I've been trying to find something we can pack for T's lunch other than the sunflower seed butter on whole wheat sandwich we give her nearly every day and I thought this pasta salad might do the trick. It's not "spicy" in the toddler sense, it has pasta and beans in it which she loves, and I figured I could sneak in a few veggies and some tofu as well.
It also helped that I enlisted T in the cooking process, and she was a surprisingly good helper. I had to stop her from eating the black beans and olives out of the bowl directly, but distracted her with a bunch of tofu cubes which she ate happily for the first time ever.
I modified the recipe to add peas, which I knew T would eat, and didn't add any tomatoes because I knew she wouldn't eat them. I had to throw away the yellow bell pepper I planned to use because it was moldy (so sad!). I added 4oz of extra firm high protein tofu cut into tiny cubes and a little extra olive oil because I'm not concerned about being low-fat. I used the Barilla Plus higher protein pasta to sneak a little extra protein into all of us.
|Best kitchen helper ever!|
Mexican Pasta Salad
adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
7.5 oz Barilla Plus Farfalle pasta
1c frozen corn
1c frozen peas
2 green onions, minced
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4oz can sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
4-6 oz extra firm high protein tofu cut in tiny cubes
1/4c olive oil
juice of 1 small organic lime
juice of 1 organic lemon
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 tsp black pepper
- Boil water in a large pot with some salt. Cook the pasta for about 8 minutes, then add the frozen corn and peas, and cook for another minute or two after it comes back to a boil.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine the green onions, black beans, tofu, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, cilantro, and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold the finished salad. Mix well and let stand at room temperature so the flavors can mingle nicely.
- Drain and rinse the pasta/veggies with cold water and let cool.
- Add the pasta, corn and peas to the bowl with the beans and tofu and mix well. Taste again and add more cilantro and cumin to taste. If it seems too dry, add a bit more olive oil.
- Chill in fridge and serve. It tastes better after it has some time for the flavors to mix.
We eat this as a main course, but it would also work as a side dish for burgers or at a cookout. It's great for packing in lunches because it tastes good at room temperature and doesn't require heating.
Thanks again to Di for hosting this blog event!