Quinoa Penne Pesto
Quinoa pasta is a great alternative for people who love pasta but want to get away from the traditional white or whole wheat pasta. Enriched white pasta is not a food you want to have apart of your diet as it's been stripped of its nutrients and very likely has been chemically bleached. Along with many of the wheat pastas today which have been heavily processed damaging any nutritional content. So, instead lets opt for one of my favourite types of pasta which is what we call "an ancient grain pasta" and that is quinoa pasta! Quinoa pasta has not been hybridized over time and definitely holds a stronger nutritional value than the enriched white pasta and whole wheat pasta produced today. To top this amazingly healthy dish off, the pesto is incredibly delicious. Rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein and fiber, this topping has a host of nutritional benefits!
- 5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (organic if possible)
- 2 cups quinoa penne pasta (organic if possible)
- 3 handfuls spinach (organic is possible)
- Pumpkin seeds (to top)
- 2 tbsp. tahini
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp. DHA flax oil
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 handful spinach
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 large lemon, juiced
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
Note: I used all organic ingredients in this recipe, if possible, do the same, it will increase your nutrient intake and reduce the amount of chemicals you are in contact with.
- Fill pot with water, bring to a boil and add chopped carrots into the water, heating them on high until they are cooked but still a bit crunchy (we want to maintain as much of the nutrients as possible.)
- In a separate pot, fill with water, bring to a boil and add quinoa penne (note: quinoa penne does not take as long to cook as your traditional wheat pasta, so keep an eye on it closely, should take no longer than 10 minutes)
- In a skillet, with coconut oil add 3 handfuls of spinach and cook on low-medium heat
- In a food processor, with a metal blade, combine all the ingredients for the pesto: tahini, sunflower seeds, flax oil, olive oil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice and basil leaves.
- Process on high speed until it reaches a creamy smooth texture
- Remove carrots and spinach from stove top and set aside
- Remove quinoa penne from stove top and strain
- In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa penne, carrots, spinach and the pesto.
- Mix well until all the pasta is coated
- Top with pumpkin seeds
- Voila! A fabulous lunch or dinner dish hat makes great for leftovers!