Weekday Lunches: Whole Wheat Pasta with Pesto and Brocolli

Since I am no longer spending 10-15 hours a week training for triathlons, I suddenly find myself with a lot more time for other things I enjoy. Reading for one thing.  And cooking, for another.

I ate a lot of Chipotle for lunch over the summer.  In part because I was busy and didn’t have as much time to cook, and in part because I was spending a lot of time working out and I was starving all the time and two tacos were just enough food to keep me full for most of the afternoon.

The cold weather makes it feel like the perfect time to spend Sunday nights at home, cooking up food for the week. I tried this out last week, and I’m making it again this week.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Pesto and Brocolli (my incredibly scientific recipe)


  • Whole wheat pasta (a whole package)
  • Brocolli (a big ole head, cut into bite-sized-ish pieces)
  • Pesto (a small package from the store)
  • Grapeseed oil (or olive oil or whatever oil you like) (a big ole dollop)


Cook up a whole thing of pasta.  Dump in a pre-packaged thing of pesto from the store.  (Last week I made my own walnut-spinach pesto in the food processor.  It was vegan, and it was okay, but it wasn’t great.  I need more practice, and until then I will be using store-bought which is not vegan.)  Mix it all up.  This also serves as an impromptu arm workout.

While the water heats up for the pasta, pour enough oil in the pan to cover the bottom. (I use a cast iron skillet because I worry about getting enough iron in my diet.)  Cook your brocollis until they’re just slightly softer than you like.  The thing about cooking for weekday lunches is that you’re going to microwave this for a minute or two, so it can be about 80% as cooked as it needs to be.

Mix the brocolli with the pasta and put it into whatever hodge podge tupperware you have.  It makes about four good sized servings.

I microwave this for about 90 seconds at work.  With my yucky homemade pesto last week, I added a splash of water to the container before nuking it to add some needed moisture, but I don’t think that will be necessary with the pre-made pesto, since it’s a lot more oily.

This recipe accounts for the fact that you’re going to take a few big bites of pasta once it’s cooked.  And a few big bites of the final product before tupperware-ing it. How much wine you drink while cooking is optional.