My pesto veggie pasta salad is veggies first and packed with great pesto flavor. If you’re watching your weight like me and trying to limit “bad” carbs but sometimes still craving it, this recipe is perfect! With only under 250 calories per serving, you can satisfy your “bad” carbs cravings while loading up with great fresh veggies. The key to this recipe is portions, portions, portions.
More than just a Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad
I was driving home from the gym and I needed to run into the grocery store real quick to grab some things. Since I’ve been trying to shed some pounds, I’ve been very cautious of walking through the middle aisles as they are filled with all things that I love and know I shouldn’t have. However, I found myself perusing through the aisles and my mind started to wander into chips, cookies, cakes, ice cream…
While I was able to focus and managed to walk away without adding extra items in my bags, I got in my car feeling super hungry. Oddly enough, the first thing that came to my mind was chicken nuggets. There was a McDonalds a couple of blocks away, I thought, “perfect!” I began trying to justify what I was planning on doing. “I just went to the gym and had a great workout. I totally deserve this once in a while.” “It’s just chicken nuggets. I won’t grab a soda or fries.”
I don’t know exactly what it was but I eventually snapped out of my chicken nuggets haze. I began thinking all about the hard work that I’ve been putting into losing weight and drove straight home. As I was driving home, I thought about what I was going to make – Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad!
Portions, Portions, Portions!
I knew that I had some pesto in my fridge so that was going to be the base. One of my favorite pesto sauces is from 365 Wholefoods by Severino or their in-house Whole Foods pesto sauce. I wanted this pasta salad to be mostly veggies, so I chopped up half of a yellow pepper and half of a red pepper, sliced some purple onions, threw some cremini mushrooms in the oven, and microwaved a cup of green beans just to thaw them out.
As for the pasta, I had about a cup left of rotini lying around so I decided to use it. I would recommend using whole-wheat but I wanted to use up what I had in my pantry. A cup of uncooked pasta might not sound a lot. But it actually is more than enough and yields about 1.5-2 cups of cooked pasta. Once you mix in all the veggies that cup of uncooked pasta will go a long way. While you fill up on those good vegetables, you’ll still be able to enjoy that pasta without feeling any guilt. It’s all about portions, portions, portions.
This recipe makes about 4 portions, and they make for great leftovers. I actually kind of prefer eating it the following day since the pesto sauce has fully soaked in all the veggies and pasta. Add a couple pieces of pepperoncini if you like a bit of a kick.
Per serving: 231 calories, 28g of carbohydrates, 12g of fat,6g of protein, 148mg of sodium, and 4g of sugars
More recipes from LouweezyAnne? Check them out here.