There aren’t many people who don’t love pasta.
It is such a common food and probably its comforting feel and ease of preparation are what makes it so appealing to all of us. Pasta is traditionally made of eggs and wheat flour which in its original form provides a balanced source of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat. Due to the period of industrialization, manufacturers started to make a product stripped of all nutrients and high in refined carbs. This made pasta gain a notoriety for being unhealthy and bad for your overall health.
This is to a certain extent true and we should be aware of our intake of refined carbohydrates, but pasta can actually be a nice addition to a balanced diet especially if made with minimal processing and quality ingredients. If you can’t find fresh pasta in your grocery store you can definitely buy a packaged one. What’s important to look for that it is made of whole grain instead of refined. And if you deal with gluten intolerance, you can still use variations of the product (made with rice, quinoa, etc) to try to stick to a gluten-free version for optimum health and digestion. A lovely and flavorful option is buckwheat pasta, which is my suggestion for this recipe.
Although it contains “wheat” in its name, buckwheat is actually a seed and is totally gluten-free. It is also high in important minerals and vitamins like manganese, copper, magnesium and fiber. It has such a fantastic nutty flavor and is - according to some - even tastier than regular wheat pasta.
It is really useful to have some pasta on hand when in need of inspiration for lunch or dinner. One of the easiest ways to prepare a balanced meal is to throw whatever fresh veggies you have in a big bowl and season with some aromatic dressing. Make sure you always have some dark leafy greens for extra nutrition and simply add what’s in season to make it filling and abundant. An avocado adds healthy fats to the whole dish and here we are with a fresh, balanced and nutritious meal that is ready in 20 minutes!
- Type: Vegan, Vegetarian - add a serving of your favorite meat or fish to make it omnivore
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 15 min
- Serves: 2
8 ounces dry buckwheat pasta (or any other type of pasta)
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup radishes
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
4-5 cups arugula
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp raw honey
1. Fill a big pan with water. Salt and bring to a boil.
2. Add the pasta and cook for 8-10 min or according to package instructions.
3. When fully cooked, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
3. Rinse all vegetables. Slice radishes, peppers and cucumbers thinly.
4. Cube tomatoes and avocado.
5. In a big bowl add all vegetables and the pasta.
6. Stir all ingredients for the dressing well.
7. Pour the dressing onto the salad and toss gently to combine.
8. Serve fresh.
Notes: If you tend to have stubborn digestion or a sensitive stomach, or are brand new to eating high fiber dishes, you can always bake or sautée the veggies in olive or avocado oil before adding to the salad, in order to make them easier on your belly. Feel free to get creative with whatever veggies you have in the kitchen. You can also choose pasta of your own choice. Stick to gluten free variety if you are gluten intolerant or are looking to avoid gluten. Buckwheat, chickpea and amaranth are great options.