Green pasta & parmesan cheese

I have to share with you today two brand new discoveries….both pretty exciting (if food rocks your boat as much as it does mine?!). Both of them made this pasta dish particularly scrummy last night and turned it into a pasta dish that I’ve never made before.

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The first discovery was making a deliciously creamy, tangy, oozy sauce from (have you guessed it?) avocado! Never done it before but I keep reading recipes for avocado dressings, avocado vinaigrettes, avocado sauces, avocado pestos….the list goes on. So I mucked about a bit and emptied the contents of the fridge whilst creating my own version of an avocado pesto sauce.


Avocado pesto sauceIMG_7960
In a food processor blitz together 1 avocado, a large handful of spinach, a large handful of fresh basil, 2tsp of dried basil (coz I ran out of fresh!), 1/2 cup of pine nuts (you could use cashews or almonds just as well), 2tbsp nutritional yeast (if you don’t have this just leave it out), squeeze juice from half a lemon, sprinkle of sea salt, lots of black pepper and enough virgin olive oil to loosen it all into a creamy consistency.

So I took everything green I had in the fridge (yes seriously) and concocted this really delicious healthy fresh gdfree pasta dish. I am calling it ‘Green Pasta’ for obvious reasons!

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frozen peas, left over chicken, avocado sauce, herbs, broccoli stems, asparagus, ‘parmesan’

And I made the pasta in a couple of easy steps:

Then I chopped up the fresh herbs I had which was mint, parsley and lemon thyme and sprinkled them over the top with another squeeze of fresh lemon and a drizzle of virgin olive oil.

Now my second exciting discovery was……drumroll….making my own no-cheese parmesan cheese! I stumbled across the recipe whilst checking out other gdfree bloggers and it came from http://www.fuschiatic.wordpress.com and she calls it Raw Vegan Parmesan.

IMG_7965No-Cheese Parmesan
1 cup of cashew nuts (you could use almonds), 1 cup of nutritional yeast (this is important so if you don’t have any go amazon yourself some), 2 tbsp seasalt, 1 tbsp garlic granules and 1 tbsp of onion powder.

It was SO good! Salty, tangy, garlicy and a lot like parmesan cheese. It also looks a lot like parmesan cheese and always think a good food-alternative tricks the mind even better if it looks just like the original. Bit like why everyone loves courgetti spaghetti.

The recipe made loads so I now how a lovely fat tupperware full of no-cheese parmesan cheese for sprinkling on my pasta dishes for evermore. Hoorah. Also would be yummy on omelettes, salads, on mashed potato and stirred through quinoa I reckon. Give it a go….it’s so easy and so worth it!

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For lunch the next day I used exactly the same avocado pesto sauce but mixed it through cold quinoa and turned it into a Green Superfood Salad bowl.

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Then I mixed through tomatoes, sweetcorn and chicken, topped it with courgette ribbons and rocket and sprinkled over pine nuts, hemp seeds and a good drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil. Cured my saturday night hangover in one fail swoop (!!) better than a fry up would have done anyway!

So…..you’ve gotta give it up for the avocado I reckon. Pretty amazing super food in a funny looking green fruit. Did you know that avocados have the most nutritional value of any super food ever? Or something mad like that. I was flicking through a bunch of websites that cite avocados nutritional values and in brief it seems that the little green guy has over 20 vitamins and minerals in it, especially potassium, B vitamins, 11 different carotenoids, and vitamin E (it contains more potassium than a banana), it is full of fibre, full of anti-oxidants (so it’s good for your skin) and monounsaturated fat (the good fat type), it’s got high levels of folate so great for pregnant mums (which can also lower risk of depression), can reduce bad cholesterol, can slow the spread of cancer cells, can help reduce inflammation in arthritis conditions and osteoporosis, and lastly…..and I always forget this – it is sometimes called an alligator pear. Which is reason alone for eating it I think.

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