If you're looking for a meal that's easy to prep and convenient to pack and eat later in the day, this veggie and penne pasta tastes delicious cold and makes for a perfect packed lunch during the work day. Considering the relatively unlikely ingredients and the potential intimidating factor of that many raw vegetables in one dish (especially if you're new to clean eating), when all mixed together this makes for a visually pleasing and delicious meal.
Why this is a smart meal choice:
- Good macronutrient balance
- Very filling
- Lots of raw vegetables, meaning lots of vitamins and lots of fiber
- High in protein, calcium, Vitamin A, B6, and iron
- Visually, this looks like a lot of food (something that can be helpful for people trying to lose weight) - without a lot of calories.
We've given portion sizes for just a single serving, but you can easily bump up the portions to make a large dish to feed a bunch of people.
1 Cup Penne pasta (made from whole wheat, quinoa, or rice, cooked)
1 Cup Cottage cheese (low fat or fat free)
.75 Cup Tomatoes (raw, diced)
.75 Cup Broccoli (raw, cut into bite size pieces)
.5 Cup Mushrooms (raw, sliced)
.5 Cup Peppers (raw, sliced)
Black pepper (to taste)
When it comes to ingredients, organic is best.
How to make this dish
Cook your pasta and let cool. Meanwhile, chop up all of your fresh veggies. Once penne is cooled, layer pasta, cottage cheese, and vegetables on a plate. Top off with a little extra cottage cheese, if you like. Pepper generously and mix everything well and you're ready to eat.
Make it vegan: Skip the cottage cheese in favor of avocado or tofu.
Make it gluten free: Use quinoa or rice penne.
Nutrition Information (for one serving, as detailed above)
Total Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1240 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 77 g
Dietary Fiber: 14 g
Sugars: 18.5 g
Protein: 43 g
Vitamin A: 29%
Vitamin C: 135%