Yuck, another day of rain and strong wind. But there is a pro to days like this, I have an excuse to stuff my unwashed hair into a messy bun. Why bother putting effort into it when it’ll be lost seconds after stepping outside? Exactly. But today should be the last day of crappy weather for awhile and it might actually be warm enough next week to wear my new spring crops, I can’t wait! Today we threw our plans out the window for a more relaxed day at home because it was so miserable outside. Shadow was thrilled with all the lap time he got with hubby.
While Leela was perfectly content to park it in her fireplace bed all day. Like the mid-yawn shot?
I figured a little comfort food was in order to relax after a stressful week and celebrate the end to nasty weather for hopefully a long time. Occasionally I crave pasta. Well, when it’s covered in a tasty sauce because let’s face it, plain pasta is pretty flavorless. Though I’m not a fan of the traditional stuff since I’m cutting way back on my gluten intake and I don’t like that something so plain tasting by itself is loaded with calories. So when I’m in a splurge mood, I’ll usually pick up a package or two of Wildwood Pasta Slim noodles while shopping at Whole Foods. And since they were on sale for $1 each last time, it was meant to be. At Whole Foods, they can be found in the chilled section with tofu, vegan cheese alternatives, tempeh, etc. At other grocery stores, they’ll probably be in health food sections usually near produce.
Traditional pasta typically has over 200 calories per serving, these only have 20 calories. Score!
And they’re also much easier to cook, simply rinse and microwave for a minute or two.
Pesto pasta is an ultimate splurge with high-calorie pasta coated in oil-loaded pesto and cheese – eek! Since I had a ton of spinach in my fridge from my Costco trip, I decided to create a lighter spinach version to go with my light noodles.
Raw Spinach Pesto
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- ground pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on low until ingredients are chopped and mixed, but still slightly chunky. Makes 2 regular servings or 4 small servings. Raw garlic is strong, which I like. But you may want to reduce the garlic to 1 clove if you think it might be too strong.
I pulled fresh Italian parsley from our garden for this recipe and the flavor just reignited my love of fresh herbs and being able to step out to my backyard to snip them as needed. Like kale, broccoli and green onions, Italian parsley is a wonderful winter crop since mine is going nuts despite the cold, awful weather.
I heated just the noodles in the microwave for 2 minutes, then layered the raw pesto, fresh chopped tomatoes and pine nuts on top for a beautiful lunch.
The texture of the pesto was perfect to me, not too smooth allowing the nuttiness of the hemp seeds to add texture to the slightly chewy noodles.
And the noodles absorbed the garlic pesto flavors nicely making a strong and satisfying dish.
And one that Leela couldn’t decide if was worth begging for or not.
I decided to use the noodles again for dinner and snipped fresh green onions and rosemary from our garden to create my creamy hemp sauce this time.
I coated more Pasta Slim noodles, lightly steamed broccoli, and fresh chopped red pepper with the hemp sauce for a wonderful creamy pasta dish that was in no way as caloric as Alfredo pasta.
The sauce coated the PastaSlim noodles and veggies nicely for a rich, comforting and partially raw vegan dinner.
If you haven’t already, try PastaSlim noodles for the occasional pasta craving. They’re a delightful treat when, like traditional pasta, paired with flavorful sauces. As you can tell, I’m quite the fan of hemp seed-based sauces over nut-based sauces because they’re more nutrient dense, higher in complete protein and have less fat. For more information on hemp seeds and ordering them online, see this post.
In total our Vita-Mix has been used 6 times today! For my breakfast smoothie, fresh hemp milk, pesto, banana soft serve, creamy hemp sauce, and hubby’s mashed cauliflower. It’s definitely the most used appliance in our kitchen! What’s the most used appliance in yours?