It is meat free Monday again for which I have a lovely vegan recipe.
Pasta and spring vegetables are enhanced by a vibrant nut free pesto. Lemon and basil are such a great combination to add flavour to delicate spring vegetables.
The pesto uses sunflower and pumpkin seeds instead of nuts, the flavour and texture of which are very similar but if you have a nut allergy then you are still ok to eat this.
In case you are wondering: I am a nutritionist and I do eat pasta.. once or twice a month. I tend to stick to whole wheat, organic versions made from 100% durum wheat.
Whatever dish pasta is used in, I make sure it is balanced out with vegetables. This means that if I am eating a bowl of pasta, close to half of that bowl should be veg.
Unless you are coeliac then pasta isn't that bad for you in moderation. Yes, it is a source of carbs but it's how much you eat that matters.
Ingredients for 2
20g basil leaves
juice of half a lemon
grated zest of a 1/4 lemon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of water
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Spring veg pasta:
180g organic, whole wheat pasta
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
a large handful (40g) of spinach
150g frozen peas
To make the pesto, put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until combined. Pesto should be coarse so don't blend it too much.
To make the pasta, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and bring a large pan of water to the boil.
Put the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until soft.
Cook the pasta for 10 minutes or until it is al-dente then drain it.
Cook the frozen peas on a medium heat in your pasta pan. You just want them to defrost and warm up.
Add the pasta and spinach to the pan with the peas and stir in 3 tablespoons of pesto.
Heat it through for a minute, stir in the tomatoes and it is ready to serve.
Divide the mixture between two plates.