Sometimes you want an easy lunch you can whip up from the night before. Something you can have hot or cold. It’s filling and flavorful and healthy to boot; that would be this lunch. This salad has an overload of veggies. You’ve got spinach, sweet peas, basil, tomatoes and if you use whole wheat pasta (which I don’t recommend) you have even added fiber to the mix. I love the garlicky pesto paired with the little sweet peas and the refreshing tomato slices, maybe not exactly a child’s dream lunch, but this would certainly make you the envy of everyone in the office.
The idea for this recipe came about because I wanted something easy and quick. It’s not all the time that you want to spend hours in the kitchen. But making weekly lunches on a Sunday is so much easier than taking it day to day. So I figured a lovely salad that can go from hot to cold would be a great addition to the lunch time menu list. I had made this pesto a few months ago for a grilled shrimp pesto and decided to reuse it for this recipe
The fact that you can have this hot or cold is a major plus for me, I actually prefer it warm to room temp. Top it with grilled chicken or shrimp for added protein. The half box of pasta makes about 4-6 serving’s depending on your serving size. It’s really filling, so if you add a fruit and a roll or bread-sticks you can have a smaller portion of it and still feel full.
Ingredients (printable ingredients list)
2 cups Spinach leaves
1 cup Fresh basil
1/3 cup Pine nuts
6 cloves Garlic
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
2 tsp. Salt
4-5 Cherry tomatoes
½ box spiral Pasta
1 small can sweet peas
- About the tomatoes...make sure to add this to the pasta at the time of serving so you end up with fresh juicy bites. Don't add it to the whole pot and store with the left overs. If the tomatoes are stored with the pasta as left overs they may become soggy and sour. You want them fresh so only cut and toss in the tomatoes right before serving it.
Get yourself one of these cute little lunch trays/plates I got a small one and I love it, will be using it to display all my lunch ideas for the rest of the month.
Left is a small 7x9 on the right is a large 9x11