Otherwise known as a pasta-less pasta dish….
More and more I’m going grain-free these days. I’ve found that I just feel a lot better if I stick to fruits, veggies, beans, nuts and seeds. My friend remarked, “you’re on the pre-agrarian diet.” We debated that a while, and decided it’s not entirely true. I’d need to be eating a lot more meat, and a lot more local for that to be true. But, I am eating a lot more whole foods, a lot more raw foods, a lot less processed anything.
Pasta, as tasty as it can be, is essentially a pretty processed food. Yes, yes, the ingredients in pasta, even the gluten-free variety, are all things we can pronounce and things we can buy ourselves. We’re not talking processed in terms of harsh chemicals. But, we are talking processed in terms of refined grains – grains that cause blood sugar spikes, despite how healthy they may appear in their whole form. (Quinoa – I’m looking at you.) And, frankly, when I make a meal like this, and leave out the pasta, I just don’t miss it.
Confession time. I did make a small side of quinoa pasta for the kid in the household. It worked – he ate all the veggies and beans and pronounced the meal a success. Whew.
Vegan Arugula Pesto Mélange
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, drained and well-rinsed
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 batch vegan arugula pesto (see recipe below)
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 t. salt (or to taste)
Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the beans. Cook until beans and onions begin to caramelize just a bit. Add the broccoli. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 more minutes. Add the pesto, tomato, and salt. Stir to coat. Cover the skillet and allow to rest a few minutes to let the broccoli steam. Serve garnished with additional basil if desired.
Vegan Arugula Pesto
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup raw cashews
2 packed T. chopped fresh basil
2.5 ounces baby arugula
2 T. nutritional yeast
3 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
Place the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced. Add the cashews. Pulse until chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well-blended. (People’s preferences vary on how blended they like their pesto. I like the nuts to still be a bit nutty. It’s up to you. Go with what feels right. If you like your pesto salty, you can add some salt. I found I prefer to add salt when I incorporate it into the finished dish, as I have more control that way.)
This post is linked to Two For Tuesdays at A Moderate Life, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and the August Pesto Challenge at the Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten Free Wednesday Round-Up.