A quick and healthy solution: here is an excellent whole wheat pasta salad with zucchini, tomatoes, olives and dill
Time: prep. 5-7 mins
cook. 10 mins
Yield: 2 servings
When the sun beats hard, being close to the stove becomes a tough job. That’s why we often choose ‘cold alternatives’: salads, cheese, ice cream, yoghurt etc. But there is an infinite choice of viable options which, even if consumed cold, unfortunately require the ‘dreaded’ previous cooking. Don’t get scared, now I’ll give you the solution.
Among the most popular options offered by Italian gastronomy for lunches on the beach or in the office, we have the pasta salad, better if wholemeal. Like this easy vegan whole wheat pasta salad: there are no limits to your imagination, so that you can count hundreds of variations without exaggeration. I would gladly nominate it as a heritage of humanity! Not only because it is practically impossible to get a wrong result, but apart from its refreshing character, the wholemeal pasta salad offers us also a very appreciable advantage for those who want to keep fit. Thanks to its high fiber content, complex carbohydrates such as those found in wholemeal pasta are not quickly absorbed by the body. Their digestion occurs in more prolonged times, avoiding the harmful peaks of glycemia, and consequent increases of insulin. But there is more: like all complex carbohydrates containing starch, the more time the pasta stays in the fridge, the more its starch will be retrograded. This in turn will significantly increase the percentage of resistant starch present in the paste(*). Knowing this small but important detail, can open new horizons: resistant starch (RS Resistant Starch, this is its scientific name), is digested by the human body even less than starch. In other words, we will feel more satiated, and we will be less inclined to look for more food, avoiding further intake of calories. It also has prebiotic effects on the bacterial flora of the intestinal tract. We could apply this trick every time (read this recipe for a low GI potato salad), to all the carbohydrates we want, turning them from hypothetical dangers for glycemic peaks to allies of the pancreas. Like this easy vegan whole wheat pasta of this recipe.
For tomorrow’s lunch I propose you this chromatically very attractive wholemeal pasta salad.
2 zucchini cut into thin slices
2 ripe tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of oil
170 grams of wholemeal pasta (70 grams for me, 100 grams for Giampaolo)
some sprigs of dill (it is not essential), but it matches very well with zucchini
a dozen of green olives
You can prepare your wholemeal pasta salad well in advance, for example early in the morning or even the evening before, so that the proximity to the stove will not be a major pain. You should then keep the food in the fridge
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Take a non-stick frying pan, turn the stove on low heat and add the oil and garlic clove; as soon as you smell the garlic, add the sliced zucchini. In the meantime, boil the water for the pasta. Cook the zucchini, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Cut tomatoes in cubes, and 2 minutes before turning off the stove add them to the zucchini. When the water boils, add a little coarse salt and pour the pasta. Cook it al dente, drain it and add the mix of veggies, except the dill and olives. Place it in a big salad bowl (or other container of your choice), and let it cool to room temperature. Later, put the wholemeal pasta salad in the fridge, after closing the container with a lid properly. When you eat this fresh vegan whole wheat pasta salad, after having garnished it with dill and enriched with green olives, you will surely thank me.
If I lived alone I would eat pasta once a week; but for a happy and long-lasting marriage with an Italian, sometimes I have to make small compromises; it means that I have to eat pasta, not one but 3 days a week… I underline, sometimes. In these cases I never use condiments based on animal proteins and fats, instead I try to use little oil (at least for my dish) but a lot of dietary fiber. The combination of zucchini, cherry tomatoes and olives of this recipe, help me to win my challenge very well. Increasing the amount of cooked or raw vegetables is optional, but for an excellent and satiating vegan whole wheat pasta salad, I suggest you, do not hesitate, to do so.
Enjoy your meal and have a good revolution, to all
(*): Goni I. et al., (1996), Analysis of resistant starch: A method for foods and food products. Food Chemistry, 56 (4), pp. 445-449