Updated: May 23, 2020
The perfect comfort veggie meal for any time of day! It has pasta, it has sauce, its packed with veggies, and filled with fresh herbs and seeds.
This dish is great for anyone on a busy schedule, has a family to look after or wants to meal prep a huge and delicious dish for the next few days. Its super simple, all you need to do is chop and prepare all the vegetables beforehand, cook them in one large pan and add to a bowl, adding the extras and toppings, mixing well and then enjoying the goodness.
Whole-wheat and brown rice pasta are always my first choice, as they are what you would call complex carbs, they contain fibre and nutrients such as iron or magnesium whereas white pasta varieties are more highly processed and refined which removes most of the great qualities compared to the whole-wheat versions.
The whole-wheat options are broken down slower in our bodies which means blood sugar and insulin levels are more regulated so you don’t have spikes and drop in blood sugar, which could affect your mood, become irritated or have headaches. As I have lots of work to get done I the day I want foods that can keep me focused, energised and functioning well throughout the day, which is exactly what this all greens pesto pasta is about!
1 large courgette
1 white onion
4 garlic cloves
½ cup pesto
1 handful fresh basil
1 handful fresh thyme
1 serving wholegrain or brown rice pasta noodles
200g chestnut mushrooms
1 green pepper
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp sesame oil
1 tblsp sesame seeds
1 tblsp pumpkin seeds
1 tblsp sunflower seeds
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tblsp cider vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
fresh spring onion for serving
Handful fresh chopped spinach for serving
Cook the pasta in a pot according to package instruction, normally boiling for about 5-15minutes, depending on which version you use
Peel and chop the onion into thin slices, add to a large pan with the crushed garlic cloves, add a tablespoon olive oil and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes
Chop the mushrooms into chunks and add to the pan, along with black pepper and cook for 1 minute, instead of using too much oil, I add a couple tablespoons water to the onion and mushroom mixture if it seems to run out of oil
Next, prepare the other veggies, spiralize the courgette, chop the asparagus (I use the whole vegetable) and green pepper into bite size pieces (discarding the seeds and stalk of the pepper) add these vegetables to the pan, along with the cayenne pepper, mix well and continue to cook for 3 minutes
Once the mix is almost done add the sesame oil to the pan and mix well, let it cook on low heat for one minute as sesame oil adds a great flavour but heated too high and it can make your dish bitter
Add the cooked pasta and the veggie mix to a large bowl, add in the pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, chop the fresh herbs and mix with the pesto, lime juice and cider vinegar, then add the sauce mix to the veggie bowl
Mix everything well, season to taste if you feel like adding salt and more black pepper
Serve with chopped spinach, chopped spring onions and enjoy!
Live life on the veg! Eat real foods that will help your feel and perform your best everyday!
I love adding seeds to this dish as they also contribute to controlling blood sugar levels and full of healthy fats as well as a whole range of nutrients. They also contain lignins, which is a fibre in seeds and other nuts and vegetables which can help contribute to the protection against cancer.
(If you are interested to know more informtaion relating to fibre and their role in diseases, see this previous article The connection between dietary fibre, digestion & illness.)
For ideas, help or advice on including more flavourful and nutritious meals into your day feel free to contact me and book a free initial call, where we can discuss your goals, worries, current situation and the next steps forward!