Vegetable Penne Pasta with Dates sauce – Kids Lunch Box

Vegetable Penne Pasta with Dates sauce is a Simple and Easy Kids Lunch Box recipe prepared with 3 Vegetables, Pasta and Dates sauce. If kids are not interested in eating Dates , try in this Pasta sauce which you can prepare ahead of time and refrigerate .I have Box of Dates ( already used 1/4 th of Box in preparing Dates Ladoo ) and I want to include in Kids Diet. Thought why not prepare a Dates sauce to mix with veggies and Pasta. So I prepared the sauce night before and refrigerated . Tasted before adding to the Pasta. Didn’t spoil because I blended Sauce with salt and Spices. I like Cooking Pasta in Pressure Cooker. Cooks Perfectly  every time . Cut Vegetables the size of Pasta in an angle . Refrigerate Veggies and Cooked Pasta. Easy Lunch Box recipe with New taste. I asked my Kids did they find any difference in the taste . Not really they said. So one more Pasta recipe in Kids Lunch Box recipe book. Kids  are going to like the soft bite of Veggies with Pasta and  little Sweet taste from Dates sauce.

I packed Pasta along with Oatmeal Cookies , Banana chips and Fruit .

Recipe for 2 to 3 People .

Preparation time : 15 Minutes and Cooking Time : 15 Minutes


1. Multi grain Penne Pasta – 1/2 Cup ( raw)

2. Asparagus – 10 ( Cut the size of Pasta)

3. Green Beans – 1/2 Bag ( 25 to 30 ) ( Microwave the Bag for 2 1/2 minutes)

4. Tomatoes – 3 ( 2 Tomatoes for Sauce and 1 chopped to add at the end)

5. Dates – 6

6. Ketchup – 2 tbsp

7. Curry Powder – 1 to 2 tbsp ( Blend of Red chilli powder , Coriander and Cumin Powder , Garlic and fresh Coriander ) or Rasam or Sambar Powder

8. Garlic – 1 or 2 

9. Shallots –  2 Chopped or Finely chopped Onion 

10 . Freshly ground Black Pepper and Mixed  Italian Herbs

11. Chopped Pistachio’s – 1/4 th Cup


1. Pressure Cook  1/2 cup Penne Pasta with 2 1/2 cups water , Little salt and 1 tbsp oil for 2 Whistles on Medium High flame. When Pressure comes down transfer Pasta to a Bowl and discard the water.

2. Microwave 2 tomatoes in a microwave safe bowl . Cool before blending with Spices. Transfer Cooked tomato into a blender with Deseeded Dates , Salt , Curry Powder and Garlic. Blend with 1/4 or little more water . Transfer to a Bowl.

3. Cook Green Beans in Microwave in the same Bag.

4. Heat 2 tbsp Oil and add 1 tbsp Cumin seeds . When cumin seeds turn light Brown add Shallots followed by  Asparagus and Green Beans. Cook till light Brown ( say for 5 to 7 Minutes ) . Then add the Dates Sauce . Mix well with Veggies .  Switch off the stove .

5. Add Cooked Pasta , Chopped Tomatoes and Ketchup . Mix gently . Taste and adjust accordingly . Finish off with freshly ground Black pepper , Mixed Herbs and Chopped Pistachio’s . 




Kids Lunch Box – Masala Penne Pasta with Vegetables


is a Kid friendly recipe and not over spiced . If Kids doesn’t like to eat Vegetables and like Pasta , it is easy to hide in  PASTA SAUCE . I added good amount of Vegetables . I like hiding Vegetables in Sauces for my kids , so they won’t pick it out and keep aside. Taste good at room temperature so you can pack for Kids Lunch Box  . For easy Preparing Lunch Box, I do preparation ahead of time like Cooking Pasta and Chopping Vegetables and refrigerate . It takes only 10 Minutes to Prepare and every one in the family can enjoy a tasty Lunch . I cook Pasta in Pressure Cooker and Cooks  Perfectly  . The vegetable sauce tasted  good with the Spices and ketchup and not to worry that Kids will bring the Lunch Box without eating. Loaded with veggies and One single Pot to Clean . Easy Dinner idea or for Weekend Lunch or Kids Lunch Box  . Here is the recipe :

Recipe for 3 .

Preparation time : 15 Minutes and Cooking time : 10 Minutes


1.  Whole Wheat or Multi Grain Penne Pasta – 1/2 Cup raw

2. Cauliflower florets – 2 Measuring Cups ( Very small florets , Cooks fast)

3. Grated Carrot 

4. Tomatoes – 3 ( Finely Chopped)

4. Shallots – ( Chopped)

5. Grated  or Crush Garlic

6. Oil – 2 tbsp

7. Ketchup – 3 tbsp or accordingly

8. Spices ( Red chilli powder , Coriander and Cumin Powder – 1 tbsp or RASAM Powder

9. Freshly ground Black Pepper and Italian  Mixed Herbs

10 . Finely Chopped Cilantro or Coriander

11. Cheese 


1. Cook  1/2 cup Pasta in Pressure cooker  by adding 21/2 Cups water , little salt and tbsp Oil for 2 Whistles on Medium Heat. When Pressure Comes down transfer to a Bowl and discard the water.

2. Heat 2 tbsp Oil and add Cumin seeds followed by Shallots. When shallots are  light Brown add Grated or Crushed  Garlic and fry for Couple of Minutes .

3. Add finely chopped Tomatoes. Season with Salt . Cook until tomatoes are soft and Cooked .

4. Once tomatoes are soft add Spices , Grated Carrot , Small Cauliflower florets. Mix well and Cook for Couple of Minutes .

5. Switch off the stove and add Ketchup ( 3 tbsp or accordingly) . Taste the Sauce before adding Pasta. Add Pasta, Chopped Cilantro or Coriander , Freshly ground Black Pepper , Cheese and Mixed Herbs.

                     Pack for KIDS LUNCH BOX or for Weekend Lunch or for DINNER 


Kids Lunch Box / Weekend Lunch / Dinner at Five – Green Mac and Cheese ( Pressure Cooker recipe) .


  What a easy way to hide Vegetables in Kids favorite Mac and Cheese ? It is a Long weekend because of President’s Day . (No school on Monday) . My husband went for Shopping to buy Milk . Along with Milk he bought Asparagus , Green Bell Pepper , Spinach . Seeing Green vegetables, thought  I will cook Mac and Cheese for Lunch ( We had Khichidi for Saturday Lunch and  Vegetable Biryani for Sunday Lunch .  No rice recipe . This Recipe is so easy to cook and can satisfy Kids. You can even pack for Kids Lunch Box as I added little more water and it is not going to thicken by Lunch time .  Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce Cholesterol , Obesity , type 2 diabetes and lower the risk of heat disease. They are low in Calories and fat but contain good amounts of Vitamins and Minerals .  Kids need 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of Vegetables each day. Oil is important for health especially for growing children as it provides essential fatty acids and Vitamin E . ( Not fried ) .  I love this Caption ” Go green to stay Lean” . Asparagus , a low cholesterol and Heart healthy food with good source of fiber , Vitamins K, B, A and C and with just 43 calories per cup . Be sure to add to your Healthy Plate.

                       Cook Pasta  in Pressure Cooker day before and refrigerate . Chop vegetables and refrigerate . You can prepare Kids Lunch Box or Weekend Lunch  in less time. Try this Easy and Simple recipe . Check the Method how to Cook tasty Pasta with a touch of Spices . 

Recipe for 4 People .

Preparation time : 10 minutes and Cooking time : 10 minutes


1. Whole grain Macaroni – 1/2 Cup raw ( Cook in Pressure Cooker with 2 Cups Water and little Salt for 2 Whistles on Medium High Flame)

2. Asparagus – 10 to 15 ( thinly chopped)

3. Bell pepper – 1 chopped ( Half )

4. Spinach – 2 handfuls (  finely chopped)

5. Roma tomatoes –  2 ( Finely Chopped)

6. Milk – 8 Ounces ( One glass)

7. Water – 12 Ounces ( 1 1/2 glass)

8. Salt and Spices or Rasam Powder or Sambar Powder , Freshly gound Black Pepper and Mixed Herbs

9. Oil – tbsp and Ghee  – 1/2 tbsp

10 . Cheese – 1/2 Cup

11. Flour of your Choice – 2 tbsp( Wheat flour or almond flour or Nuts flour or APF flour )


1. Cook 1/2 cup Macaroni in Pressure Cooker with 2 1/2 Cups Water and season with Salt for 2 Whistles on medium High Heat. When Pressure comes down transfer to a Bowl and drain out excess water.

2 Heat 1 tbsp Oil and Cook finely Chopped Asparagus for Couple of Minutes . Then add flour and 1/2 tbsp Ghee . Stir in between to avoid burning.

3. Add Milk and Water and cook till it is thickened ( Say 3 Minutes) . Season with salt and Spices . Taste the sauce and adjust accordingly . Add Finely chopped Spinach and Bell Pepper . Cook for two  Minutes .

4. Add Cooked Macaroni , Chopped Tomato and Cheese. Mix well and switch off the Stove.

5.Season with Black Pepper and Mixed Herbs .


Penne Pasta in Spinach Nuts Sauce without Cheese .img_3440

                Easy way to hide Greens and Vegetables for Kids. Pasta with Sauce is Kids favorite meal and easy for Moms to cook for Weekend Lunch or for Week night Dinner or  for KIDS LUNCH BOX. I cooked Pasta in Microwave for fast cooking or in Pressure cooker for 3 whistles with little salt and water   . Cooked perfectly . If you want to prepare for KIDS LUNCH BOX , Cook Pasta , Chop the Veggies and refrigerate. It will take Less than 15 minutes to cook in the morning and you can Pack for LUNCH BOX. 

                   After we finished eating for our Weekend Lunch , my daughter asked me if I can cook Macaroni  with Cheese for next Weekend Lunch instead of Penne Pasta . I started drafting the recipe , then I realized I forgot to take out Cheese from refrigerator and didn’t add to the Pasta. We didn’t find any difference and enjoyed it.  I think my daughter May be because of the ingredients I used in Sauce , we didn’t feel that Cheese is missing in Pasta . So new Pasta recipe without Cheese. May be there are recipes without Cheese , but this Pasta recipe without Cheese is my Invention. Check the recipe for Sauce prepared with Nuts  and I added 6 big handfuls of Spinach and 2 chopped Roma tomatoes . Added  Indian spice powders ( a pinch of Red chilli powder , Coriander and Cumin powder or say 1/2 tbsp Rasam Powder ) and some Herbs. Just add Milk and WATER as I mentioned in the recipe for proper consistency . It will taste good at room temperature , so you can pack for Kids Lunch Box .

RECIPE for 2 to 3 People .

Preparation time : 10 Minutes and Cooking time : 10 Minutes


1. MULTI GRAIN PENNE PASTA – 2 Cups Cooked ( 1 Cup raw . I cooked Pasta in Microwave or in Pressure cooker for 3 whistles with little salt , Water and no Oil ) 

2. Spinach – 6 Big handfuls( Chopped )

3. Roma tomatoes – 2 Chopped and Finely chopped vegetables of your choice 

4. Milk – 8 Ounces ( 1 Glass)

5. Water – 16 Ounces ( 2 glasses)

6. Wheat flour – 2 tbsp

7. Almonds – 10 , cashews – 10

8. Oil – 2 tbsp and Butter or Ghee- 1/2 tbsp

9. Rasam powder or Red chilli powder , Coriander and Cumin Powder – 1/2 tbsp

10 . Mixed Herbs, Dried Oregano , Dried Basil and Freshly grounded Black pepper – 1 tbsp

METHOD :img_3439

1. Grind Almonds and Cashews  into fine powder and add  Milk and grind one more time.

 2.  Add 1 tsp Oil and  saute spinach for couple of minutes and transfer to a Boil .In the same pan heat 1 tbsp Oil and 1/2 tbsp ghee  and add  Wheat flour and fry for Couple minutes . Stirring Continuously on Medium flame.

3. Add Milk with Nuts to the pan and 1 glass water ( 8 Ounces) and Cook for 7 to 8 Minutes . Stir in between . Add rest of Water slowly . After  7 to 8 minutes add Cooked  Spinach , Rasam powder or Sambar powder or  Red chilli powder and Cumin powder and Salt . Check Sauce for Salt and Spices and adjust accordingly .

4. Add cooked Pasta and Chopped Tomatoes . Mix well and cook for Couple of Minutes . Switch off the stove.

5. Add freshly ground Black pepper, Oregano, dried Basil and Mixed herbs.

SERVE warm for Weekend Lunch / Dinner / pack for KIDS LUNCH BOX. 



Pasta with farm fresh vegetables img_2314and Home made Dressing

It is one of the healthy Lunch/Dinner you can whip up in less than 15 minutes  with minimal ingredients. Flavorful and Delicious macaroni salad prepared with farm fresh vegetables . Taste the freshness of vegetables in every bite with Creamy Pasta tossed with homemade salad dressing. I shared an easy way to Cook Pasta . Easy pasta recipe   for weeknight Dinner / Lunch  . Add a handful of Pistachio’s for not only crunch but gives an elegant finish .

Recipe for 3 People .

Preparation time : 15 Minutes and Cooking time : 15 Minutes


1. Cooked Macaroni – 1 Cup ( Raw 1/2 Cup)

2. Salad Cucumber – 1  ( Chopped)

3. Cooked Corn – 1 or 1  Cup  Cooked Kernels

4. Roma tomato – 1 ( diced )

5. Bell Pepper – 1/2 Cup Chopped

6. Cabbage – 1 Cup ( Finely Chopped)

7. Spring Onions

8. Salad Dressing – Mix 1/4 th Cup of thick Yogurt with little Salt , Freshly grounded Black pepper , Italian Seasoning, Grated Garlic , Juice of Lime . or RANCH DRSSING with freshly ground Black Pepper and ITALIAN SEASONING .

DIRECTIONS :511841ac-4a88-4d57-aebc-dc49549fcec0

1. Pressure Cook Pasta with 2 1/2 Cups water , little salt and 1 tbsp. Oil for 2 Whistles on Medium flame .

2. When Pressure Comes down , drain Pasta and Cool before mixing with Vegetables .

3 Mix finely Chopped Cucumber , Cooked Corn kernels, diced tomato , Chopped Bell pepper , Finely chopped Cabbage and Cooked Pasta .

4. Taste test the dressing before mixing with Vegetables and Cooked Pasta .

5. Serve immediately orimg_2315 You can pack for Kids Lunch Box.



Pasta in White Sauce with Asparagus and Spices.img_2043

Have  trouble feeding Kids vegetables like Asparagus .  Easy way to make a Picky eater eat their vegetables  is by sneaking in Pasta sauce.  It is rich and creamy without adding Cream and lots of cheese. Try this easy , simple and delicious Pasta recipe in 3 easy steps ( Cooking  Pasta , Asparagus , white Sauce)  .  It is not loaded with Cheese ( Used less Cheese) and heavy Cream . But still it is rich and tasty .I used Orecchiette Pasta so it can hold vegetables and sauce  in every bite . Added spice powder to the sauce so it is not Spicy for Kids but gives extra flavor and an Indian appeal for Pasta. I even shared how to Cook Pasta in Pressure cooker , so you don’t need to Check or stir and you will have a perfectly cooked Pasta . Adding Roma  tomato at the end Peps up the flavor .Serve warm right from the Pan otherwise Sauce will thicken . 

                     When choosing Asparagus choose bright green , fresh cut and not woody  with tight and fully closed budding tips . Depending on its age the bottom part of the stalk would get woody or fibrous and need to be trimmed. You don’t need to steam Asparagus separately and take less time to cook . It will start sizzling and Browning as it hits the pan .

This is One meal your whole family will love and my new favorite way to make kids eat their Vegetables.

Recipe for 2 to 3 People .

Preparation time : 15 minutes and Cooking time : 15 Minutes


1. Cooked Pasta – 1 Cup

2. Asparagus – 1 1/2 Cup ( Chopped )

3.  Roma Tomato – 1 ( Deseeded)

4. APF flour – 2 tbsp. or Wheat flour – 2 tbsp or Cashew and Almond powder – 2 tbsp

5. Milk – 1 glass ( 8 Ounces)

6. Water – One glass ( 4 Ounces)

7. Cheddar cheese – 1/4 th Cup

8. Rasam Powder – 1/2 tbsp. or Sambar powder or Red chilli powder , Coriander and Cumin powder – 1/2 tbsp

9. Oil – 1 tbsp. and Ghee – 1 tbsp.

10. Mixed herbs  – 1 tbsp.

METHOD :img_2042

1. Pressure Cook pasta with 1 1/2 glass water, little Salt  for 3 whistles on Medium flame . When Pressure comes down drain Pasta into a Colander . Discard the water .

2. Wash Asparagus and chop into bite size pieces . Heat 1 tbsp. Oil and cook Asparagus with lid covered on Medium Heat for 3 to 4 Minutes or Until soft. Transfer Asparagus to a Bowl .

3. Wash the Pan and add  1 tbsp. Oil and 1 tbsp. Ghee and add  garlic. Cook for One minute . Add  2 tbsp. APF flour and cook stirring continuously for  Couple of minutes. Slowly add warm milk and water  ( Make sure there are no lumps) , stir continuously until sauce thickens lightly . It will take 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Season the sauce with Salt and Rasam Powder or Sambar Red chilli Powder , Coriander and cumin powder  . Taste the sauce for Salt and Spices and adjust accordingly . You can add Red pepper flakes too. 

5. Switch off the stove and add Cooked Pasta , Asparagus, Cheddar cheese , Diced tomato and Mixed herbs .

SERVE WARM . img_2041