Hear me out people: these pasta salad bowls are everything you’ll want to eat for the next 678686 days.
Packed with fresh vegetables, complex carbs and with a touch of moringa for some superfood-y goodness. Are you in love with them yet or what?
As you probably know if you’ve been reading my posts (or following me on Insta) for the past few weeks: I’m very, very busy with exams. The kind of busy where I haven’t done any laundry for two weeks straight or have any food other than tomato toast and cereal.
And these bowls, that is.
I can’t seem to get enough of them lately, I’m telling you. Not because they’re incredibly delicious (which they are), packed with carby goodness in the form of zesty pesto pasta and garlic parsley spiced chickpeas, but because they’re like the easiest thing to make. Ever.
Okay. I know that you hear the words “homemade pesto” and you think “das hard” (and probably “das delicious sign me up for a bowl or seven” too) BUT the magic of these bowls is that you can make the pesto while you sautee the chickpeas and boil the pasta. Then you have to chop some veggies but that, my friend, is done in a second.
Still thinking it sounds too difficult to add these bowls to your weekly busy student meal plan? I gotcha. Have you ever heard of leftovers??? Of course you have, unless you’re lying about the whole “being a busy and miserable uni student” thing. In that case, shame on you. In that very case too, lucky you.
ANYWAY. Leftovers. Aka my favourite thing ever right after furry bunnies, warm coffee and pickles. How good are they? Especially cold roasted potatoes – HOLY MOLY I LIVE FOR THOSE – or cold cake OR OR OR cold rice straight from the fridge… They’re just the best. Or maybe I’m just weird BUT go ahead and tell me you don’t like cold pizza yeah LIE TO ME LIKE THAT.
This pasta salad is amazing eaten fresh but it gets even better after 1-2 days since the flavours intensify – SO good, I’m telling you. Also, there’s something about cold chickpeas that I really, really like. Like: cold carbs are my fav. Please, tell me I’m not the only one who always wait until starchy food gets cold to eat it??
Are you already sold? I hope you are… because this is a bowl filled with carby stuff, fresh veggies and a whole lot of bliss BUT if you’re still on the fence about making this, let me remind you about how flippin’ healthy this is.
First of all, we’re starting with a base of lettuce. Butter lettuce to be exact, because butter lettuce is the best. Not the best? My tendecy to call every single thing I stumble upon “the best”, but then again, I’m one super excitable human being.
Then we have lots of fresh veggies, which I find they go super well in buddha bowls like these. Fresh cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices are a must for me, but you can actually add any veg you fancy and it’ll probably turn out fantastic. You know veggies, they’re the best.
Plus pickles. Don’t get me started on pickles!!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!! Not only are they an amazing way to get those probiotics in, but so yummy as well. Seriously, I cannot live without them pickles… be it sauerkraut, gherkins or, in this case: pickled beets (which may or may not be an adorable way to add a touch of colour to your favourite bowls).
Then we have chickpeas, which are full of plant protein, iron and folate, among others. Do I need to tell you how healthy they are? Like lil’ balls of nutrition!! You won’t be able to stop munching on them once you try them. They’re so good flavoured with olive oil, garlic, onion and parsley that you won’t ever want to try other recipe, I’m telling you.
Now, let’s talk about the star of the show: this moringa pesto pasta salad. It’s true that good ol’ pesto doesn’t have the best rep out there, being full of fatty cheese and (sometimes) processed vegetable oils as it is. This one though? Completely dairy-free and seasoned only with some fine extra virgin olive oil. Hang on, because it really does get better.
MORINGA! Have you ever heard about this vibrant leaf?
Moringa is usually consumed in the form of powder, which you can use to add some extra nutrition to your smoothies, chia pudding or, in this case, salad dressings. It’s such a great way to add vitamins A, C, and E, calcium and potassium to your diet.
It’s also a good source of plant iron and protein, so it’s lovely to use it in your recipes if you’re following a vegetarian/vegan diet. Plus it has anti-oxidant effects! How much better can it get?
Moringa can be said to have a strong, earthy taste (GET IT he he he), but I find that really depends on which brand you’re using. The one I went for is by Fera and it’s definitely one of the best (if not the best!) I’ve ever tried. It’s quite mellow so it goes well with both sweet and savoury recipes! So worry not if you fear that your food might taste “too healthy”, because I can assure you: you can’t taste it (but you can definitely feel all the benefits!).
If you’re new to Moringa, definitely check out the Fera website. It has a lot of info on moringa benefits and also lots of recipes so you can get creative in the kitchen. Plus, they sell these tiny single-serving moringa sachets for you to try and see if you dig them (aaaaand the parcel is so lovely! I’m a sucker for parcels like these tbh!).
You really, really need to give ’em a go. And don’t forget to try the pasta salad! It’ll 100% rock your world!
I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!