Mindful Eating- Pasta & Quinoa toss with dry roasted bell pepper.

Quinoa(Q)- Hi there!

Pasta(P)- What you doing here? 

Q- Came to give you company.

P- Huh! I am THE PASTA from ITALY. I don't need company.

Q- Try me. You won't regret.  I am a healthy companion. I am gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.
I am also high in fibre, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. I do no harm. Plus I bring along these lovely red ladies. 

P- Really?

Q- Yep.

P- Okay. Let's try. But you better know-I am THE PASTA from ITALY.

Q- Yeah. Will remember that dear friend. Trust, it's a new taste but likeable.

And thus...comes the recipe.

Preparation Time-20 mins (includes the time taken to boil pasta and quinoa. Also includes time taken to chop the vegetables).

Cook time-10 mins

Total time-30 mins.

Recipe for -Lunch preferably


Serves- 2 adults

1.5 cup of pasta ( I used shell pasta.)
1 cup of quinoa
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½  onion chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 green chilli finely chopped
2 tsp of soya sauce
4 tsp basil garlic pasta sauce
2 tsp vinegar
salt as per taste

For dry roast bell pepper
2 tsp lemon
1 red bell pepper(chopped into big cubes)
salt as per taste

  • Wash the quinoa and boil on medium heat. Water should be added with caution. Just enough to immerse the grains and 1/2 inch above the grains.
  • You can boil the pasta simultaneously. Ensure it becomes tender.
  • Once boiled, take them out in a container, allow to cool.
  • It's garlic time now. Heat oil in a pan and add in the finely chopped garlic and saute on medium flame until browned.
  • Once done, add green chilli. Put the flame on high. Next, add all the vegetables( finely chopped carrots and finely shredded cabbage) and saut√© them for a minute.
  • Now add pasta and quinoa to it. Mix well while on high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the sauces one by one. Mix well. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for two more minutes. Be careful to keep stirring occasionally.
  • This entire process should take you not more than 7-10 minutes.
  • Take another shallow non-stick-pan and allow it to heat up. Since this is a dry roast bell pepper, just put a drop of oil for the sake of lubrication. Throw in the bell pepper cubes and increase the heat. Keep tossing to avoid burning.
  • Once you see the cubes getting brown and roasted, drizzle some lemon juice over it and toss for another minute. Serve straight from the pan on the plate. Sprinkle some black pepper and salt if you like.
Things to remember

Quinoa can become mushy if excess water is added. That will ruin the entire preparation. This process is the most crucial hence ensure only 1/2 inch of water above the grains while putting it to boil. Add more later if you see the quinoa is still not tender.

You can add vegetables of your choice. I tried shredded cabbage as it adds a nice crunch to the entire recipe.The vegetables don't need to be cooked. They just need to be sauteed on high flame so as to retain their crunchiness.

If making this for kids, omit the green chilli and balance the spices. Finely chopping the vegetables makes it easy for the kids.

Author- Namrata


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