Holy easiness! This warm pasta salad is the perfect choice for those times when you are just too tired to do anything and still want something delicious and healthy. We’ve been adding more pasta to this recipe lately as we are kind of carb loading for a first marathon race of the year taking place in 2 days. You can also reduce the amount of pasta if you wish but don’t skip it as it tastes so good mixed with the pesto dressing. We usually use wholewheat pasta but you could choose gluten free as well if you prefer. When it comes to pasta there are so many options nowadays to choose from that I’m sure there is an option for everyone. Just the other day I came across chickpea pasta which I’m planning to try out soon.
A HEALTHY DOSE OF PROTEIN AND VITAMINS
In addition to the pasta, it’s the red kidney beans in this recipe that bring the proteins. If you cook this for two then each will get about 27g protein which to me sounds like a good dose from one meal. Also, what’s not to love about kale? This dark green salad contains so many vitamins that I have no doubt it’s good for you. Just don’t cook it! I promise, you can make it taste delicious without cooking it as well.
DON’T COOK THE KALE – JUST GIVE IT A THOROUGH MASSAGE
Instead of boiling, baking, frying or otherwise cooking kale, I usually leave it raw to preserve all the good nutrients. Raw kale has a stiff texture that can be hard to chew but the secret is in massaging it. WHAT? Massaging? Yes, literally massaging it to soften the texture. Just get your hands dirty. In other words, mix the kale using your hands and squeezing the leaves in between your hands and fingers so that the leaves get softer. You can do this after you’ve added the dressing to make sure it gets thoroughly mixed with all the salad leaves and also, your hands will feel so soft after this olive oil treatments (speaking about killing two birds with one stone :)). I highly recommend massaging your kale!
- 200g kale
- A bunch (30g) of fresh basil
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 courgette
- 200g fusilli pasta
- 1 x 400g can red kidney beans
- 50g sundried tomatoes
- Chop courgette in ‘half moons’ and roughly chop also the garlic clove and sundried tomatoes
- Put the pasta to boil in salted water
- Steam (or bake) the courgette until soft
- Rinse and shred the kale
- Put the basil, roughly chopped garlic clove, 2tbsp olive oil, 2tsp sea salt and 2 tbsp water in a food processor and blend until smooth
- Mix the pesto with the kale, massaging it with your hands so that the kale softens (yes, you can literally put your hands in the salad and squeeze the salad leaves in between your fingers while mixing with the pesto)
- Add the cooked pasta, courgette, drained red kidney beans and roughly chopped sundried tomatoes to the salad and enjoy!