Fresh, frozen or a tinned variety!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1             Lemon (Juice & Zest)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g          Fresh Parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Dried Oregano
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30ml     Olive oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground black pepper

 

 

Directions:

Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions. Drain. Allow it to cool slightly. Wash and drain (if applicable) and then cook the beans (if applicable). Drain.

NB: Our broad beans took 6 minutes to cook and the orzo took approx 7-9 minutes.

 

 

Prepare all of your wonderful veggies!

We lightly fried the mushrooms, courgette, garlic and onion (using low-fat cooking oil). The tomato, artichoke, olives and oregano where all placed into a small bowl and mixed together (*before being added to the salad).

 

 

Wash, finely grate the zest and then juice the lemon.

 

 

Wash, dry and roughly chop the parsley.

 

 

Place the orzo into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice and oil. Season it to taste with some salt and black pepper. Stir though. Add the vegetables, beans, parsley and oregano. Stir through.

 

 

Spoon into a serving bowl and serve. NB: Serve on more veggies (if desired!); try a bed of steamed kale or spring greens (collard greens) or some fresh rocket or spinach.

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Enjoy!

 

 

NB: Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; consume within 3 days.