Cold pasta salads make great lunch boxes, and they are perfect for batch cooking. Today, we'll share with you the recipe for a vegan and gluten-free pasta salad. We made it using quinoa pasta, a fresh pistachio pesto, Kalamata olives, sautéed broad beans, and baby vine tomatoes.
Although we designed the recipe to be gluten-free (quinoa pasta doesn't contain any gluten), you can use this same recipe with plain pasta too. And even if you are intolerant to gluten, you can select whichever GF pasta you fancy. We like to use red lentil pasta and quinoa pasta in our gluten-free recipes because they are rich in proteins.
Quinoa pasta is quite special when it comes to proteins. Did you know that quinoa is among the few plants to have complete proteins? Complete proteins contain all the nine essential amino acids your body needs to synthesize proteins. If you eat predominantly vegan, make sure to consume plenty of diverse foods to get all the amino acids your body needs. Or just eat quinoa and get them all in a fell swoop!
When it comes to pasta salads, the secret is selecting ingredients that preserve their flavour, or even improve it, when eaten cold. Veggies are an ideal candidate, but some are better than others. Try to use ingredients that don't get soggy, and opt for those that stay crisp. For example, aubergines get soggy after a day in the fridge, while beans don't.
These are the ingredients we used to make this pasta salad super healthy and flavourful. They taste fantastic right off the pot as well as on the next day.
Tomatoes — a colourful and juicy source of vitamin A and C
Broad beans — for a tasty boost of proteins and dietary fibres.
Black kalamata olives — they are an excellent source of antioxidants and healthy unsaturated fats.
Homemade pesto made with pistachios, basil, and lemon. This green sauce ties all the ingredients together and makes the pasta creamy and refreshing.
Finally, this quinoa pasta salad makes for a heck of a balanced and nutritious meal. One satisfying bowl will give you 31% RDI for proteins, 38% RDI for fibres, and 20% RDI for carbs, in 445 calories. The recipe is quick and simple, ready in just 30 minutes. Enjoy it!