Wednesday, September 9, 2015

CREATE a Hummus Pasta Salad!

Have you ever rummaged through your cupboards and fridge staring at the food you have while thinking to yourself “I have nothing to eat”? For me this seems like a daily occurrence. I was in this exact situation the other day when I decided to create a new recipe and make a hummus pasta salad.
Instead of thinking about the meals that I already knew how to make but didn’t have ingredients for I looked at what I had, the two things that stood out to me were a box of whole wheat pasta and a can of garbanzo beans or chick peas as they are sometimes called and from there my idea grew. I would say that 9 times out of 10 I cook without a recipe. Sometimes I google a few just to get an idea of what would go well with what but then I just wing it. No, I didn’t go to culinary school but most everyone has a sense of smell and at least a basic idea of what types of food can go together. So with my box of pasta and can of garbanzo beans I got started.

I knew that I wanted my pasta to be the base of my meal and that I would turn it into some sort of pasta salad. I have seen whole garbanzo beans in pasta dishes before and toyed with that idea but I knew I needed a “dressing” for my salad so I decided to blend the beans up with some lemon juice, garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper (most cans of garbanzo beans come with a recipe for hummus on the back and so that is what I used). Of course if you actually had hummus itself that would make this recipe even easier. I added the hummus to the pasta while it was still warm so that it would smooth out and coat the pasta evenly. I was missing one thing…vegetables! I happened to have a tomato and some frozen peas. I roasted the tomato in a frying pan with some olive oil and defrosted the peas. These were the vegetables that I had on hand but I also thought about using carrots or broccoli. I think that most vegetables would have worked.

It turned out really great! I ate it warm the first day but then cold the next day as leftovers. Both ways were good although eating it leftover had given the flavors more time to blend so I liked it a little bit more. Just like that, easy, cheap, and quick I had found myself a new recipe that was packed with protein from the beans and pasta and vitamins from the vegetables.

Creating a salad can be as simple as choosing a base, like pasta or lettuce. Adding a protein, chicken is one of my favorites although beans and legumes are cheaper. Choosing your vegetables and fruit. Then tying it all together with a dressing and some seasonings. Try it at home! And although you don’t need a recipe here is mine:
Hummus Pasta Salad
              1 can of drained garbanzo beans
              2 tsp minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
              4 tsp olive oil
              4 tsp lemon juice
              ½ tsp salt
              ½ tsp pepper
1 box of whole wheat pasta
1 large tomato
½ cup frozen peas

Add the ingredients of the hummus together in a blender. Blend until a smooth consistency is reached. Cook pasta as box directs. Sauté tomato with olive oil. Defrost peas. Mix together. Enjoy. 

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