Monday, November 25, 2013

A Bowl Full of Green (And this green bowl of pasta and veggies was awesome!)

If I told you I found a recipe that was super easy, yummy and healthy (also vegan and with the potential to be even gluten free -- if that's your jam--) who would call this girl a liar? Yeah, I would too. So I was super psyched when I tried a recipe buried in Chloe Coscarelli's cookbook. She is pretty much a kick a$$ vegan chef whose food is always amazing but not always clean.

easy vegan recipes, clean eating, quick and easy dinners, Chloe CoscarelliI found this recipe and was shocked I never paid it much attention -- probably because it didn't have a picture, let's be honest here. I tend to cook things that have nice pictures. It's what I do (don't judge me.) Recipes sans picture tend to get overlooked and never cooked. But as I was flipping through Chloe's Kitchen looking something easy I could have prepped and ready to go for my dear friend who offered to stay at my house and watch my child and my dogs for a weekend, I stumbled upon this recipe.

So I bought a giant tub of baby spinach, busted out my food processor and made three goes of the sauce (and froze two of them for later.) All she had to do was boil noodles and add some veggies to the same pot for the last few minutes of cooking and add the pre-made spinach pesto. I also just had her use a whole bag of frozen green beans that were already cut into small pieces and the entire bag of frozen lima beans. I figured the more veggies the better. Bulking up a pasta dish with veggies is a super easy calorie saver.

And the entire thing takes maybe 20 minutes. Quicker if your pesto is pre-made. Easy-peasy.

So here is the actual recipe:

1 lb of whole wheat pasta*
4 oz frozen green beans, cut into bite size pieces (about 1 inch)
10 oz frozen lima beans

5 oz fresh baby spinach
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions but with 5-3 minutes left on cook time add green beans and lima beans to the water. (Vary based on how crunch you like your veggies. I lean toward less time in the water and crunch veggies.) Let cook until veggies are tender and pasta is ready. Drain.

For the sauce, combine spinach, garlic, olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper. (I skipped the salt and pepper in the sauce just because I tend to like to add it to taste. After having it once I would go ahead and add both right into the sauce.) Pulse until combined.

Put the cooked pasta and veggies into a bowl and toss with the sauce.

And you have your bowl of amazing green goodness.

*the original recipe called for oreccheitte pasta -- I used spirals because I like how they grip the pesto.

**If you aren't looking to make this vegan, a little bit of fresh grated parmesan on top is yummy! I have to watch my dairy intake so depending on how my week has been, I skip this or add it. 


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