Skater Lunch Box #41

This is the vegan version of my Pastina Pilaf (new recipe below), Easy Lemon Dill Tofu from Oh She Glows, some steamed asparagus, and some extra sauce from the tofu recipe that I brought along to eat with the asparagus.

When I'm feeling good, it's easy to take control of my food budget, find all the sale things, and cook things from scratch. I was feeling good when I cooked this. You could serve this with couscous and it would be easier, probably, but pastina was on sale and cooks up pretty quickly in and of itself. And I have always loved pastina--those itty bitty stars. Here's a close up so you can see them in all their starry glory.

See? Adorable.

Because this was meant to go with dill, I didn't put thyme in this particular pilaf, but it--and pretty much any herb you think is nice--is fair game, fresh or dried, whatever is on hand. I say it serves about 3-4 (as a side), but to be honest if could just eat a pot of this if I let myself.

Vegan Toasted Pastina Pilaf
Serves: About 3-4

1 small carrot
1/2 medium onion
1 small rib celery
1/4 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks)
6 oz. uncooked pastina (check to be sure yours is egg free)
2 cups of chicken-style veggie broth (I made mine with Better than Bouillon Not Chicken)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
A pinch of dried thyme (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste, if needed (I didn't need it, and you probably won't if your broth is flavorful enough)

Chop veggies very finely, then pulse in a food processor. You want them to be minced, but not pureed. They should be the size of or smaller than your pasta shapes.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook, stirring, until softened, but do not allow them to brown. Add dry pasta and stir well to coat with the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring, until the pasta begins to take on a light brown color. (That's what makes this toasted.)

Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook about five minutes, or until pasta has cooked through. You may still have some liquid in the pot, but don't worry and resist the urge to drain it. Let it sit for a bit and the pasta will absorb it in all its flavorful goodness.

By the way, nothing bad will happen if you stir it while it cooks but you have no need to stir it.

If you pack this for lunch, it works best if you pack it hot or let it cool down from hot, rather than chilled leftovers. It's fine, in fact, in my opinion, lovely at room temperature as well as hot, but the key thing is that the butter will taste better if it isn't hardened. (And the leftovers are wonderful, too, if you manage not to eat it all in one sitting.)


  1. Your pastina pilaf looks amazing; I definitely need to try this recipe sometime!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts