My mission to prove that healthy vegetarian food doesn’t have to be boring or unpalatable continues today with a little recipe that has often been my saviour and has stopped me from turning to processed foods when cooking is the last thing I want to do.
Pasta salads are something I rely on a lot for lunch, especially when I’m mega busy or working from a client’s office. I prepare enough for 2 or 3 days in the evening and that’s my healthy lunch sorted in 30 minutes or so. Much healthier and cheaper than buying ready-made salads from a shop!
Today’s recipe was inspired by the classic salad Nicoise (minus the tuna of course) and it’s a great way to pack plenty of nutrients in one big bowl with very little effort.
It’s amazingly delicious and filling. The lettuce gives a nice crunch to the salad and the pasta and the hard-boiled egg give the salad some heft, making it the perfect lunch that definitely won’t leave you snacking later. The dressing is a simple mix of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Here’s how you can make it at home…
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 240g pasta shells
- 300g green beans
- 400g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 80g pitted black olives, chopped
- 2 baby gem lettuces, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar for drizzling
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Pour boiling water into a saucepan big enough so that the eggs won’t crash into one another and bring the water to a gentle simmer. Using a spoon, gently lower the eggs into the water and pop a timer on for 6 minutes if you like your eggs slightly runny or 7 if you prefer them cooked through. Drain off the hot water and cool them rapidly under cold running water.
- While the eggs are cooking, cook the pasta according to package instructions, adding the green beans to the same pan during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and run under cold water to stop both the pasta and the green beans from cooking further.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta and beans with the cherry tomatoes, the olives and the lettuce. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar and season with sea salt and black pepper, then mix well. Serve each portion with a halved boiled egg.