You don’t need fancy equipment to make this quick, easy, flavor-packed pasta meal
Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the #PastaFits campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time.
Raise your hand if you’re excited about September! Cooler weather, football, the start of the school year, a routine — I’m pumped for all these things!
So I haven’t been in school for a while now; yet September still means school time, busy afternoons full of activities, and weekends full of fun plans. Unfortunately, a full schedule can mean little time is made for making food choices that nourish your body and give you the sustainable energy you need throughout the day. Take-out, fast-food, and other convenience items can get costly and make you not feel so great. Problem is, when you live in a dorm room, you’re not working with much – likely a mini-fridge and a microwave.
Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic that I was a freshman in college 10 years ago and would’ve loved to have had more ideas for how to prepare healthy meals in my dorm room. Or maybe I wanted to explore the possibility that a microwave meal doesn’t have to come filled with sodium and strange ingredients. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to see how fast I could make dinner without exerting much effort.
Yes, you can make pasta in a microwave!! I know, right?! This is life changing, in my opinion. Think about all the things you can do…!!! This whole meal is done with just a microwave and a few simple ingredients. You can certainly do this on a stove top, but work with what you have.
All you need is pasta, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, green onions, and edamame (or another protein of choice, like cooked chicken).
Every ingredient chosen was done so with a purpose. The soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and lime juice all add tons of flavor — and you likely have some leftover packets of soy sauce and/or red pepper flakes if you ever order sushi or pizza haha. Peanut butter is in there because duh, peanut butter is the best; plus, it has protein and beneficial fats. Edamame packs in more protein and some fiber. And last but certainly not least is the pasta.
Pasta is an inexpensive & easy item to keep in your pantry or next to your mini-fridge and microwave. My fave choice is 100% whole wheat pasta – it’s full of complex carbohydrates, B Vitamins, fiber, and provides lasting energy that you don’t get from most convenience foods. You will find at least three boxes of 100% whole wheat pasta in my pantry at all times. #prepared
Fun fact: you can microwave any pasta you want. For portions, try to stick to a one ounce serving. Wait… if you don’t have an oven or stove, you likely don’t have a kitchen scale. Am I right? How do you know how much one ounce is? Well, here’s a fun trick: for spaghetti, find a penny. Then grab enough dry spaghetti noodles so the pasta forms a circle with the same diameter as a penny and you’ve got about two ounces. Easy peasy! [For other pasta, about 1/3 cup uncooked is one ounce]
More fun facts: you can use clean scissors to “chop” your green onions. Make sure they’re clean and then just cut into pieces.
Use a pretty large bowl to cook your pasta. I use a 2.5 quart glass bowl. It fits in my microwave and I can cook about 4-6 ounces of pasta in it if needed. All you need is a glass or ceramic bowl that can hold the pasta as well as enough water to cover it plus a little extra for when the water boils.
This recipe makes two servings (totaling about 2 1/2 cups). You can share it with a friend, or save it for lunch tomorrow. You can also double this recipe to have a big batch in your fridge. I love that it’s tasty cold, hot, or at room temperature. And that, my friends, is how #PastaFits into anyones life, not just people who have stoves and lots of time. All you need is 8 ingredients, 1 microwave, 1 bowl, and 14 minutes.
Easy Peanutty Pasta
What You'll Need:
- 2 ounces uncooked pasta
- 1 TBSP peanut butter
- 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tsp lime juice or rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 TBSP water
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- optional garnishes: chopped peanuts extra green onion
How to Make It:
Add uncooked pasta to a large microwave safe glass bowl. Cover with water. Check pasta cooking directions and add two minutes to the recommended cooking time. Microwave on high for recommended cooking time plus two minutes. (My thin spaghetti was recommended to cook for 6-8 minutes, so I cooked it for 8 minutes and it was perfect).
Meanwhile, stir together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Set aside. Chop green onions.
When pasta is cooked, let sit for 5 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water and stir into peanut butter mixture. Drain pasta and stir in peanut sauce, green onions, and edamame. Garnish with chopped peanuts and green onions, if desired. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes*For spaghetti noodles, two ounces of pasta is enough noodles to make a circle with the same diameter as a penny.
For other pasta, two ounces is about 2/3 cup uncooked pasta.
*If possible save two tablespoons of pasta cooking water before draining to stir into the sauce.
*You can buy the bags of shelled edamame in the freezer section of your grocery store.
*2 teaspoons of lime juice is a little less than half of a lime
*You do not have to microwave this meal. Just prepare pasta on the stove according to package directions and make sauce as directed.
Be sure to catch more recipes on how #PastaFits into your busy schedule from some of my favorite bloggers:
- Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean
- Regan @ Healthy Aperture
- Amanda @ The Wholesome Dish
- Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
- Alexis @ Hummusapien
- Diane @ Cape Fear Nutrition
- Kylie @ Yeah, Imma Eat That
- Alex @ Delicious Knowledge
- Sally @ Real Mom Nutrition
- Min @ The Adventures of MJ & Hungryman
- Rachael @ An Avocado A Day Nutrition
- Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition
- Anne @ Craving Something Healthy