Monday, March 5, 2012

Basil, Kale, and Walnut Pesto Pasta

This has been on the menu plan for a couple weeks now and for some reason I just wasn't wanting to make it. I've realized since I've tried going vegan my menu planning has become more difficult for whatever reason. I just never know what I want, or maybe I'm not as excited? Such a bummer! Take this week for example..I spent a ton of cash at Whole Foods and I feel like I'm left with nothing. I was just asking my husband, what did we buy?! This is where it gets hard and frustrating...this is when I wish I could have the delicious pizza on the cover of bon appetit magazine. Um, it looks amazing and I want it! Do I just give in? It's hard going to the gym 5 days a week and getting home late. Good thing hubby mostly cooks for me these busy, frantic days. I have to plan's just extremely expensive eating organic and fresh, and now hubby and I are making two different meals. Not my idea of fun. Most of the time what I make is amazing, however last night I made some vegan mac n cheese and it was horrible. I was so bummed out. It was so discouraging. On to the next one I guess! I hope that one's better! Well, that dinner was gone and by then it was late..I sure wasn't making another one hour meal! I had popcorn..for dinner, yeah that's real healthy. Now that I've gotten that out, let's move on to my amazing lunch. This was going to be a dinner meal, but yet again I planned poorly and had no lunches planned. I was craving so many things but just didn't have the ingredients. So I decided let's just give this pasta a go! Let me tell you it was scrumptious! :) Why did it take me so long to master up the courage and just make it? Ya got me there! It didn't take too long either. I found this recipe on Pinterest via Clean Green Simple. I'm adapting this for one person and to my likings, but you can check out her website for the real thing.

Basil, Kale, and Walnut Pesto
4-6oz gluten free pasta
4 cloves of garlic, or more! Garlic is always good
1 c fresh basil
1 c fresh kale
1/2 c raw, unsalted walnuts
1/4 onion, minced, or more..I'm not a huge fan of them so I used as little as possible
2 tblsp olive oil
2/3 c salted pasta water reserved
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tblsp nutritional yeast
4 stalks asparagus, or more..I'm easing into asparagus right now :)
2 roma tomatoes chopped

Boil pasta according to package directions in a heavily salted pot of water. Before draining noodles reserve about 2/3 cups of pasta water and set aside.
Saute kale, onion, walnuts, basil and 2/3 of your chopped garlic, until your greens are just wilted. Once the greens are ready remove them from the pan and transfer to a blender or food processor and process a few minutes. Add in some of the reserved pasta water, and nutritional yeast. Process until mixture is smooth and at the consistency you'd like. Return the pan to the heat and saute the rest of the garlic and your asparagus. Saute until asparagus is softened, but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Once asparagus and pasta noodles are ready add the noodles to the saute pan with the desired amount of pesto sauce. (I had some left over) Top with tomatoes and enjoy! 

 Yummy Kale!!!!

 Isn't it gorgeous? So yummy!


Brittany said...

Yummmmm! Looks so good Bridget!

Jennifer @ Town and Country Living said...

Definitely making this. I love asparagus and kale.

Anonymous said...

This sounds and looks amazing!! Must try it! Thanks for sharing:D

Anonymous said...

Not sure if my first post went through....was saying how it looks and sounds amazing! Definitely will be trying this!!

And to add...I'm not a fan of onions. I either omit, puree them (yup, puree..LOL), or use onion powder if possible. As long as I don't see the onions or taste the texture, I'm all good! :P

jaysbunny said...

This sounds delicious! Definitely going to try it! You might try getting one of Robyn Openshaw's (aka Green Smoothie Girl) recipe books. 101 Healthy Lunches was a lifesaver for me. Almost everything in it is vegan. I had a lot fewer "Ummmm... What am I making?" moments afterwards. Meal planning is definitely a challenge at first, but it does get easier as you start finding more good recipes. (Like this one.)

Bridget@MrsGreenJeans said...

Oh thank you jaysbunny for the recommendation! I will def check that out!!! Hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did!

Bridget@MrsGreenJeans said...

Ha good idea!!! I saw you pinned this too aorta thank you for that!!!

Little Mommy said...

This sounds and look delish! I might need to give it a try!!!

Susan-The Weekly Sweet Experiment said...

Looks delicious! Don't get discouraged. I heard a good qoute from a personal trainer. Something like "I didn't tell you this was going to be easy, but I am telling you it is going to be worth it!". I liked it. As for pizza and popcorn - everything in moderation :)

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