Mediterranean Banza Pasta Salad

 
MediterraneanBanza.jpg

I always have a few boxes of Banza Pasta on hand for when I'm not in the mood for meat but still want to get my protein in OR for those nights when I just need a pasta fix. If you don't know what Banza is, check out this post to learn all about why I love it!

Just to remind you, here's how Banza (and other similar legume based pastas such as Adzuki Bean Pasta, Black Bean Pasta, Edamame Pasta, etc).

 banza chickpea pasta

banza chickpea pasta

 Essentially, these bean/legume based pastas are really the same caloric values as regular pasta BUT they're typically twice as high in protein and about half the carbs with more fiber... The perfect example of why calories don't always portray the full picture when looking at food.

This recipe is so quick, the longest part is just waiting for the water to boil and it's even better the next day so it's great for leftovers and meal prep. Sometimes I'll have a bigger portion of this and call it dinner and other times, I'll split it into smaller portions and enjoy it as a side dish. Either way, the salty feta cheese, refreshing veggies and comforting pasta come together for a perfect, healthy dish!

Mediterranean Banza Pasta Salad

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 Oz Dry Banza Chickpea Pasta Shells

  • 1 Medium Tomato, Diced

  • 1 Medium Cucumber, Diced

  • 1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, Crumbled

  • 1/4 Cup Pistachios, without shells

  • 1 TBSP Avocado Oil (Divided into 2 tsp + 1 tsp)

  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

  • Optional: Add garlic powder, lemon and/or red chili flakes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook Banza pasta according to directions on the package

  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon avocado oil (reserve 2 teaspoons on the side)

  3. Add pistachios (out of shells) to the pan and toss with oil. Allow pistachios to toast for ~2 minutes.

  4. Remove pistachios from heat.

  5. Once Banza is cooked and strained, add it to a large bowl.

  6. Add diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, crumbled feta cheese and toasted pistachio nuts to the bowl of pasta. Add additional 2 teaspoons of avocado oil to bowl.

  7. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Mix with spoon to combine all ingredients and evenly distribute oil.

  8. Optional: Season with additional garlic powder, fresh squeezed lemon and/or red chili flakes

  9. Serve hot or cold!

Notes:

  1. You can use olive oil in place of avocado oil

  2. This dish is great hot or cold which makes it perfect for leftovers!

  3. You can serve it with a lean protein source to complete the meal or split it into smaller portions as a side dish.

NUTRITION FACTS (PER 1 SERVING, 1/4 of Recipe): 296 CALORIES, 12 G FAT, 37 G CARBOHYDRATE, 9 G FIBER, 18 G PROTEIN