I love nothing more that a dish that comes together in 20 minutes, is bursting with flavour & generally satisfies every want & need I could have at the end of the day! For many people that will be pasta & I must admit a steamy bowl of spaghetti does have a special place in my heart but then so does this protein & veggie packed beauty 🙂
In terms of how we construct our meals many of us have been somewhat side balled into thinking that our carbohydrates should take up more of our plates than they necessarily need to, resulting in a somewhat less than ideal macronutrient ratio (fats : carbs : protein).
One of the simplest things I like to do with my clients is encourage they opt for a legume based pasta – firstly simply substituting it in for their regular grain based version as this will completely swap that nutrient profile because legumes are far higher in fibre & protein than grains. Additionally they are naturally gluten free which is fab for people like me, or those who are limiting it in their diet for whatever reason.
Then once they’re hooked & experimenting with the myriad varieties you can now find (I begin with red lentil as it is the most similar in taste & texture in my opinion, then progress to black bean noodles, edamame spaghetti, green pea penne etc) I come in strong with exciting & creative things like this!
Not that this bowl is in anyway unsuitable for ‘novices’ but because it challenges people’s perceptions as the majority of the bowl is your lovely protein with plenty of veg, & your pasta has gone from the base of the dish to the garnish. I find this to be a truly awesome lunch or dinner, & if you fancy a super sustaining snack those crispy fusilli pieces are sensational munched on their own too.
Happy experimenting everyone!
For the pasta:
- 100g red lentil fusilli
- 1 teaspoon olive or hemp oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the rest of the dish:
- 1 can Fish4Ever pink or red salmon
- 1 leek
- 1 stick celery
- ½ fennel bulb
- ½ cup Organico passata
- 1 red pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 large handfuls fresh spinach or parsley
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
To serve: 1 large avocado, preserved lemon pieces or fresh lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 200C, line a tray with baking parchment.
- Cook your pasta as per packet instructions, drain & leave to cool in the sieve for 5 minutes then add to a bowl with the oil & seasonings, tossing to combine.
- Transfer to the tray & bake for 15 minutes until crispy, stirring halfway through. Leave to one side once done.
- Meanwhile finely slice the leek, celery, fennel & pepper. Add to a large sauté pan with the coconut oil, cover with a lid & leave to soften on a gentle heat for 6-8 minutes.
- Crush or grate the garlic then add to your pan, stir through the veggies then add the passata. Re-cover & cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Drain the salmon, add to the pan & gently break up into the sauce. Turn down to a gentle simmer until everything is warmed through (~3-4 minutes).
- Roughly chop the parsley if using or just add the spinach to the pan, let the leaves wilt down in the residual heat of the sauce then divide between 2 bowls.
- Top with chopped pieces of preserved lemon for a vibrant salty hit, or simply squeeze over some lemon juice. Crown with half an avocado each & tumble over your crisp pasta croutons.