Planning my lunch during the week is one of biggest stresses of my day. This is mostly because I have to take a packed lunch. Since I don’t always have access to a microwave [and never have access to a fridge], I have to get creative about packing filling and tasty cold lunches. I can only eat so many sandwiches! One of the ways I’ve been able to mix up my lunches and ensure that I actually enjoy what I eat is by making creative pasta salads. I used to just pour some ranch dressing and BBQ sauce on my pasta and call it a day. But now, I’ve become a little more grown-up with my cold pasta toppings, and have found a few combinations that I absolutely love! This Sweet Asian mix is one of them.
I love the burst of flavors in every bite. Garlic and onion mixed with the sweetness of honey and peanut butter. The tang of cilantro mellowing with the spice of red chili peppers. Plus veggies for some crunch! Add some apple slices, carrots, and crackers and you have yourself one tasty lunch!
Sweet Asian Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta, uncooked
- 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized pieces if necessary
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- freshly ground pepper
- red chili flakes
Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, whisk together coconut milk, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, and peanut butter. Combine green pepper, broccoli, onion, garlic, and cilantro together in a medium sized bowl (my one quart bowl was just barely big enough). When pasta is cooked to al dente, add to veggies, pour in dressing and toss with salad tongs to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate/ice pack until lunch time! 🙂
Do you pack your lunch? What are some of your lunchtime favorites?