Easy-Peasy Pasta, Pesto & Peas (& Sweetcorn & Carrot & Homegrown Tomatoes!)

29667840_UnknownAfter several hours of watching La Vuelta (that’s the Professional Cycling Tour of Spain to the uninitiated), it was time to refuel, it had been a stressful but exciting ride and I needed something quick and easy. Pasta is always good in this respect, there was a ripe avocado begging to be used and lots of spinach as well as a glut of homegrown cherry tomatoes, so pasta and pesto it was. I had asked for peas, but husband had forgotten to add them to the shopping list so frozen mixed veg it was. This is great for a midweek meal.

This meal is rich in minerals, B vitamins, Vitamin E, iron, potassium, omega oils, lycopene – a carotenoid said to protect from cancer – Vitamin C, protein, fibre, and much much more.

(Yes, this recipe has avocado and olive oil and walnuts in, but they all contain healthy fats, the ones your body, brain, skin etc. need, so don’t be saying it has too many calories or too much fat! See below for links to other avocado and pasta recipes)

Ingredients

Vegan, Gluten-free, Organic where possible. All measurements approximate.

Gluten-free Pasta, cooked in boiling water for required time, until al dente

Halfway through, add some Frozen Mixed Veg

Drain when cooked and tip into a warm bowl when the pesto is ready.

29667808_UnknownWhile the pasta is cooking, make the Pesto and chop the tomatoes – makes enough for 2-3, I froze what was left over.

In a chopper or blender, add:

Half a ripe Avocado, chopped

A Large Handful of Spinach (washed)

A good splash of Raw Virgin Olive Oil

A squeeze of Lemon Juice

A handful of Walnut Pieces

Black Pepper & Pink Himalayan Salt

Approx. 2 Tbsps Nutritional Yeast, (estimated, I actually tipped the container and it fell in unmeasured!)

Blend until smooth, adjusting seasoning to taste.

Mix required amount into the pasta and veg, serve with chopped cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a green salad.

See also:

Avocado: The Little Miracle Worker

Guacamole with Avocado, Coriander, Moringa & Chilli

Lemon Tahini Pasta with Pine Kernels

Midweek Vegan Bean & Vegetable Pasta

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Avocado: The Little Miracle Worker

28598640_UnknownIt’s no secret that I love avocados. I eat them in some form or other every single day: blended with juices, smashed on corncakes or toast with tomato and chilli powder, as a dip or dressing with crudités or salad (see photo) as a sauce with pasta, even in chocolate mousse! (There are recipes in the Menu at the top of the page).

‘But they are so full of fat and calories!’ Yes, they contain fat and calories, but they are the good sort, the sort your body needs. As I said earlier, I eat them every day (along with those other so-called weight-gainers, nuts and seeds) and I am not exactly breaking the scales!

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Have you ever noticed how vegans usually have glowing, soft skin? It’s probably all the avocados! Adding avocados to my daily diet certainly helped clear up my mysterious skin disorder, an itchy scaly rash that appeared out of nowhere and nearly drove me mad. You can read about it here: How I Juiced My Skin Clear: A Rash Decision?

Avocados are little miracle workers. They are nutrient-dense, great for your skin, your brain, your immune system, providing protein, energy and fibre. They can help lower cholesterol and fight inflammation. They are a meal and a medicine cabinet all in one fruit.

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‘Oh, but they’re either too hard or over-ripe, or you end up throwing some away because it won’t keep!’ We always have one ripening in the fruit bowl and one waiting in the fridge. The best way to test for ripeness is not to press the wider part of the fruit, but the ends, where the stalk is, so you don’t bruise it and make it go black.

Do you know you can freeze avocado? If you only require a quarter or a half of one, say for a smoothie or sandwich, you can chop or slice the remainder, put it in a freezer bag or container in the freezer and it will keep for ages until you need it. No waste. (Same goes for over-ripe bananas, by the way).

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(The above is a Vegan Gluten-Free Nut-Free Bread Mk IV – the best yet!

I’ll soon be posting a recipe for Guacamole with Coriander, Chilli and Moringa. Meanwhile, try eating ripe avocado with a spoon straight out of the shell with a squeeze of lemon or lime and a twist of black pepper. It will fill you up for longer than any chocolate bar or packet of crisps, flooding your body with lots of healthy vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs and fats to provide it with sustained slow-releasing energy, rather than leaving you feeling tired and hungry and reaching for another nutrient-free snack.

ps An easy way to peel a ripe avocado and remove the stone is to score down the shell and flesh with a sharp knife from top to bottom in quarters, the 4 parts will fall away and the stone will pop out, you can then peel the quarters like an orange.

You’re welcome!

Copyright: Chris McGowan