Tri-Color Banza Pasta Salad (#banzaplusplants Recipe Challenge)

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So exciting news: I was approved to be an RD Ambassador for Banza pasta made from chickpeas! I can eat pasta everyday (I’m Italian, go figure) and although I don’t have a diagnosed gluten intolerance, there are occasions when wheat pastas don’t’ agree with me and many of the gluten free pastas I tried in the past were TerriblewithacapitalT. If you read my review of Banza’s Mac & Cheese, you already know I’m a big fan of the texture so when Banza announced their May Recipe Challenge I was super excited. To me, pasta is the super fast and super easy building block of a meal.  I try to pre-prep breakfast and lunch for my work week because a) I’m frugal and don’t want to spend $7+ on meals that don’t even appeal to and b) I can control the ingredients so my meals meet my goals. But I’m lazy. I don’t like to “cook”… I love to bake. So I need meals that I can prep in 30 minutes or less with minimal mess. Think Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade.

That’s where this recipe comes in: it’s a pasta salad that I’ve made for the last 25 years for various get-togethers and meal preps. Usually I would add some cubed mozzarella or provolone but the goal here was plant based only. If you have access to any of the delicious dairy free cheeses or like to make your own nut based cheeses, go for it! (Scroll to the end for the recipe and nutritionals). Everything in the recipe is easily found either already in your pantry or at your local supermarket, is budget friendly, and gives you a healthy dose of veggies.

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I admit, the sodium count is a little high for my liking and that’s because of the olives. You can use a different variety, use less, or even leave them out. Also, note that the recipe says to reserve the liquid from the roasted peppers. It gets added to the pasta, keeping it moist and giving it a lot of flavor WITHOUT having to add a lot of oil.

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All the ingredients you need to make this.
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The liquid from the roasted red peppers gives you lots of flavor without adding a lot of fat.
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2 ounces of olives, you can definitely use less to cut the sodium.
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The broccoli bag I used had 4 servings. Doesn’t look as scary when you actually look at it. You’ll get 2 servings in each portion of this recipe!
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Rinse the Banza under cool water according to package directions.

Also, this recipe comes together a lot faster if you don’t have broccoli obsessed dogs hovering.

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Tri-Color Banza Pasta Salad 

Serves: 2
Prep time: about 20 minutes
• 4 ounces uncooked Banza penne
• 12 ounce bag steamed broccoli florets
• 7 ounce jar roasted red peppers (liquid reserved), sliced in thin strips
• 2 ounces Calamata olives (about 20), or olives of your choice
• 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• Salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste

1. Cook Banza penne and broccoli florets according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
2. Once the Banza and broccoli are cooled, transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine.
3. Season to taste.

Nutrition (per serving): 388 calories, 44 grams carb, 14 grams fiber, 16 grams protein, 25 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 629 mg sodium

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