Meatless Monday: Tofu Pesto & Roasted Vegetable Lasagne [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep: 50-60 mins
Cooking: 20-45mins
Cooling: 5-10 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: 2x Large baking trays, kitchen foil, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, large pot(s) w/lid, whisk, food processor, silicone spatula, large casserole dish

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K  & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving* is low in added sugar and contains a moderate quantity of added salt and saturated fats. *Dependent upon the type of tomato sauce, white sauce and pesto used. 

Who doesn’t love a good lasagne or pasta dish?! We absolutely love them. Especially a veganised recipe that can rival its rich meat and cheese filled equivalent! We made this classic dish back in January (which you can probably guess by some of our ill-lit photographs, sorry!), but definitely plan on making it again soon; particularly before we transition into warmer weather, but hey, that’s still a long way off!

For those that have been following along, you’ll know that this is actually our second lasagne recipe we have posted! Our latest lasagne recipe is crammed with roasted vegetables, our delicious (and protein packed) spinach and tofu pesto, which is all topped off with a ‘cheezy’ white sauce! Healthy comfort food doesn’t get any better than this! 

This recipe may require a little more organisation and prep than some, but it’s not complicated to make, especially if you are good at multitasking. However, this is another dish (like our moussaka) that can’t really be quickly whipped up mid-week (unless you have time to spare), but it can definitely be meal prepped on a Sunday and enjoyed during the week. You could even freeze and enjoy it as several quick dinners and/or lunches later on in the month! We promise it’s worth the effort; the rich pesto, creamy white sauce and chunky vegetables all help to make it a satisfying dish full of great flavours, textures and colours!

Overall we were really pleased with it! The only real hiccup was our casserole dish; we were using a new (larger) one and underestimated the quantity of veggies we needed (we would have loved to use more)! We have included a vegetable range in the ingredients list; just adjust the quantities to the size of your own dish. As for the pasta, well, we have tried using GF lasagne sheets before and to be perfectly honest, it sucks. Even after using varied prep methods, we just think that it’s a nightmare to use (if you don’t have to) but we have no idea as to why! If you are in need of a GF alternative, you can use GF lasagne sheets or adapt the recipe by using thin-ish slices of raw courgette and/or pre-salted and seasoned aubergine (ideally cut by a mandolin if possible) instead. We would have used wholemeal pasta sheets, but they are hard to come by in main stream supermarkets (well, at least around our neck of the woods). In the end we opted for a great Italian brand; delicate and thin sheets of durum wheat lasagne that required no precooking and only took about 20 mins in the oven! They were stress free and delicious! What more can you ask for? !

Some other goods things to note include:

  • The prep depends on skill, the number of kitchen helpers, the type of pasta and sauces you are using and/or any previous prep, e.g. making pesto the day before. You can use an organic/healthy store bought tomato sauce (we did!), easy cook pasta (we did!) and if preferred, omit the top layer of pasta sheets and white sauce and just add a thin layer of vegan cheeze and/or nutritional yeast instead!
  • If you do not fancy making our spinach and tofu pesto, you can try and make an impromptu one by using your favourite store bought pesto and some silken tofu. Just blend them together in a food processor or blender. However, it’s good to note that as ours contains spinach, the overall consistency is thick and chunky (which works perfectly in this lasagne). To save some time, you could also try and make your pesto a head of time and just refrigerate it in a sealed container until you are ready to use it. 
  • The overall quantity of vegetables, sauces and/or pasta sheets depends on the size of casserole dish you plan on using. Also, you do not need to use roasted veggies; try gently softening (and seasoning) some in a large frying pan instead. Tip: Do not add raw mushroom, bell peppers and/or onion as they will end up make the dish really watery!
  • To save some time on chopping (and because we love them) we ended up using some large Portobello mushrooms! If desired, feel free to use some smaller mushrooms and/or adjust (or adapt) any of the vegetable medley as you see fit! 
  • Although our lasagne assembly is just a guide, we’d still always recommend starting with a layer of tomato sauce! 

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

+++150-300g      Large portobello mushrooms (about 2-4)
+++200-300g     Red onion (2-3 small)
+++400-600g     Red bell pepper (about 2-3)
+++700-900g     Courgette (about 3-4)
+++1 tsp                Garlic infused oil
+++2 tbsp             Extra virgin olive oil (or some low-fat cooking oil spray)
+++1½ tsp             Dried Italian herbs
+++                        Salt & Ground black pepper
+++1L                     Basil tomato sauce (store bought or homemade)
+++670g               Spinach & Tofu Pesto
+++400g              Lasagne sheets (GF, wholemeal or plain wheat flour)
+++450ml             Vegan + GF herby white sauce
+++                        Nutritional yeast flakes (*optional garnish)
+++                        Fresh Basil (*optional garnish)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Line two baking trays with a sheet of kitchen foil.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Wash dry and chop the mushrooms in to large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into chunky strips. Wash the courgettes, trim off the tops and slice it (vertically) into about ½ cm strips. Place the mushrooms, onion and bell pepper into one baking tray and the courgette into the other one.

Drizzle 1 tsp garlic infused oil and 1 tbsp of olive oil and add ¾ tsp dried Italian herbs over the mushroom mixture. Tip: Alternatively use a low-fat cooking oil spray instead of the olive oil. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil (or use the spray) and add ¾ tsp dried Italian herbs over the courgette. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of ground black pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Place the baking trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Roast for about 20mins or until tender and slightly browned; turn and toss the vegetables at least once. Remove.

3. If applicable make a tomato sauce or use an organic and/or healthy store bought variety instead. We’d recommend an onion and tomato or basil/tomato flavoured sauce. Tip: You can use our previous lasagne tomato sauce recipe, just omit the black olives, make sure to taste and season it to taste and make about one and half times the quantity shown.

4. If applicable, prepare the spinach and tofu pesto.

5. If applicable, precook the pasta sheets according to the packet instructions. Tip: We used a high quality brand; the sheets were quite thin and didn’t need to be precooked.

6. If applicable, make a bechamel-style white sauce; use our vegan and gluten free herby, white sauce with these seasoning adjustments: ¼-½ tsp of dried thyme, basil and oregano, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ½ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. If desired, stir through 1 tbsp (5-6g) of nutritional yeast at the end of cooking for a cheezy sauce (we did)!

7. Assemble the lasagne! Pour and spread about 2 cups (or about half) of the tomato sauce on the base of a large casserole dish. Add of layer of lasagne sheets, enough to cover. Add and spread half of the pesto. Top the pesto with some of the courgette and roasted mushroom mixture. Pour and gently spread over 1 cup (about another ¼) of the tomato sauce. Add another layer of lasagne sheets. Add and evenly spread the remaining pesto. Add another and final layer of courgette and mushroom mixture. Pour and spread a final cup of sauce. Add a final layer of pasta sheets. Pour and evenly spread the white sauce over the top layer of pasta.

8. Bake the lasagne. Place the casserole dish onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 20-45 mins (depending on the type of pasta you are using) or until the pasta is cooked and the white sauce is lightly golden. Remove. If possible, allow it to cool for 10 mins. Tip: Allowing it to rest will help with serving ease and it will also be a better temperature to eat! 

9. If desired, serve with a small green salad or some steamed green beans and garnish with some fresh basil and some additional nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

Tip: Cover and refrigerate any leftovers; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze in one or several portions; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

 

Picture Step: 2

Picture Step: 4. Courtesy of our: Spinach and Tofu pesto post

Picture Step: 6. Courtesy of our Vegan & GF Herby White Sauce post.

Picture Step: 7. Lasagne assembly!

One cooled and garnished lasagne ready to eat!

 

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Healthier Baked & Roasted Christmas Tubers & Roots!

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep: 25-30 mins (Dependant upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Baking/Roasting: ≤45 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: 1 Large pot, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, 2 baking trays/tins, parchment paper/kitchen foil

Notes:

Would Christmas be the same without some tasty and easily prepared baked/roasted vege?! Nah! Where authentically roasted potatoes might make it to a lot of UK dining tables this Christmas, we have made some healthier ones that everyone can enjoy; ‘Free From’ with a flavourful twist- perfect!

Instead of roasting our potatoes in two inches of oil or goose fat (bleh- no way!), we have coated them in a delicious dressing of rapeseed oil, garlic salt and rosemary! I mean if you’re going to have some ‘baked’ potatoes on Christmas, they’re going to have to be super tasty; a lovely seasoning, slightly crispy skin and fluffy internal texture. 

As for our parsnips and carrots, they were seasoned with oil and maple syrup, but we are opting for some cheeky apricot and ginger (or perhaps spiced plum!) chutney on the big day! Yes, whole-roasted veggies that have with minimal prep, that can look quite ‘chefy’ on your plate when served and are absolutely sweet and delicious! 

Happy cooking and Happy Holidays everyone! 😀 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++1kg            Baby New Potatoes (or your favourite roasting potatoes!)
++++++++++++++600g        Parsnips
++++++++++++++600g        Carrots
++++++++++++++2                Sprigs Rosemary
++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp   Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++1 tsp          Garlic Salt
++++++++++++++                  Salt
++++++++++++++                  Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++1-2 tbsp    Maple Syrup or Apricot and Ginger or (Spiced Plum!) Chutney

 

Directions

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Chop any larger pieces into halves or quarters if necessary. Tip: Having your potatoes roughly the same time will help them cook at the same rate!

2. Place the potatoes into a large pot of cold water over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Allow them to cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Tip: This is par-boiling, great for cooking ease! 

3. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line two baking trays/tins with some parchment paper or kitchen foil (if necessary).

4. Wash and peel the parsnips. Wash and scrub the carrots. Wash the rosemary, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Tip: Save time and bake your root vegetables whole! 

5. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Allow them to dry (just slightly). Place them into a large mixing bowl. Pour over 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add 1 tsp of garlic salt. Add the rosemary. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Tip: Looking for a really low-fat option? Spray them (and your root vegetables!) with some low-fat cooking oil instead! 

6. Place the potatoes into one of the baking trays/tins in a single layer. Try and leave as much space as possible between them. Tip: Overcrowding your pan will cause your vegetables to steam rather than roast! 

7. Place the parsnips and carrots onto the other baking tray/tin in a single layer. Pour over 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil and 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup (or chutney). Using your hands, rub and coat the vegetables in the oil and syrup (or chutney). Season it with a few grinds of black pepper.

8. Place the potatoes onto the middle oven shelf and the parsnips and carrots onto the shelf below. Bake/roast the potatoes for 30-40 mins, or until cooked through and lightly browned and crispy; turning/tossing at least once. Bake the parsnips and carrots for 40-45 mins or until tender and lightly browned; turn at least once. Remove.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover veggies in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat (if preferred) and consume within 3-4 days.

Roasted Vegetable Terrine with Mock Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Diet & Weight Loss

What a fantastic recipe! So creative and nutritious- we can’t wait to try it! 🙂

The Calgary Beet

If you’re hosting over the holidays, you may have at least one friend or family member requesting a vegetarian or vegan meal option. This roasted vegetable terrine is festive and makes a rich and hearty vegan option for those on special diets. And it tastes divine – food from the Gods in my opinion! Don’t omit the smoked chipotle pepper – it adds such great flavour! 

There is nothing difficult about making this terrine but there are three separate components that come together to make this dish what it is – the tomato pesto, the nut cheese and the roasted vegetables. Each of the individual components can be made ahead, and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the terrine. Make the mock goat cheese first as it needs 24 hours to ripen. 

  IMG_6028

SERVES 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1 small eggplant, cut lengthwise into 14”…

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Fennel, Garlic & Lemon Pasta [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Roasting tin, silicone mat, chopping board, sharp knife, frying pan, mixing bowl, cheese grater, manual juicer, salad tongs

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in salt, sugars and sat fats!

Fresh, simple and within forty minutes you’ll have a delicious pasta dish ready for the whole family to enjoy!

As we’ve mentioned before, we think that sometimes the best pasta dishes are the ones that contain only a few ingredients. This recipe comprises of some crisp, fresh and almost sweet and ‘licorice-y’, fennel (which is a cheap, tasty and nutritious addition to any meal!). We’ve also added some sweet and creamy roasted garlic, shallots, lemon and a little parsley for the perfect combination of flavours. Served on some hearty wholemeal pasta and topped with a tasty breadcrumb topping for some added crunch and additional depth of flavour! 

It’s good to note we have advised slightly more fennel and garlic than shown in our pictures! Also, if you’re someone who generally does not enjoy the taste of fennel, don’t be alarmed, we promise that you’ll love this one! Roasted fennel has a completely different taste to that of fennel tea or flavoured food items (if it didn’t, Alex would be the first one to leave the dinner table in protest!). 

Happy hump day and cooking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++120g       Banana Shallots
++++++++++++++++++100g      Orange Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++400g      Fennel Bulb
++++++++++++++++++20g        Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++3 tbsp    Olive or Garlic Infused Oil
++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++++++20g        Panko Breadcrumbs (or GF version if required)
++++++++++++++++++220g      Wholemeal Spaghetti (or GF if required)
++++++++++++++++++20g        DF Cheese (or 1 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast)
++++++++++++++++++10g         Flat Leaf Parsley
++++++++++++++++++1              Lemon
++++++++++++++++++1/2 tsp    Asafoetida
++++++++++++++++++               Saffron

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat or some kitchen foil (if necessary).

2. Trim the ends off the shallots. Wash, remove the stem and core and then thinly slice the bell pepper. Wash, trim the ends and then slice the fennel (thin or slightly chunky!)

3. Place the shallots, bell pepper, fennel and garlic into the roasting tin. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp of olive oil (or spray with some low-cal cooking oil instead). Toss to coat. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper (or to taste). Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 20-25 mins or until softened and lightly crispy. Remove. Allow to cool. Tip: The garlic might be finished at 15 mins (just remove it and set it aside)!

4. In the meantime, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Spray a little low-fat cooking oil. Add the breadcrumbs. Gently fry until lightly browned and toasted. Remove from the heat. Transfer into a bowl.

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

6. Grate the cheese (if using). Wash and remove the parsley leaves from its stem; roughly chop them. Wash the lemon; grate some zest and then juice it.

7. Place the cheese (or nutritional yeast), ½ tsp asafoetida and about 8-10 strands (or a pinch) of saffron into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Season it with a few grinds of black pepper. Mix until combined. Tip: Your breadcrumb topping is now complete!

8. Remove the skin from the garlic and shallots and discard. Finely chop the garlic and then slice the shallot into strips. Tip: Use some kitchen scissors to quickly cut away and remove the shallot skin!

9. Place the pasta into a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables, parsley, lemon zest and juice (as much lemon juice and zest as desired) and some oil (we added garlic oil!). Season it a few grinds of  black pepper. Gently toss until thoroughly combined.

10. Transfer onto two serving plates. Top with the breadcrumb topping and garnish with additional parsley and/or lemon slices (if preferred).

Enjoy!

 

Tip: For some additional protein, calcium iron and zinc and crunch, add some toasted pine nuts!

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple & Walnut Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves 6-8
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 80-120 mins ( *Dependant on skill or kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, 2*baking trays, silicone mat(s) (or kitchen foil), veggie peeler, mixing bowl, blender, resealable container (*optional)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, omega-3+6, calcium, iron, potassium and per serving (based on six servings) is low in salt, free sugars and saturated fats. 

It’s now officially Autumn, so we should all be making the most of this season (and our local markets!) by sourcing some of nature’s delicious squashes and root vegetables (just to name a few!); all of which can be enjoyed in some hearty, healthful and flavourful soups, stews, warm salads or casseroles!

This soup has some beautifully roasted butternut squash, apple and banana shallots, giving it a delicious and satisfying natural sweetness. A dash of chutney, nutmeg and walnut oil really help to round things off, providing a tasty, wholemeal and seasonal feel. Enjoy it on its own or with some warmed wholemeal pitta bread! 

We used some swede (as we had some to spare!), but it became a tasty ‘background note’ to this soup. Butternut squash is always a winner in our book, but if preferred, substitute it for some pumpkin, acorn squash or sweet potato instead. Please check out some of our other soup recipes here for more tasty, seasonal and satisfying recipes!

Happy Cooking everyone! 😀

 

NB: We did not end up using the maple syrup and we used one more apple than shown here!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++200g       Banana Shallots
+++++++++++++++++++++8g            Garlic clove (about 2)
+++++++++++++++++++++                Low-Fat Oil Spray
+++++++++++++++++++++580g       Swede
+++++++++++++++++++++640g       Braeburn Apples
+++++++++++++++++++++30g         Plum & Apple Chutney (GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.8kg       Butternut Squash
+++++++++++++++++++++3g            Dried Sage
+++++++++++++++++++++2 tbsp     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++500ml    Vegetable stock (low-salt/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.5L         Water
+++++++++++++++++++++1-2g        Ground Nutmeg
+++++++++++++++++++++3 tsp       Walnut Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++                Walnut pieces, chopped and/or toasted (*optional)

 

Directions

Trim the ends off the shallots and discard. Place the shallots and garlic onto a lined baking tray. Spray and coat with a little low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Wash, peel and then chop the swede into cubes. Wash, peel, remove the core/seeds and chop the apple into rough pieces.

Normally we wouldn’t peel our apples, but the skins can give an unwanted bitterness to the soup!

 

 

Place the swede into a large mixing bowl. Add about ¼ of the quantity of chutney. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Mix to coat.

 

 

Place the swede and apple onto the same baking tray as the shallots and garlic.

 

Heat the oven to 190C/375F. Line another baking tray with some parchment paper.

 

In the meantime, peel, trim the ends, deseed and then chop the squash into 1 inch cubes.

 

 

Place the squash into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining chutney, 3g dried sage and 2 tbsp of olive oil (alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil). Mix to thoroughly coat.

 

 

Transfer the squash onto the lined baking tray, spreading it as evenly as possible.

 

 

  • Place the baking tray with the swede and apple mixture onto the lower oven shelf. Roast for about 30-35 mins or until tender and slightly crisp around the edges; turning the mixture and rotating the tray in the oven at least once.
  • Place the baking tray with the squash onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 35-40 mins or until tender and slightly crispy around the edges; turning and flipping the squash at least once.

Our roasted veggies! Remove and allow to cool for at least 5-10 mins.

 

 

Once cooled, peel the skin off of the shallots and garlic. Transfer the vegetables and apple (in batches) into a blender along with a little of the vegetable stock and/or water. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Alternatively, transfer the mixture (and liquids) into a large non-stick pot and blend with a stick blender until smooth.

 

 

Transfer the puréed vegetable mixture into a large and resealable container or a large, non-stick pot (if applicable). Repeat until all of the vegetables have been puréed. Add any remaining water, 1-2g nutmeg and 3-4 tsp walnut oil. Stir to combine. Taste and season as necessary. Reheat the soup over a low heat until warm (if applicable).

NB: If a thinner soup is preferred, add more water than we have previously advised! Ours went into this plastic tub; the joys of meal prepping!

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle the soup into a bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of walnut oil and/or some walnut pieces and fresh chives (if desired) and for the extra hungry, serve with a piece of warmed wholemeal pitta bread!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; reheat and consume within 4 days. Alternatively portion and freeze the soup in several resealable and air tight containers (do not overfill); defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated:19/02/16

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!