Yesterday, when I started making this lunch, I was rather unsure about how much of pasta I should cook for two. In general, any of the noodles can transform so much after cooking. Of course, it applies to any other staple grains like rice, quinoa, couscous. But I am more at home with the latter and I cook pasta only occasionally. In the end, I decided that it is better to err on the side of vegetable portion being more than the pasta. That would suit my overall preference towards meals. So, I took out less than half of the linguine packet, which was about 200g (that would come to 100g per person) and used more than half of my frozen chopped kale packet, which would be 250g. Rest of the procedure was too familiar…
KALE LINGUINE PASTA
Linguine pasta, about 200g
Chopped kale, about 250 gm (should come to be at least two cups when cooked)
4-5 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of red chilli flakes
2-3 tbspoons of flax seed powder
2 cups of vegetable stock
3 tbspons of olive oil
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges for squeezing (optional)
- Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet.
- Heat 2 tbspoons of olive oil. Fry chopped galic and red chilli flakes over it till fragrant.
- Add chopped kale, add salt, mix properly.
- Add vegetable stock.
- Mix in the flax seed powder for nutty flavor.
- Cover and let the kale cook.
- When done, mix in the cooked pasta.
- Add a dash of olive oil and lemon juice (optional) and serve.
This version of energy bar was long-pending on my wish list, to share the recipe with my family and friends back in India, not all of whom have oven units installed in their kitchens. There are quite some interesting recipes around. I especially liked the ones by the Minimalist Baker and the Kitchn. As usual, taking the bits from both, I developed my own version, as follows:
NO-BAKE CHEWY ENERGY BARS
1 cup mejdool dates
1 cup alomonds
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts
4 tbspoons of flax seed powder (optional, but would suggest for additional binding effect and health benefits).
A pinch or two of salt
- Combine dates, almonds, cranberries, walnuts, and flax seed powder together and blend it in the food processor to form a “dough”. You may need an intermittent mixing between two rounds of blending to mix in the clumps of dates, if any.
- Before forming a dough ball, with some light kneading, sprinkle a pinch or two of salt over it. I liked those as “a grain of salt” surprises in otherwise sweet bars.
- Shape and press the bar dough into a slab, over a cookie sheet.
- Make cuts/ shapes of your liking.
- Keep the cut slab in freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Take out, separate the pieces and store in a jar.
- Personally, I liked those as cooled slabs, so I kept them in the refrigerator (not freezer section). Yet, it would keep well even at the room temperature, if you prefer so.
Dates really are the magic ingredient here. They hold bars together and add nice chewy caramel like sweetness. A bit of kneading for a minute or two would bring out the oils of walnut and almond, which in turn gives a beautiful glaze to these bars. Plus, the possibilities are endless little variations in nuts/ seeds/ dried fruits choices based on your liking (and pantry inventory!).