Lunchbox Pasta – Light Macaroni Salad with Veggies

from Emily (who loves food)

You know why I hate winter? (Aside from the fact that the rain ruins my hair and I can’t wear short shorts.) It’s because we have dinner at night time. And I am loathed to try and get a good photo of some asian noodles or crispy chicken burritos under that garish yellow light.

So, until summertime, you’re going to have to stick out baking and lunch recipes: cue, lunchbox pasta, v. 2.


So this is the second week of lunchbox pasta (for last week’s recipe: Balsamic, Bacon and Caper pasta, click over here).

Making a big bowl of pasta on sunday night, and having it feed me through to thursday saves me four days worth of expensive inner-city lunches.

Which, when your only income is working 9 hours a week in department store, is a lifesaver.

As usual, this pasta was an accumulation of stuff I could find in the cupboard – a small head of broccoli, a yellow bell pepper, some sundried tomatoes, some baby spinach and some capers.

Top it off with a really light oil/balsamic/lime dressing and it’s everything you need come midday.

Annnd, it only takes 10 mins to make.

If you wanted to stretch it further and eat it for dinner, just chuck in some prawns or cooked chicken.



Light Macaroni Salad with Veggies – Makes 4 lunch-sized servings

Prep time: 0 mins  Cook time: 10mins

  • 1 cup dried macaroni elbows
  • four sundried tomatoes
  • A good handful broccoli florets
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tbs capers
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lime juice (or lemon)
  • 1 tsp oil from the sundried tomato jar (just poor it out, go on!)
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar
  • Good shake of garlic salt, rock salt and black pepper.

Cook macaroni in a pot of salted water according to packet directions.

While the macaroni is cooking, chop up the bell pepper into short slices, and the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Grab a non-stick frypan, and whack it on high heat, then chuck the bell-pepper and broccoli in, stirring occasionally until it’s sufficiently charred on the outside – but not  burnt.

While the veggies are doing their thing, chop the sundried tomatoes into bite-sized strips, and make the dressing my combining all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and giving it a good shake.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and plop it into a large bowl, stirring in the charred veggies and tomatoes, as well as the capers and dressing.

Stir in the spinach – the pasta and vegetables should still be warm enough to wilt it slightly.

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