Monthly Archives: May 2010

Quinoa Pasta with Vegan Spinach/Basil Pesto

Delicious Veggie Pasta

Having spent a week and a half eliminating gluten and dairy from my diet, I’ve been really jonesin’ for some pasta, and I have gained a new appreciation for my friends who cannot eat either.

It’s been especially hard when I’m fixing meals for the kids. I was trying to sweeten plain greek yogurt with honey for my daughter who doesn’t like honey…this is impossible without tasting it. I found a fix for that though – a little simple syrup mixed with blueberries in the blender sweetened it up and turned it purple. I didn’t even have to taste and both my girl and my little stepson loved it.

It got tricky again when I was adding sweet potatoes and carrots to the boxed macaroni and cheese. Too much and they might not eat it. I got lucky and managed to get it right without tasting that either. Still, it’s tough to avoid dairy and gluten when everyone around you is eating it – especially when you’re the one preparing it!

Then my friend lili 🙂 turned me onto Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta – she assured me that it would be so good even the kids would love it. She was so right! Her blog is a great source of information for anyone thinking of going gluten free – check it out!

Vegan Spinach/Basil Pesto

I tossed the pasta with some vegan spinach/basil pesto I made, mixed in some sauteed onions, artichoke hearts, tomato and broccoli and oh…heaven in a bowl. I’m not exaggerating either.

I made the pesto with equal parts spinach and basil, equal parts pine nuts and walnuts, some olive oil, garlic, a little salt and about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. The taste is right on.

Even better is that I prepped all the ingredients earlier. I steamed the broccoli, sauteed the onions and chopped up the artichoke hearts before putting them back into the fridge. The tomatoes I keep on the counter and dice them just before eating…I hate what refrigeration does to fresh tomatoes! During the last minute that the pasta cooked I put everything except the tomatoes and pesto in the microwave so they were ready to toss in with the pasta.

This dish will definitely be making another appearance in our kitchen very soon!

Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top and drizzle with a little olive oil too…and if you aren’t concerned with dairy, a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan to top it off would be sublime.

The nutritional stats are for the following ingredients:

  • 1 oz onions
  • 1 oz (marinated in oil) artichoke hearts (next time I’ll get them packed in water – I hadn’t meant to get them that way)
  • 4.1 oz diced fresh tomatoes (it’s summer!!)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (for sauteing the onions)
  • 1.2 oz Vegan Spinach/Basil Pesto
  • 6.8 oz steamed broccoli
  • 2 oz Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta (dry)

Vegan Spinach/Basil Pesto: (serving size is 1 oz)

  • 1.8 ounce fresh basil
  • 0.25 teaspoon salt
  • 3.33 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 0.3 ounce garlic, fresh
  • 1.8 ounce spinach, fresh
  • 0.6 ounce pine nuts, dried
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 0.5 ounce raw walnuts

This is super easy to make. Just throw everything in a food processor or high powered blender and let it go until it’s blended. You can add more or less of any ingredient, depending on your taste and the consistency you like.

Will your child eat this?

Thanks to Nutrimirror for making it so easy for me to get this information!

Spinach/Basil Pesto

Quinoa Pasta with Spinach Basil Pesto


Filed under Gluten Free, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian