I’ve always liked pesto, but hadn’t fully figured out a recipe that I really loved, that is, until this one. Really, I was just looking for a way to use up spinach that was nearing the end of it’s shelf life, so I figured why not throw it into a pesto. I think the kicker with this recipe is that I actually (finally) splurged on pine nuts, which really do make all the difference. That being said, walnuts are also a great substitute if pine nuts aren’t within the budget.
The overall pasta recipe is simple- I used a combination of fresh and frozen ingredients, and came up with a bright, vibrant meal, that didn’t break the bank!
Health Benefits of the Pesto
- Spinach: High in fiber, excellent source of vitamin A, C, K1, iron, calcium and folic acid
- Garlic: packed with nutrients and an amazing immune booster
- 2 packed cups of baby spinach
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 fresh lemon’s juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup of frozen mixed veggies (I prefer the peas, corn, carrots and green bean mix)
- 5-7 white mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup of your favourite gluten free pasta, cooked according to the package instructions
- Combine all the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil in a food processor or blender.
- Add 1/2 of the olive oil, and blend your ingredients. If your texture isn’t smooth once blended the first time, add in more olive oil until you get the smoother consistency.
- In a medium frying plan, heat 1/2 tsp olive oil. Add in your mushrooms and saute 5 minutes until soft and the juices start to release.
- Add your frozen veggies and olives. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes until the veggies are soft (If you notice there isn’t enough liquid from the mushrooms in the pan, add in 2 tbsp of broth or water to help cook everything through)
- Toss your cooked pasta in some of the pesto. Add your cooked veggies, serve and enjoy!