Healthy Spring Pasta Salad with Artichoke and Smokey Tempeh
- 12 oz about 3/4 a bag or box whole wheat pasta
- 2 cups canned artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 1/2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup tzatziki*
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 5-6 oz about 2/3 a package tempeh, sliced into thin squares
- 3 tablespoons liquid aminos (sub soy sauce)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- roasted or baked chicken breast
- baked salmon
- Preheat your oven to 350. At the same time, heat a large pot of water over high heat.
- Lay your thinly sliced tempeh squares flat in a baking tray. Mix together your tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup. Pour the mixture over the tempeh. Let it sit until the oven is heated. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
- While the tempeh is baking, cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. When the pasta is ready, drain the water and transfer noodles to a large bowl.
- Cover your peas in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 2 minutes on high. Add peas to the noodle bowl.
- Take your drained artichoke hearts, slice them in half and add them to the noodle bowl as well.
- Add in tzatziki, parmesan, salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss until everything is evenly covered.
- When the tempeh is done cooking, add it to your noodle bowl and toss one final time.
- Serve hot or cold. EAT UP!
*If you want to make the recipe vegan, substitute my Garlicky Dressing for the tzatziki and omit the parmesan. (You'll probably want to make a double batch of the dressing to keep everything nice and creamy!)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the kinds of meals that make our lives easier. Obviously the quickness of meals matters, but sometimes more than that it matters how many meals you can make out of one cooking session. That way you can make a big batch of something (like this healthy spring pasta salad) at the beginning of the week, and then lunch becomes a no-brainer. It’s one of the major ways we can reduce stress during the week. There’s no more scrambling around to find food ’cause you ran out of time. Meals like this make a great grab and go lunch. And I promise you won’t get tired of it. It’s FRIGGIN’ delicious.
So what makes this a healthy spring pasta salad you ask? Well…
- You’re using whole wheat pasta!
- The creamy sauce is tzatziki (yogurt based), instead of the usual heavy mayo base!
- The tempeh is acting as both a protein source, and a sort of “health-ified” bacon. *MAJOR KEY ALERT*
If you have never had tempeh before, DON’T FEAR! I was super nervous to try it the first time I had it. But this recipe is a failsafe. It’s gonna taste delicious, and it only takes 20 minutes to do so. However, you don’t want to eat tempeh plain. ICK. You gotta cook it and you gotta cook it right. So if you follow my directions, you’ll be just fine and you’ll have a nutty, smokey protein source that is hella delicious in this pasta.
However, if you want to add even more protein to the mix feel free to add some roasted or baked chicken breast or even baked salmon. Both of those would be super nice with this flavor combo. (If you do decided to add chicken or fish to the mix, you might want to up your tzatziki ratio to 1 cup to keep everything nice and creamy!)
No matter what, this guy (aka. pasta) is the perfect go-to on-the-go meal for a busy week! I hope it makes your life just a little easier (and more delicious.)