My children could exist on pasta. Ask them what they want any day of the week for dinner and together they'll deliberate quite seriously over whether they'd prefer butter and cheese or butter (it's actually oil) and garlic pasta. The dilemma is real, folks.
Cooking pasta for my kids is my favourite way to feed them on busy days or nights because it's a fast meal that I know they'll eat. But, until recently I limited the amount of pasta I served them. Although I usually think in weeks rather than days when mulling over my kids' nutritional intake, serving pasta too frequently was a surefire way to start a nagging case of mom guilt.
Since being introduced to Chickapea Pasta, those guilty feelings are gone. “Want pasta 4 times this week, kids?” I said, after reading the package.
After all, this organic, non-GMO pasta is made with only two ingredients…lentils and chickpeas (that's it). Lentils and chickpeas are part of the pulse family and pulses are amazing. They are hearty and packed full of fiber and protein as well as being a sustainable food source.
True to my word, we ate the Chickapea Pasta over four times. Twice the kids had it for dinner (with me nibbling on it) but my secret goal was to find some healthy pasta salad recipes my kids would eat with the same ferociousness at school. I put aside a portion of the plain penne and fusilli pasta to use to create healthy salads with the contents of my fridge.
A healthy pasta salad made with Chickapea Pasta makes a simple nutritious side or main for a school lunch, get creative! Using the plain pasta from dinnertime to make something new is a great solution for kids who complain about eating leftovers yet stops you from creating a lunch from scratch.
If you're the prep ahead of time person, one pack of Chickapea Pasta makes enough for 5 days of salads for two kids or a dinner for two kids and salads at least twice each.
Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes For School Lunches
First, cook the Chickapea Pasta according to directions (it only takes 7 minutes).
If you are using it for dinner, then put some plain pasta aside. Otherwise, you can prep the salad ingredients and other lunch items while it's cooking.
Toss the pasta with ingredients your child loves like vegetables, fruits, cheese, and oils or simple salad dressings. These salads are best served cold.
Fig & Chia Seed Salad: 1-2 figs cut up, small chunks of apple, sprinkle with chia seeds to get those omega-3s in. Drizzle with avocado oil. Put the lid on the salad container and shake it up.
Below from top left:
Celery & Carrots Salad: Dice small chunks of carrots and celery and a splash of sun-dried tomato dressing (or use your kids favourite dressing
Italian Salad: Small pieces of parmesan, a dash of pepper, a sprinkle of rosemary and a splash of olive oil. Be sure to mix it up!
Crunchy Salad: Snap peas, thin and small pieces of radishes, then drizzle with soy sauce. Mix it up to evenly spread the sauce.
Above bottom left:
Slightly Spicy Salad: A few small chunks of feta, corn from the cob (great use of leftovers!) and sun-dried tomato pesto
All of these pasta salads were approved by my 4 and 7-year-old sons. By the way, Chickapea Pasta is both vegan, gluten-free and nut-free. Let's give a hurrah for school safe pasta! Raise your hand if you want to try Chickapea Pasta, too!
Disclosure: I am a Chickapea Ambassador and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support Green Moms Collective. As always, opinions are my own.