By Lauren Sytsma
This pasta recipe is healthy, easy & delicious, and provides a creative way to add raw leafy greens to your family’s diet! Instead of store-bought pasta sauces that are high in sugar, salt and preservatives, this homemade spinach pesto is a source of iron, vitamin K & fiber and incorporates healthy fats from the avocado, olive oil and sunflower seeds. A diet high in fiber and healthy fats is so important for proper digestion, and heart & brain health. It’s a creamy, flavorful, healthy recipe that the entire family will enjoy.
For the Pesto
3 cups organic baby spinach (or kale, arugula)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese (or parmesan, white cheddar)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (or pumpkin, sesame, hemp, walnuts, pine nuts)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Sea salt & pepper to taste
I bag of brown rice (gluten-free) or whole-wheat rotini pasta
1-pint cherry tomatoes halved
1/3-cup sundried tomatoes diced
1 can organic navy beans drained & rinsed
Combine all the ingredients for the pesto in your food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.
Boil pasta for 8 minutes (for al dente), drain & rinse.
While pasta is boiling, chop fresh & sun-dried tomatoes and combine in a large bowl.
Drain & rinse beans and stir them in with the tomatoes. Once pasta is done boiling add it to the tomato & bean mixture.
Stir pesto in with tomatoes, beans & pasta until everything is combined.
Pasta salad keeps in fridge for 5 days.