Now that Sarath is going to day care, I have to think about lunch options. They actually provide lunch but, it is usually meat. Since we are vegetarians and I hope to raise Sarath to be a vegetarian, I decided to pack lunch for him. They give the kids 30 min for lunch (which I feel is a bit less but, he seems to be doing okay so far), he has to finish his main course in around 15 min so that he will have some time left for his fruits and milk/yogurt. So, I have to come up with lunch options that are healthy, easy to eat and ones that he likes. I should make sure he is also getting some protein with his lunch. So, yesterday, I came up with this pasta salad and Sarath loved it. He stayed home yesterday and I thought it would be the perfect time to try a new recipe. It tasted great, has a lot of protein and was just yum!
Pasta: 1/2 cup (I used alphabet pasta, but any pasta can be used).
Tomato: 1 medium – diced
Peas: 1/4 cup
Corn: 1/4 cup
Cilantro: 1/4 cup chopped
Black beans: 1/4 cup (I used canned)
Black Channa (black garbanzo’s): 1/4 cup
Lemon juice: 4 -5 tbsp
Fat Free Shredded Cheddar cheese: As per taste
Green chillies: 1
Salt: As per taste
PS: I had soaked the black channa a few days back, boiled them and had them ready in the freezer.
Directions: Cook the pasta according to the instructions. When the pasta is cooking, cut the tomatoes, chillies and cilantro and keep them aside. Add the black beans, black channa, corn and peas to the tomatoes mix.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it slowly and add some cold water to the pasta. Let the pasta stay in the cold water for around 10 – 15 min. If you are short on time, you can add cold water and put the pasta in the refrigerator for 5 min. This makes sure that the pasta does not break down into pieces when you mix it with the veggies.
After the pasta has cooled down, drain it and add it to the bowl with tomatoes and the veggies mix. Add cheese, lemon juice and salt and toss the salad. If you are planning to eat the pasta for lunch, add a little more lemon juice. The salad tastes best if it marinates in the lemon juice for an hour or two.
If you cannot handle spice, you can omit the chillies in the recipe.
This is a nice heart healthy lunch for me and DH as we are struggling to reduce cholesterol in our diets. Read the full post here.