Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quinoa Pasta with Spinach-Avocado "Pesto"

Have you heard of quinoa pasta?!? If not, then let me tell you a story.

In January, I was sitting at a brunch with new people after we all just finished a yoga class. One of the girls was talking about this pasta and I found myself very intrigued! After nearly 30 minutes of talking about that, kale smoothies, kombucha drinks and yoga inversions, we realized we had just made perfect sound bytes for a Sh*t Yogis Say video parody. While I do not fancy myself as "a yogi" I did have to agree that just happened and we sounded ridiculous. But I learned about a fantastic little secret nugget and I couldn't wait to try it for myself!


The next day when Mr. Max and I were doing our weekly grocery shopping, I decided to find it and put it on the meal plan for the week. Since then, we have made it probably a dozen times and let me tell you, this stuff is legit! It tastes like any other given pasta but it contains less fat and much higher in fiber and protein than even whole wheat/grain pasta. You can find it in any grocery store, it is located with the gluten-free and special dietary needs. My one complaint? They don't have a penne version.

Now, onto sharing a recipe for it. I've made a few that are noteworthy and ones I do plan to share, I thought I'd start with this one. It's like, a super food party on a plate. You've got avocado, spinach, and a quinoa based pasta; pair that with a nice, lean protein and that's a delicious and nutritious dish my friends. Okay, I guess I have one more complaint, but that's all, I promise. I do feel the need to provide warning that this cooks much faster than regular pasta, especially the smaller shapes. Pay attention to it and don't let it overcook because it will get mushy.

Nutritional facts were calculated at and can be found here (includes 4 oz. grilled chicken breast). 

Grocery List:
Recipe Yields 4 servings
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut in cubes
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tsp. + 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 box of Ancient Grains spiral quinoa pasta 
To start, take a pot and will with water. The box tells you to use 4 QUARTS of water, but that is just wasteful when 1 quart (4 cups) of water is more than enough. Add just a little olive oil (about 1 tsp.) into the water to keep the noodles from sticking together. Bring the water to a boil and add the pasta, turning down the heat on the stove to about medium-low. Watch it closely, it will cook in about 4-6 minutes depending on the size and shape. Once al dente, drain and set aside in a bowl.

In a food processor, take the avocado cubes, add spinach, olive oil (3 tbsp.) and garlic cloves. Process until creamy and smooth. If it is too thick for your liking, you can think out with additional olive oil.

Toss the "pesto" with the pasta and serve! It is great on its own or pairs wonderfully with a simple grilled herb chicken breast.

Tastefully yours,

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