Since changing job I have suddenly found myself having to get creative with my lunchboxes. Sandwiches can become boring very quickly and too much bread can make me feel bloated! This is where this amazingly simple and tasty Maple Dressed Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad has come from. A little of this and that mixed together to come up with a healthy alternative to sandwiches.
Pasta for Lunch
One of the great things about this salad is its simplicity, but it is still bursting with flavours. I really enjoy pasta for my lunch, its filling and the carbohydrates keep you fuller for longer. I know there will be a lot of people panicking about the carbs in this dish, personally I think you can enjoy everything in moderation. For me, pasta is not the enemy, being vegetarian its become a bit of a staple for me! Feel free to use a whole wheat pasta if you want this dish to be a little healthier.
This recipe is large enough for two servings and each serving only has 75 grams (1 cup) of uncooked pasta in it. If you are having a busy day and moving about then you are going to burn those carbs right off!
The add in’s are simple but delicious. Tomato, mozzarella and basil are natural bed fellows. Who doesn’t love a Caprese style salad? And I also added grapes, apart from tasting great they are also a great fibre & potassium source making them a heart healthy food!
The only little bit of naughtiness in this dish is in the dressing. Though it is barley enough to cause any problems. After all we all need a little fat in our diet to survive. I use full fat double (heavy) cream in the dressing but you can use Greek yogurt if you are wanting to cut down the calories. But it is only 1 tablespoon! And it does give this dressing a lovely rich texture.
I also added some pure maple syrup to the dressing as I like it when a dressing is on the sweet side and the maple syrup has such a lovely flavour. Honestly try it I know you will love it. Top this salad with shredded fresh basil leaves for a lovely peppery taste
So what do you fill your lunchbox with? Are you a sandwich person or a salad person? I’d love some new ideas.
Maple Dressed Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad
For the salad
- 150 grams dried pasta (2 cups)
- 12 cherry tomatoes halved
- 12 grapes halved
- 125 grams light mozzarella (4 and 1/2 ounces)
- 5 large fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon double / heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad
- Bring a medium sized pan of water to the boil and add the pasta to it, after 10 minutes take the pasta off the heat drain it and run it under cold water to cool it down quickly.
- While the pasta is cooking chop the cherry tomatoes and grapes in half and tear the mozzarella into small pieces.
- Shred the basil leaves into thin strips.
- Once the pasta is cooked and cold toss in the other ingredients and mix it all up.
For the dressing
- In a small bowl mix the cream, extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste.
- You may need to be vigorous in your mixing so all the ingredients combine and don't separate.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.