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Creamy Vegan Baked Pesto Pasta

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I have been on a vegan kick lately! I don’t practice a vegan lifestyle, however I find vegan recipes to be so creative, healthy and of course- delicious! I love love love Oh She Glows, a healthy food blog where I fell in love with vegan cooking! Her cookbook book is full of healthy and delicious recipes.

In this delicious baked vegan pasta recipe the creaminess comes from pureed beans rather than gobs of cheese, oil or fat.  The casserole turned out beautifully and tasted extremely delicious! This is heart healthy, full of fiber and low in calories.

For those of you who aren’t vegan, you can add cooked chicken or ham to the casserole before baking and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

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Vegan Creamy Pesto Pasta


Yields 8 servings // Prep time 40 min // Cook time 50 -60 min

Pesto Ingredients: (You can also use store-bought pesto)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Casserole Ingredients:

  • ½ package whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour in water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 19-oz can white kidney beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup grated vegan mozza cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, nuts, salt, pepper and basil. Pulse until finely chopped.  With the food processor running, add the oil, water and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Place pesto in a covered bowl or container in the fridge until needed. You can also use store bought pesto instead.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain, set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, milk, broth, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, wine and 1 cup of white beans. Blend until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the remaining beans, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach, milk mixture, pasta and pesto; toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to an oiled 8×8 inch baking dish. Smooth top and sprinkle with cheese, than evenly sprinkle the breadcrumbs and salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil. Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping turns golden brown.
  7. Let cool for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

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1 Comment

Paprika Shrimp over Pasta

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This recipe puts a spin on any typical shrimp dish. With a mix of both European and Japanese flavors, you’ve got yourself a solid meal! The parsnips add a great crunch and are full of stomach-filling fiber. Walnuts, high in Omega-3’s, add richness to the sauce. This is a simple dish to prepare and is extremely healthy. Enjoy!

Paprika Shrimp with Turnips


Yields 4 servings // Prep time 20 minutes // Cook time 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1½ cups peeled parsnips or turnips, cubed (¼-inch)
  • 1½ Tbsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sake or mirin (rice wine)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Gluten-free pasta to serve, if desired

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add ginger and paprika, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add walnuts and stir until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp and stir until pink and opaque throughout, 2 minutes per side. Stir in turnips, vinegar, sake and 1 tsp salt. Season with pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, until heated through about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve warm.

 

I served mine over gluten-free pasta and sprinkled extra paprika on top!

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