Pesto pasta with peas is the perfect spring meal

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It’s easy to get your greens when they’re hidden in a flavorful, comforting bowl of pasta. We’ve paired chickpea pasta with a nutty, homemade pesto and filled it with good for you veggies like arugula and peas. This is the perfect dish to make ahead of time, and it can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Omega Fatty Acids Keepin’ It Stable

We love using macadamia nuts as the base for this pesto. They’re more affordable than pine nuts and give the pesto a rich, creamy flavor. By getting a healthy dose of fats in this dish, you slow the absorption of carbohydrates into your system. This helps keep your blood sugar stable and helps keep you full for longer between meals. Macadamia nuts are full of monounsaturated fats, and specifically palmitoleic acid, which is an omega–7 fatty acid. Palmitoleic acid is associated with long-term brain health and cognitive function.

Nutritional Yeast for Cheese Factor

We’ve used nutritional yeast in place of cheese to make this dish cleanse-friendly. Nutritional yeast has a delicious, cheesy flavor, so you won’t even notice the missing parmesan. It comes from the same yeast used to bake bread and brew beer, but the yeast cells are not alive in nutritional yeast. It comes with a slew of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Nutritional yeast is also an excellent source of B vitamins (as long as you buy fortified nutritional yeast) making it an excellent choice for vegans and vegetarians. It also contains trace minerals like zinc, selenium, and manganese.

Get Those Greens In

This recipe is chock full of leafy greens like basil, spinach, and arugula. Vegetables with deep green coloring tend to be exceptionally rich in micronutrients, antioxidants, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll gives plants their ability to absorb sunlight, which they then use as energy. It acts very similarly to hemoglobin, which is found in our blood. Consuming plants rich in chlorophyll boosts immunity, fights fungus, promotes energy, and can assist the body in detoxification.

Ingredients:

Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cups spinach
2-3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup raw macadamia nuts
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Pasta:
4 Servings chickpea or quinoa pasta (cooked according to package)
3 cups arugula
2 cups peas, frozen or fresh

Directions:

Step 1: Cook pasta according to the package directions. While pasta cooks, make pesto.

Step 2: Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor, only adding half of the olive oil. Pulse until fully combined, slowly adding olive oil until desired consistency is obtained.

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Step 3: Gently heat peas over low heat until warmed through. Toss hot pasta, arugula, and peas together. Add as much pesto as desired. Serve immediately.

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Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble 

 

If you like this recipe, you might also like Try This Clean Pasta Salad When Entertaining


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