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.
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 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
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.
Creamy Avocado Cilantro Pasta
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
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.