Thursday, February 9, 2012

Seeing Green, Pasta Edition

I didn't know what to call this recipe. I based it of a dish that I came across on and there are variations of it all over the Internet and in lots of cookbooks. I decided to make my own variation. I have been eating really, really crappy lately. No other way to put it. I have been living off of junk food and restaurants for a while (this, not a lot to blog about). Even though it was another late night tonight, I decided that something needed to be cooked.

I love this dish for a few reasons, it is a full meal in one bowl, it takes about 15 minutes to make, it's really easy to alter, it's filling, you get at least a few servings of greens and it has avocado in it for a sauce base. If I have a had a crappy day, I really look for meals like these and they are so, so much better than take out.

I don't think I have gone on too much about avocados, but they are seriously one of my favourite fruits. They can be made into dips and sauces, added to salads, stir fries, spread on toast and can be used in smoothies and desserts. Extremely versatile. Some people think that they are a bit on the high fat and cal side to be eaten, but if combined with the right foods, they are extremely good for you. Avocados aid in the absorption of two carotenoid antioxidants (lycopene and beta carotene) by upwards of 200%. Now avocados are definitely fatty, over 85% of its calories are from fat, but it's the good kind, so it's totally fine! They are also high in fibre, Vitamin K and folate. The are good for your heart and very low in sugar. So hopefully knowing this, you will all go out and add more avocado to your diet.

The original recipe can be found here and below is my take.

Pasta with veggie avocado sauce
*Serves two
  • Pasta - Half a box, or enough for two bowls
  • 1 avocado
  • half a lemon, zest and juiced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp water
  • broccoli (one crown or as much as you want to eat)
  • 1/4 cup of frozen peas

Cook the past according to the instructions. While it is cooking, add all ingredients except for the peas, lemon zest and broccoli to a food processor and blend until smooth. If it is too thick, add some water until it is the desired consistency.

And after. A sauce in under 5 minutes!

When there is about 3-4 minutes left on the pasta, dump in your broccoli and peas and the strain it together. add the sauce to the pot and stir to combine. If you like you can add fresh basil, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper before serving. I added all of these and it was really good. Not necessary, but gives the dish a bit more of a punch.
Complete meal with one pot and one bowl. Can't beat it.

You can sub out the spinach if you want and use parsley, cilantro or basil as well. All very good in this basic sauce. A note to serving, do not make the sauce ahead as avocados will brown once exposed to the air. Make the sauce and serve immediately.

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