box lunches: summer veggie pasta + lemon garlic chicken

There are only a few weeks left of summer and it is making me incredibly sad, mostly because that means there are only a limited number of Saturday mornings left where I can wander down the street to the farmer’s market with my coffee and meander between the fresh fruits and veggies daydreaming about all of the wonderful things I could make.  I usually go in with a plan and leave with a basket of whatever-looks-good and throw the plan out the window as soon as I get home.

Market Veggies

This pasta is a direct result of farmer’s market meandering and has become one of my favorite dishes to make in the summer.  Sure, you can make it any time of year, but fresh summertime veggies turn this somewhat simple pasta dish into something absolutely delicious.

Kitchen Setup

I got the Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment for Christmas last year and haven’t stopped making fresh pasta since then.  It’s addictive and will change everything you’ve ever known to be true about pasta.  A full post dedicated to pasta-making is coming up, but for now, here’s my favorite thing to do with it.

Pasta 4

summer veggie pasta
1 pound pasta (I like to use fettuccine noodles)
4 tablespoons olive oil2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown.  Add asparagus and mushrooms and cook until tender but crispy, about 5-8 minutes.

Asparagus and Mushrooms

Add tomatoes, sugar, and red pepper flakes.  Season with salt and allow vegetables to cook down while you boil your pasta.  Once the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan and toss to coat with the veggie mixture.  Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Veggies in Pan

This pasta is delicious on it’s own, but it really becomes a meal when you add grilled chicken.  Here’s a simple chicken marinade that complements these fresh veggies well.  One pound of pasta with 4 chicken breast will make 6-8 hearty lunches.

Box 2

lemon + garlic marinated chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
4 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil

Whisk together garlic, lemon, and olive oil.  Season marinade with salt and pepper.  Allow chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes.  Grill chicken breasts (or cook in a cast iron skillet) for about 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness.