Vaguely Southwestern Pasta

I’ve been trying to come up with meals that are a bit more balanced, lately. I go through periods where I’m really good at this, and then others where I’m really, really not. Anyway, this is a pretty easy dish to make, though I did use a fair number of dishes.

Ingredients
~ 2/3 box pasta

2 Tb olive oil
1 packet frozen green peppers

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 jar (~16 oz, I think) cheddar cheese sauce
1 packet taco seasoning

Directions

  1. Cook pasta. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large pan or wok and cook peppers.
  3. Once peppers are cooked, add remaining ingredients and mix.
  4. Add cooked pasta. I basically added enough to coat the pasta fairly thickly.

Notes

For the pasta, I used gemelli, but any pasta that comes in small pieces will do. I don’t recommend using spaghetti, linguini, or anything long and skinny. The amount I’ve listed is approximate, since I basically cooked a 1 lb box, used what I needed, and put the rest in the fridge.

I also almost never follow the package directions. I usually cook pasta in far less water and don’t generally add salt.

Obviously, you could use fresh peppers instead of frozen, and you could choose a colorful assortment. You could also use onions in place of some of the peppers or add some squash.

Be sure to rinse the black beans. It cuts down on the potential for intestinal upset.

It’s not a bad idea to substitute your own spice blend for the taco seasoning, as the pre-mixed seasoning has a fair bit of salt. I just happened to have a packet of the seasoning lying around and figured I’d use it up.

Pseudo-Curry with Green Peas

Dinner tonight was a super quick and rather tasty pseudo-curry with green peas.

The recipe is essentially the butter chickpeas from stone soup, except I used 1 lb of frozen peas and canned tomato sauce, and I forgot the chili flakes. And of course, I never actually measure anything…. Because I used frozen peas, this dish took a little bit longer to cook than the chickpea version would.

Next time i will probably try using stewed or crushed tomatoes and I’ll add the chili flakes—though if you don’t like spice, I suggest adding the garam masala a little at a time and tasting after each addition. If you wanted something paneer-like, you could either make your own paneer (which seems like too much work to me, but there are plenty of tutorials online), buy some at an Indian grocery, or add some cubed firm tofu.

I served this with trader joe’s frozen naan rather than rice, but it’d probably be quite good over either white or brown rice.

And no, there is no picture. Mine came out a bit less red and a bit more like terra cotta or brown clay pots. Still quite tasty though.