A busy Wednesday at work, full of meetings and deadlines. I had been out for dinner the previous night and had nothing prepared to bring to lunch. And, I did not get any time to drive to the closest restaurant to pick up something.
The office building has a cafe with a limited hot sandwiches and specials where I managed to drop by just 5 minutes before closing time. They could not prepare any hot meals by then as they had shut down all their kitchen equipment. But they did not want me to leave hungry so found the last of some cold macaroni salad….
I was relieved as I am quite fond of macaroni but after a few bites, I realized I could not eat it as it was a cold day when I absolutely needed some hot food. Survived the remainder of the day with some nuts, green tea and buried in work.
As soon as I got home, I knew just the right thing to make and it took me under 15 minutes! I dressed up the cold, slightly bland salad with a few personal touches and I got myself – Delicious macaroni pasta, steaming hot and spicy enough to satisfy the cold starved desi in me!
Scroll all the way down for the complete recipe. Enjoy 🙂
15 Minute Macaroni Pasta – moderately healthy + spicy + low fat.
Vegetarian / vegan.
- 1 cup boiled pasta of choice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or paste
- 1 cup frozen corn or vegetables of your choice.
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup/puree
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce/ coconut aminos
- 1-2 tbsp hot sauce/sriracha
- Spices: Salt, black pepper, red chilli/paprika.
- Boil Pasta – In a saucepan, add your pasta in boiling water with a pinch of salt. Let it boil till its cooked, but not mushy to touch. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
- Sauce – Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium sized pan/skillet/wok. Once the oil gets hot, add the garlic and let it get slightly brown. Add the onions and stir fry until they get light pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and stir fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, and any other vegetables you like. My macaroni salad had some chopped tomatoes and sliced carrots. You can also saute some spinach or mushroom, it would taste lovely in this recipe. Let the vegetables cook. Before they start turning mushy, add the sauces and the spices.
- The finished dish – Mix in the boiled macaroni to the sauce. Mix everything well. And you’re done! I added some shredded vegan cheese on top. You’re free to skip this. Serve it hot 🙂
- Serve it with a side of avocado to get a burst of creaminess. This tastes specially amazing if you skipped the cheese or butter but still want some creaminess in your meal.
- Coconut aminos makes a great substitute to soy sauce. It is made from fermented coconut sap and has less than half of the sodium compared to regular soy sauce. It is also vegan and gluten free. And there is absolutely no difference in taste, except maybe that it is less salty than traditional soy sauce which you can address in the spice level of the dish. Win win 🙂
- Add scrambled eggs to this and the taste level goes up like crazy. As well as it becomes an even more filling meal, with a good dose of protein.
- This is a great breakfast/snack/lunch/dinner dish. And you have the flexibility to make it absolutely custom made for yourself. Use whole wheat pasta or quinoa pasta to make it healthier. Add any vegetables you like, or eggs or scrambled tofu or paneer. The options are endless, and so is the taste 🙂
Have a great weekend guys !