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Chickpea Lentil Pasta Salad

Serves 4

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    Your child will be giddy with excitement when they open their lunchbox to this colourful and yummy pasta salad! Colour is a cue for health because it’s a sign of a rich array of phytonutrients, which are important for healthy, resilient children. This recipe also suits gluten-, nut-, and dairy-free diets. Chickpea and lentil pasta can be found at health food stores and in the natural health section of most grocery stores.

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    Tip: you can easily swap in any pasta you have on hand, but try out a chickpea or lentil pasta; they boast a decent amount of protein and fibre, which will keep your little one’s tummy fuller longer. This is because protein takes longer to digest than pasta made of mostly complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat.

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    Chickpea Lentil Pasta Salad

    Ingredients

    • 1 box (227 g) chickpea lentil penne or fusilli pasta
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen corn
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen peas
    • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan,
    • or nutritional yeast for dairy free
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sunflower seeds
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh chopped basil
    • Microgreens, for garnish (optional)

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

    • calories457
    • protein21g
    • fat22g
      • saturated fat4g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates47g
      • sugars5g
      • fibre10g
    • sodium118mg

    Directions

    01

    Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water immediately. Place in large salad bowl and set aside.

    02

    Place frozen corn and peas in bowl. Boil some water in a kettle and pour over frozen corn and peas to thaw. Drain water from corn and peas and mix them into pasta along with red pepper. Toss with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and Parmesan. Top with sunflower seeds, fresh basil, and microgreens, if using.

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    This recipe is part of the 5 lunchbox ideas collection.

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    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.