I have always felt wary of trying a new brand of whole wheat spaghetti as the few times I did it earlier were very mediocre experiences. It is difficult to get hold of a good quality whole wheat pasta whose packaging doesn't look ancient. I know there are very few people who buy whole what pasta and the packs keep getting stale on the shelves. I hope this brand I tried this time is stocked well at all stores around me.This one is Leonardo whole wheat pasta. Posting some whole grain recipes is my bit to make the people aware about the goodness of it and how they can be made as tasty as you want.
So this pasta was actually a lunch in a hurry. I used whatever vegetables I had in my fridge, most of them the hardy ones which stay fresh inside even when the skin gets almost black. Yes, it was a big stick of Lotus stem and a large Carrot. Some fresh Basil from the garden saved the grace for freshness in fact as I love my meals fresh and green.
It's very convenient to boil pasta or even rice on one side and toss up a few vegetables in a pan on he other side so both can be mixed up as they get cooked by the same time. What I would do is, keep a big pot of water to boil, add some salt to it and tip in some pasta to cook. Then some quick chopping and stir frying, mixing everything up and I am done.
I had a container of mixed vegetables in home made tomato concasse' in the freezer and used that to make the pasta a bit saucy. This mix had some finely chopped cabbage, beans, carrots and lots of tomato concasse', Garlic and Oregano infused. You can always go for a bottled pasta sauce or make one yourself and freeze for such occasions.
(for one large meal serving, some leftover is expected if you are not as hungry as I was that day)
whole wheat spaghetti 60-80 gm
soaked, squeezed and drained soy nuggets 1.5 cups
sliced Lotus stem 1 cup
diced Carrots 1 cup
mixed vegetables cooked in tomato concasse' as I used 1 cup
(or just tomato concasse 1 cup)
Garlic 1 tsp finely chopped
dry Oregano a pinch or to taste
salt n pepper or chilly flakes to taste ( I use according to my mood)
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Fill water in a deep pan and add salt. Start heating and add the spaghetti so it cooks on the side while you work with your vegetables.
Chop everything as desired and keep aside. You can add other available vegetables, just think about the textures you would like.
Heat the Olive oil in a pan and tip in the garlic first. Quickly add the sliced Lotus stem and toss to coat and get cooked a little. A slight glaze is all you are looking for. Add the diced Carrots and toss to cook some more. Cook to the texture you like. Lotus stem takes about 5 minutes of total cooking time to get cooked to a meaty texture.
Add the soy chunks . I normally put them in a bowl of water and microwave them so they get cooked while they soak. Takes 3-4 minutes in the MW and then rinse, squeeze and rinse again. Add them at an appropriate time if they are not cooked already. You can always add some Bacon or cold cuts to add protein to this meal.
Next is to add the tomato concasse', I used the mixed vegetables in tomato sauce. Toss and stir everything up. Add the torn Basil and the dry or fresh Oregano. Mix well.
The spaghetti should be boiled by now. Drain and mix with the vegetable mixture.
Serve with chopped black Olives on top. These ones are from Leonardo as well.
It was a lovely meal, the kind I toss up in a fun way and eating is just the next step with my food related entertainment. I call it therapy.
Do you agree food becomes an entertainment for us most of the times? And if we can include some cooking in our routine it becomes a completely enjoyable experience.
Even if the meal is not spread out on a huge wide table. A pretty plate all by yourself, for yourself :-)