Long before I had this blog, I did a "Meatless Monday" of sorts where, like I do now, every Sunday I made a big recipe that could last me through the week. You didn't think I came up with these recipes just for you, now did you? Just kidding! Of course it's for you, but unless you come over and visit, I'm the one eating my latest creations. So it better be yummy, it better be good the next day, and heck, it's even better if it can last me the whole work week.
The key to getting a recipe to last beyond a day or two is sauce. Or lack of sauce, actually. Pasta and rice absorb liquid long after they are cooked, so any sauce should be applied right before serving. A great example of this is spaghetti. Have you ever had leftover spaghetti that had no sauce on it? And you could swear that it had a decent amount of sauce when you stuck it in the fridge! Well, next time, just keep the noodles and sauce separate, and you'll avoid this problem.
Which brings me back to my pasta. It's a pretty basic idea: noodles and veggies. That's it. But after said noodles and veggies are mixed, the sauce can be anything, and you will get 6 completely different meals out of just one dish. (Don't worry, I'll even give you a couple ideas.)
Basic Pasta Primavera
Makes 6 Big Servings, perfect for storing in individual containers for lunch!
1 Package Brown Rice Spaghetti (I got mine at Trader Joe's), or other pasta of choice
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Zucchini, sliced
1 Bunch of Asparagus
3 Carrots, cut in matchstick-thin strips
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut in matchstick-thin strips
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cut in matchstick-thin strips
1 Can Hearts of Palm, sliced
1 Bag Frozen Artichoke Hearts (I buy the Trader Joe's brand)
4 Scallions, green parts only, sliced
Cook pasta according to manufacturer's directions. I like mine al dente for pasta salad. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and set aside. In same pot you cooked the pasta in, saute the zucchini and asparagus in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes, just to take off the bite. Place in colander with pasta, rinse under cold water as well. Place in a big bowl (or put back in the cooking pot) and add the remainder of your other vegetables, all raw. Stir. Add sauce of choice, and serve!
Sauce Options = Whole New Dish!
1. Lemon Pepper Pasta
Toss individual servings with the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp. Earth Balance and top with freshly ground black pepper.
2. Thai Peanut Pasta
Whisk 1 Tbs. Peanut Butter and 2 Tbs. Rice Wine Vinegar and a little sugar or stevia (I prefer Nu Naturals stevia) together and pour over pasta.
3. Pasta Marinara
Toss pasta with 1/2 C. Marinara sauce.
4. Pasta Arrabiata
Mix pasta with 1/2 C. Marinara sauce and 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
5. Balsamic Vinaigrette Pasta
Add 1 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar and 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the pasta and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Honey Mustard Pasta
Take 2 Tsp. Mustard (Dijon works well), 1 Tbs. Honey and the juice of 1/2 lemon and mix together. Pour over pasta and serve!
Just look at my refrigerator door. I am the queen of condiments. Next week, one pasta, thirty million ways! Just kidding.
All you need is a simple recipe, one night of cooking, and you have lunch all week! Here are my containers ready to go for the rest of the week, along with some fruit salads I made for breakfast. I'm telling you, a little work on Sunday night goes far during the hectic work week!
Hope you enjoyed this simple recipe! Anyone else have tips for making healthy food more convenient throughout the week? I'd love to hear them! What else do you do to save time? Do you lay your clothes out the night before, or make coffee before you go to bed? Please share, we'd all love to hear!
Happy Monday, Loves!!!