Foodie Friday: Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta with Courgette & Chestnut Mushrooms (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)

Friday, 31 May 2019

Easy Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta with Courgette & Chestnut Mushrooms (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Happy Friday everyone, I hope you're all looking forward to the weekend! For this week's Foodie Friday feature, I'm sharing one of my all-time favourite pasta dishes which is packed full of healthy and fresh ingredients. It's also ready in just 10 minutes so it's brilliant as a quick and easy mid-week dinner!

Since I posted about my weight loss and overall health and fitness journey a few months ago (read that post here if you missed it), the most common question that I'm still asked today is if I eat any carbs. In fact, whenever I post about eating more healthy on Instagram, I'm guaranteed to receive at least one DM about carbs. 

So ladies and gents, let me tell you something.

Carbs are NOT the enemy!

You NEED carbs in your life, especially if you're doing any kind of intensive workouts like running, weightlifting, circuits, spinning classes or HITT. Carbs help to refuel your body and without them, you're likely to feel easily irritable, hungry and even constipated (many people who cut out carbs run the risk of not getting enough fibre in their diet, which also leads to further problems with gut health and digestion). For further info, read up on the NHS' 'The Truth About Carbs' page here.

If you love pasta as much as I do, you can make healthy swaps by switching white pasta to whole grain, but eating the odd bowl of white pasta here and there isn't going to kill you, which is why I wanted to feature one of my fave pasta recipes this week.

This Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta tastes oh-so-fresh and it's a cheeky way to sneak some extra dark greens into your meal. Once you've whizzed up your own pesto from scratch, you'll never want to buy a ready-made supermarket version ever again! Simply add veggies (I've included Courgette and Chestnut Mushrooms in this one) and enjoy a hearty, filling bowl of goodness. 

Easy Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta with Courgette & Chestnut Mushrooms (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Ingredients (serves two)
  • 150g Pasta of your choice
  • 75g Kale
  • 40g Cashews
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • A handful of fresh Basil Leaves
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Your choice of Veggies 

Method
  • Bring a kettle to the boil and pour into a large saucepan. Add the Pasta with a pinch of Salt, and simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente or done to your liking.
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the Pesto. Add all of the remaining ingredients to a food blender or processor, removing any particularly tough stalks from the Kale and blend until you have a pesto paste. Taste and add extra seasoning if desired. 
  • Pan fry or steam your chosen Veggies until lightly cooked, then drain the Pasta. Add the Veggies and Pesto, stirring everything to combine. Plate up and enjoy!


Storage tip: If you have any leftover Pesto, place into a small glass jar with a lid, pouring a little Olive Oil over the surface which helps to preserve it. Keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

Have you made your own Pesto before?

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