Happy weekend! While I hope you have some time to spend in your kitchen preparing delicious things in the next two days, I know that the typical Monday through Friday grind doesn’t allow for much leisure time cooking. You’re already aware that I’m a big fan of meal prep to make your week low on stress and high on nutrients and flavor, but sometimes you still need a quick and budget-friendly weeknight meal. That’s where this black bean pasta salad with a simple vegan romesco sauce comes in!
Budget-Friendly Meal Prep
This month’s Recipe Redux challenge was to provide you with a budget-friendly recipe. There is a perception that it is too costly to eat healthy. I have to argue against this all the time, which with a plant-based diet isn’t all that hard. For this challenge, our recipe had to come in at under $3 per serving. If you skip expensive items such as meats and cheeses, this is doable for any meal any night of the week.
My farro fried rice, oatmeal recipes, and many others fit the bill. However, this gave me an opportunity to pull together staple food items and create some amazing flavor. Plus, like most of my recipes, this one fits in with the legume challenge going on this week!
So long as you prep your beans ahead, this black bean pasta salad recipe takes only as long as it takes your stove to boil water, plus 6 minutes to cook the whole grain pasta and 1-2 to mix all of the ingredients together. While the pasta is cooking, you can whip up the romesco in the food processor, heat up frozen greens and measure out the black beans. Stir together and serve all for $2.15 per serving! Even more shocking, all ingredients but the jalapeño and salt were organic at that price (and salt can’t be certified anyway).
Athlete tip: While each serving contains 18 grams of protein, using banza chickpea pasta will boost content to 26 grams.
Add these items to this weekend’s grocery list and get to making this delish dish on your busiest day this coming week!
Once you’ve tried it, make some other healthy and budget-friendly meals via the link at the bottom of this post. For even more affordable meal ideas, check out my post on Budget-Friendly Meals for Athletes.
Black Bean Pasta Salad with Spicy Cashew Romesco
- 8 oz rotini noodles
- 2 cups black beans (prepped from dry)
- 2 cups frozen spinach or kale
- 1 cup roasted red peppers
- 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
- 1/2 - 1 jalapeno
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Boil water in a medium stockpot before adding pasta and cooking according to package instructions.
- In a separate smaller pot, boil one cup water with 1/2 cups cashews to quickly soak them.
- In another small pot, add 2 cups of frozen greens and heat on medium.
- While pasta and greens are cooking, measure your 2 cups of black beans.
- Strain pasta when finished and mix with black beans and greens in a serving bowl.
- While pasta is cooling, add garlic, roasted red peppers, cilantro, salt, and cashews (drained) to a food processor or high quality blender and pulse until smooth.
- Mix romesco (cashew and red pepper sauce) with the pasta and beans and serve.