In my search for new exciting recipes, while trying to avoid the boredom of rotating the same meals every week, I’ve experimented this very green loaded pasta salad and it turned out to be a win.
Variety is important across the diet in order to maintain maximum intake of nutrients. Herbs and spices are important, not only for great flavor but they are also loaded with antioxidants and key minerals, the nutrients we need in larger amounts now, when we make the transition to a new season.
In Ayurvedic medicine, basil is valued used to holistically support health and also clear toxins from the body. In Chinese Medicine, basil is thought to “lift the spirits” and assist with depression and anxiety, improve the central nervous system, as well as improving the function of the adrenal glands.
I love making my own pesto (you can find the basic recipe I used for the Homemade Rye Pasta over here), especially when basil is in season and its flavor is at peak, but I also use store bought, carefully reading the ingredients and choosing organic and preservative-free).
Whole wheat pasta is loaded with B-vitamins which play an important role in converting food nutrients to energy. Choosing whole wheat over white pasta, ensures the nutritional values are not completely stripped throughout processing.
Whole wheat is also a great source of fiber which helps to improve digestion and flush-out toxins from the body, and also contains manganese, copper and selenium, involved in the natural detoxification process and the hormone production.
Chickpeas are probably one of the most present ingredient in my diet. I use them in almost everything – patties, soups, curries or as snacks, because they are loaded with fiber that turn any light meal into a satiating one.
They pair perfectly with a whole wheat product, complementing the combo with the missing essential amino-acids necessary to build the complete proteins within our body cells.
Chickpeas are also a rich source of molybdenum, a key mineral for the break down process of fats and carbohydrates, and also contain important concentrations of manganese, folate and copper.
This very green vegan pesto pasta salad is a great example of healthy meal prep recipes, because you can assemble it from previously cooked ingredients – roasted chickpeas, pesto, boiled pasta, and save a lot of time during your evenings. Or even pack it for a healthy lunch to go.
Vegan Pasta Salad, The Very Green Version
- 1 cup short whole wheat pasta I used spirals
- 1 cup roasted chickpeas
- 2 tbsp lighlty toasted mixed seeds
- 1 large zucchini cut into cubes
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp green basil pesto
- 1 large bunch fresh parsley
- Handful fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
- Handful fresh oregano leaves roughly chopped
- Prepare the pasta according to the instructions.
- When ready, drain the water, transfer into a large bowl, add the pesto, toss to combine and set aside to cool.
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over low heat, add the garlic cloves and fry for 20 seconds, then add the zucchini cubes.
- Cook over low heat for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, then season with salt and add into the pasta bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, and toss to combine.
- Serve warm or pack to go.