I cook the pasta and rice in a pressure cooker. This saves lot of time and gas. I will write a separate post on how to cook the pasta in a pressure cooker. You can buy and store pastas of different shape so kids don’t get bored with what we send them for lunch. I have shell, penne, macaroni pasta and spaghetti at home all the time.
I always aim to make his meal complete with carbohydrates like rice/roti/bread/pasta, protein like chicken,egg, tofu or soy chunks, vegetables and dairy like cheese/milk/yogurt. It should be a one pot meal where the child gets all the required nutrients in one shot. Today I am sharing the recipe for a vegetarian pasta dish made with vegetables like carrot, beans, peas, zucchini, cabbage and soy chunks. I love soy chunks. It’s meaty and chewy. I flavored the pasta with ginger, garlic and green chilly pasta and tossed in some vegetables and curry power / chaat masala (whichever your child likes). I sprinkled Parmesan cheese to give a creamy texture.
Vegetarian Pasta Dish
For the pasta
- 1 cup raw pasta (whole wheat) | quinoa or brown rice pasta for gluten free kids
- Enough water to cover and cook
For the vegetable base
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 green chilly, minced
- 1/2 cup red onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup vegetables ( carrot, beans, peas, cabbage, zucchini) – cubed
- 1/2 cup soy chunks ( soaked in hot water, excess water squeezed and cut into small cubes)
- 1 tbsp milk or water
- 1/4 cup parmesan or cheddar cheese or any cheese of your choice (optional)
- 1 tbsp cilantro
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Pressure cooker with whistle
- 1 Large cooking pan
- Pressure cook the pasta with excess water for 1 whistle. Let the pressure settle down. Open and run through a colander. Set them aside.
- As the pasta cooks, simultaneously work with the vegetable base. Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a minute. Then add green chilly and onions. Sprinkle little salt to sweat the onions. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetables & soy chunks,and cook covered for 10-12 minutes.
- Add curry powder or chaat masala and little milk or water to bring them together as a sauce, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cheese can be added at the end. That’s purely optional. Garnish with cilantro for a desi touch.
- Pack lunch with a fruit for dessert and little cheez-it to snack at 3.00PM