This recipe is simple, versatile and a nutrition powerhouse! In addition, it is vegan and can be easily gluten free. I will tell you why nutritionally you are set, but first the recipe. I am yet to find someone who does not despise online recipes that go on and on before the recipe itself, or that you have to hit the “skip to menu” button to get to the ingredients list and instructions. Okay, let me stop because that's exactly what I am starting to do (😂). As you view the recipe, please keep in mind that it is very welcoming to substitutions.
Whole grain pasta - Choose which type you want to use and how much you want to eat. I use quinoa.
Quinoa (gluten free)
Brown rice (gluten free)
Buckwheat (gluten free)
Spelt (gluten free)
Vegetables - Go with at least three different types of non-starchy vegetables.
Red cabbage (shredded)
Cherry tomatoes (different colors, halved)
Zucchini (cut into small pieces)
Red or yellow bell pepper (cut into small cube pieces)
Green pitted olives (halved)
Nuts - Choose which type you want or combine. I tend to go with walnuts in this recipe.
Lemon Vinaigrette dressing - Will likely make more than needed, so save and use elsewhere.
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
½ teaspoon coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
About ¼ tsp ground cumin
It’s very, very simple. Mix the pasta and vegetables in a bowl and set aside. Make the vinaigrette adjusting quantities as desired. Slowly pour the dressing while mixing the ingredients In the bowl until you are satisfied. Remember, you want to coat the solid ingredients not submerge them in the vinaigrette (😊). Before you dig in, please take a picture and share in the comments along with any adjustments you made that you recommend. Enjoy! I certainly enjoyed mine.
LET'S TALK NURITION
This meal dished out is what is a considered a healthy eating plate. There is whole grains, proteins, fruits (scientifically speaking tomato is a fruit), and vegetables.
Whole grains unlike refined grains are not stripped of valuable nutrients during the refining process. These grains also have higher fiber content. Why does this matter? There are numerous reasons such as the following two. First, fiber slows the breakdown of starch into glucose meaning you experience a less drastic sugar spike during the digestion phase and a less dramatic sluggish feeling on the way down from the sugar high. Second, fiber helps keep things moving approproately along the digestive track and out your body.
Proteins do not just come from meat or animal based products. Nuts, beans and legumes are great sources of proteins. Here is why proteins matter. Our body breaks proteins down into amino acids. The amino acids are then combined to build body proteins that build muscles, cause necessary chemical reactions in the body, transport nutrients, and prevent illness in addition to many other things.
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits has A LOT of scientifically proven benefits. For example lowering the risk of heart diseases, reducing the risk of heart diseases and strokes, and lowering blood sugar. And one last thing, if you are adamant that tomato is not a fruit, throw in apple in the recipe and I believe it would still taste good.
In the nutrition world a colourful plate is loved! Here is why. Each color provides various health benefits. No one colour is superior to another and your body will thank you for infusing it with different colors. That perhaps is one of the reasons why we are visually attracted to colourful plates of foods.
Blues and purple - Have powerful antioxidants that are believed to delay cellular ageing and help the heart by blocking the formation of block clots. In this recipe there is purple cabbage.
Red - Rich in carotenoid lycopene, a potent killer of gene-damaging free radicals, that is believed to protect again heart and lung disease as well as prostate cancer. In this recipe there is the red in the cherry tomatoes and the bell pepper.
Green - Rich in cancer blocking chemicals that inhibit the action of carcinogens. In this recipe there is Zuchinni with the skin and green olives.
Orange and yellow - Provide a compound which support intercellular communication. Our cells don't work so well if things are quiet. In this recipe there is the orange cherry tomatoes and bell pepper.