This month, the Recipe Redux is all about preparing budget-friendly meals that can be quickly whipped up during busy workdays. And while I usually do all my meal prep on weekends, sometimes it’s necessary to cook a fast and nutritious meal without any preparations beforehand. It’s best to have a couple of recipes like that noted down somewhere so that you aren’t caught off guard in an emergency.
You can find my recipes that fit the bill on this blog but today, I want to share with you something different. A nutritious and filling salad made with beans and some whole grain pasta! And just like the challenge indicated, the total cost per serving is less than 3 dollars.
The salad can be done in about 10 minutes as long as you soften the dry beans beforehand which doesn’t require almost any effort. If you are really in a pinch and don’t have any time, beans from a can will also work, they will just need to be thoroughly rinsed. The rest of the recipe is just cooking the whole grain pasta, the cashews, and combining all the ingredients in a food processor. Easy-peasy!
Nutrients in this recipe
Just like other beans, black beans contain plenty of protein and fiber, making them a great replacement for meat. Black beans in particular have a lot of manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B1. They are a great food for diabetics and people who have problems controlling their blood sugar levels because black beans have a low glycemic index.
Spinach has plenty of vitamin C and vitamin B6. It’s a very well-known source of not only iron, but also folic acid, calcium, and zinc. Full of antioxidants, spinach can help with oxidative stress and also improve your eye health, blood pressure, and boost your immune system.
Spicy peppers, like poblano, jalapeno, cayenne, contain a nutrient called capsaicin. Capsaicin is responsible for the spicy taste and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been traditionally used to alleviate pain and joints inflammation but when ingested, can also improve your metabolism and help with digestion. Research has also shown that it might lower the risk of cancer, particularly stomach and colorectal cancer.
Cilantro has plenty of different antioxidants that reduce inflammation and may even slow down cancer cell growth. Quercetin especially has been shown to promote cardiovascular heart and boost the respiratory and immune systems.
Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Cashews
- a stockpot
- two small pots
- a food processor
- 1 box of whole grain pasta, any shape
- 2 cups of black beans
- 2 cups of frozen spinach (can be substituted with kale)
- 1 cup of roasted red peppers
- 1/2 cup of cashews
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 jalapeno
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
- 1/8 t. of sea salt
- Pour water into a stockpot and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for as many minutes as indicated on the packaging.
- Boil water in a smaller pot and put the cashews in to soften them up.
- In another pot, heat the frozen spinach to quickly thaw it.
- Put the drained cashews, red peppers, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.
- Strain the pasta.
- Mix the pasta, beans, spinach, and pepper mixture together in a large bowl. Serve while still warm.