I’m usually a bit more on top of the whole Christmas shopping thing, but with all that has been on my plate this year, I really fell behind and started doing the bulk of my shopping on Friday.
Some people love the adrenaline rush of waiting until the last minute…I’m definitely not one of them!
After spending a few hours shopping on Friday with all the crazies, Bill and I were hungry and ready for dinner. Since we’d just spent money on gifts, I didn’t want to spend more money on food, so I was determined to make something using what was already in our fridge and pantry.
That’s how this (under) 30-minute meal came to be!
We had a box of Tolerant Foods’ red lentil rotini pasta, so I threw together a bunch of veggies from our fridge and a few simple add-ons like lemon juice, sea salt, and olive oil to give the dish some flavor.
Ta da! Dinner is served 🙂
When I posted the picture on instagram and Facebook, a friend of mine asked the question, “Where’s the recipe??”
There isn’t one!
Consider this an “un”recipe (you know, just like those “un”birthdays in Alice in Wonderland?!).
This is one of those dishes that I literally pieced together based on a template that works no matter what you have on hand. Check out the basic process below.
<30-Minute Meal Basic Ingredient List
- Base: Quality, gluten-free pasta of choice (We use Tolerant Foods pasta because it’s packed with fiber and protein or brown rice pasta. Both are gluten-free and contain only ONE ingredient, which is ideal!)
- Cooking Broth or Fat: Veggie broth, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter
- Aromatic Veggies: Onion (red, yellow or shallots), Garlic (2-4 cloves)
- Simple Seasonings: Sea salt (coarse grain), Black pepper
- Flavor Burst: Lemon
- Finishing Fat: Extra virgin olive oil
- LOTS OF VEGGIES! (cherry tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, squash, kale, spinach – add leafy greens at the very end)
- Any add-ons like chickpeas, cannellini beans, chicken, fish, etc.
- Top with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, etc. And if you like other herbs and spices, add them in along the way!
Here’s the foolproof process to follow:
Cook the pasta – saute the veggies – blanch the broccoli – toss everything together – top with lemon juice and zest, olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
And for those of you who like more detail…here you go!
- Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. During the last 90 seconds of cooking, add the broccoli florets to blanch them (quickly cook!).
- While you’re waiting for the pasta water to boil, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Cut onions into thin half-moon slices. Add a few tablespoons of veggie broth or cooking fat of choice to the skillet. Add onions and saute 5-7 minutes until they soften. Add more veggie broth as needed to prevent sticking. Add tomatoes and garlic and saute until you can smell the garlic.
- Once pasta is cooked and broccoli is still bright green, drain the water in a strainer and add the broccoli and pasta to the veggie skillet.
- Add sea salt and black pepper to taste and finish with the zest of one lemon and the juice of one lemon. I used half a lemon to start and added more as I tasted. Finish it off with a few drizzles of olive oil.
We topped ours with some paleo parmesan cheese 🙂 The combination possibilities are endless, so HAVE FUN with it…and get cookin’!