I’m a big fan of making large batches of meals and then using them throughout the week to have more time to relax. My first week of work I decided to make a large batch of pasta salad for lunches for the week. I’m not a huge sandwich person for lunches, unless it’s from a place like Jimmy John’s.
I was also at the time trying to figure out if I had some sort of wheat or oat allergy, so I picked up some quinoa pasta. You can use any type of your favorite short pasta for this dish. Also use any of your favorite vegetables. The ones I chose are just those that jumped out to me in the grocery store.
Don’t like chickpeas or black beans? Use whatever kinds of beans you like, or cook some chicken and dice it up.
You could also use this dish as a side to dinner. I liked it for lunch because it carries well since there’s no mayo in it. Of course, this means it’s super healthy! This pasta salad takes advantage of really fresh veggies, so it’s pretty guilt free 🙂
Garden Pasta Salad
8 oz of your favorite short pasta
1 15 oz can of black beans
1 15 oz can of chickpeas
4 small gourmet cucumbers or ½ of an English cucumber, diced
1 handful of grape tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ c. diced carrots
¼ c. olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Any other veggies you like chopped into similar sizes: peppers, olives, radishes, mushrooms, etc.
Cook your pasta according to package directions in salted water to your desired doneness. I personally like my pasta al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, chop up all your veggies. In a large bowl, combine all of your veggies, beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Let sit. The salt will bring out all the juices of the vegetables and make a delicious coating for the pasta.
When the pasta is finished, strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain all the excess water out, and add the pasta to your bowl of veggies.
Serve immediately or put into containers for lunch!