Creamy Avocado Cilantro Pasta

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After last night’s carnivorous dinner of Steak and Cheese Panini, I decided tonight was MY night. After all, I did end up eating Apple Jacks for dinner since I don’t eat that much in the way of meat. I can’t really say that I’m vegetarian or vegan. I generally avoid any kind of label. I eat dairy and eggs in moderation and meat every once in a blue moon, if obtained from a responsible source. I just really dig my veggies, man.

Today during lunch, I am happy to report that I did NOT get lost going to Green Grocer again. While I was there, I picked up a few items that just “looked good”: organic brown rice pasta, organic cilantro, organic crookneck squash, and my FAVORITE TOMATOES from Amelia’s Farm. Amelia’s Farm is a Texan company (yeehaw!) and I’m not joking – they grow the best tomatoes I’ve ever had in my entire life!

And, oh yeah, I sautéed the squash and totally forgot about adding it to the pasta. Whoops.

I also forgot to put the avocado in the picture of the sauce ingredients. I blame that on the dinnertime rush.

I’ve said it before, many times, that good quality ingredients can elevate a simple supper to extremes. This simple Creamy Avocado Cilantro Pasta is one of those. Not only is it vegan and gluten free, it’s brimming with good-for-you-fats from the olive oil and avocado used in the sauce. A healthy portion of the aforementioned veggies and some organic black beans completes this dish, adding extra fiber and protein.

This dish is super easy and is weeknight worthy; it came together for me in 20 minutes! Served warm or cold, this recipe makes enough for four very generous main entrée portions or about 8-10 side dish servings.

I topped mine with some Bragg’s nutritional yeast for some added B-vitamins.

Enjoy!

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Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce

(makes about one cup, depending on the size of your cilantro bunch)

1 bunch cilantro

2 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 lime

1/2 avocado, flesh scooped from outer skin

1/4 cup good quality olive oil, such as Texas Olive Ranch

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, process all ingredients until a slightly chunky sauce forms. Stop every 15 seconds or so to scrape the bowl. (My mini-chopper did the job in about 1 minute)

That’s it! This sauce, similar to a pesto, would make a wonderful sandwich spread. It would also be tasty spooned over some goat cheese and served with crackers. Keep this in the fridge for up to three days.

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Creamy Avocado Cilantro Pasta

Ingredients:

12 oz. bag of brown rice pasta (or equal amount of any other type pasta)

1 T. sea salt (for adding to pasta water)

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 cup corn kernels

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 bunch green onions, sliced

1 batch of Creamy Avocado Cilantro sauce

Lime Wedges, to serve

Nutritional Yeast or Queso Fresco, to serve

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot full of water to boil, adding in 1 T. of sea salt. Cook pasta per package directions.

2. Meanwhile, make your Creamy Avocado Sauce.

3. Once pasta is al dente, drain and rinse briefly with fresh water.

4. In a large serving bowl, gently toss the cooked pasta with prepared sauce, tomatoes, beans, corn, and scallions. Season with additional salt and pepper and serve with lime wedges and optional cheese.

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