Monday, November 4, 2013

Pecan Kale Pasta Salad

Ingredients (per 4x4 or so lunch container)
-1 C cooked tortellini
-1 kale leaf, rolled and shredded
-handful of pecans, chopped
-Lemon Infused Olive Oil
-1 TB parmesan cheese, finely shredded

I put my kale and cheese together in the bottom of the dish, then plopped the tortellini in when it was drained so that it was still hot. This helped wilt the kale a little.  I used tortellini from Sam's. You can buy the big containers of it for about ten dollars and turn it in to eight or ten smaller bags in your freezer that will last a good long while.  It is pretty inexpensive for a quick meal.

Put in a drizzle of the lemon olive oil and the pecans and toss to combine. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper, if desired. I warmed mine up at lunch because I always think I stay full longer when I eat warm meals.

You could add in other things too like tomatoes, or other herbs like basil.  Craisins might also be a fun addition.

I was pleasantly surprised with how well I liked this pasta salad.  I was unsure if I would like kale in anything other than chips or similar, or in an egg dish.  You can throw most ingredients in an egg and I am perfectly happy.  The kale still had a little crunch to it, but had softened up a little.  It was really a great texture and variety.

The lemon olive oil I used was from Trader Joe's, because my mom had purchased this awesome trio of oils there.  It came with basil, hot pepper, and lemon.  I have been really enjoying them and they are such a great way to add a subtle flavor to pasta salad.

I have been trying to add in new ingredients to things I eat consistently, which is how cranberries and kale got welcomed to the shenanigans this week.  The cranberry superfood soft granola bars from yesterday were quite delicious, and this pasta salad was a success as well.  AND I got to have something a little (naturally) sweet after my lunch today with the granola bars, so I am one satisfied little luncher at the moment.

I highly suggest using tri-color tortellini or mixing regular, wheat, and spinach tortellini together to get a variance in color.  I really do agree when people say we eat with our eyes first, and so a bright and festive meal can really get you a little more excited about healthy food than a bland colored meal.  At least in my opinion that is the case.

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