Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spinach, Basil & Feta Pesto with Brown Rice Pasta

Good morning!  

I have a really delicious meal for you today that incorporates lots of fresh veggies, a good-for-you pasta and protein-filled beans.  This meal was the brain child of my imagination, using the ingredients I had in my fridge/pantry as my inspiration. 

As a side note, brown rice pasta is made from ground brown rice and is great to use in a gluten-free diet.  It is rich in fiber, especially insoluble fiber, which helps rid wastes from the body because it stays intact in the digestion system.  I've been using it a ton in my meals, along with regular quinoa and quinoa pasta.  

The best part about this meal....it was healthy and delicious and my family didn't complain one bit!     

Spinach, Basil & Feta Pesto with Brown Rice Pasta

3 cups spinach
1 cup basil
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Handful of raw almonds, chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 - 15.5 ounce can cannellini beans, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound brown rice pasta
Shredded Parmesan cheese as a garnish, optional

** Note: Save about 2 cups of the pasta water to thin the pesto, if needed

1.  In a food processor, blend together spinach, basil, garlic, feta, almonds, lemon juice/zest and salt/pepper.  Slowly add oil until the mixture combines.  
2.  Boil water and prepare pasta according to the directions on the box. 
3. During the last 30 seconds of cooking, add the beans to the pasta water to heat.  Drain the pasta/beans like normal, reserving some pasta water.  
4.  Combine the pesto and pasta in a large bowl.  Add pasta water to thin if needed.  
5.  Top with shredded Parmesan and serve.


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