I am truly thankful to all the mother’s for their emails. Their kind words made my day so please let me know your feedback on the meals / recipes I post here. I am glad that you loved my lunchbox series in my facebook page. From today onwards, I am planning to document the recipes I cook and pack for my son in the blog as “Lunchbox Series”. I plan to cover as much days as possible and arrange them week by week. So my plan is to come up with menu ideas for 52 weeks. This way you can plan your shopping over the weekend and you can either cook the rice and pasta on Sunday or fresh everydayand mix it with the vegetable or meat base which can be made fresh each day.
I cook the pasta and rice in a pressure cooker. This saves lot of time and gas. I will write a separate post on how to cook the pasta in a pressure cooker. You can buy and store pastas of different shape so kids don’t get bored with what we send them for lunch. I have shell, penne, macaroni pasta and spaghetti at home all the time.
I always aim to make his meal complete with carbohydrates like rice/roti/bread/pasta, protein like chicken,egg, tofu or soy chunks, vegetables and dairy like cheese/milk/yogurt. It should be a one pot meal where the child gets all the required nutrients in one shot. Today I am sharing the recipe for a vegetarian pasta dish made with vegetables like carrot, beans, peas, zucchini, cabbage and soy chunks. I love soy chunks. It’s meaty and chewy. I flavored the pasta with ginger, garlic and green chilly pasta and tossed in some vegetables and curry power / chaat masala (whichever your child likes). I sprinkled Parmesan cheese to give a creamy texture.
VEGETARIAN PASTA DISH
Cooking Level : Easy | Beginners
Time: 20 minutes
For the pasta
- 1 cup raw pasta (whole wheat) | quinoa or brown rice pasta for gluten free kids
- Enough water to cover and cook
For the vegetable base
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 green chilly, minced
- 1/2 cup red onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup vegetables ( carrot, beans, peas, cabbage, zucchini) – cubed
- 1/2 cup soy chunks ( soaked in hot water, excess water squeezed and cut into small cubes)
- 1 tablespoon milk or water
- 1/4 cup parmesan or cheddar cheese or any cheese of your choice (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pressure cooker with whistle
- Large cooking pan (I used stainless steel pan)
- Pressure cook the pasta with excess water for 1 whistle. Let the pressure settle down. Open and run through a colander. Set them aside.
- As the pasta cooks, simultaneously work with the vegetable base. Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a minute. Then add green chilly and onions. Sprinkle little salt to sweat the onions. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetables & soy chunks,and cook covered for 10-12 minutes.
- Add curry powder or chaat masala and little milk or water to bring them together as a sauce, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cheese can be added at the end. That’s purely optional. Garnish with cilantro for a desi touch.
- Pack lunch with a fruit for dessert and little cheez-it to snack at 3.00PM