Thursday, 16 March 2017

Go Green Avocado Pasta Sauce



If wearing green on St Patrick's Day is good luck, then surely eating a green meal is too! While I can't guarantee you'll find a pot of gold after eating this pasta, you will be on your way to reaching your recommended vegetable intake (I know, not quite as exciting).


Did you know that Canada's Food Guide recommends we eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day? While eating a variety of vegetables and fruit is key to a healthy diet, darker vegetables often contain more nutrients and antioxidants than their paler counterparts. Let's compare iceberg lettuce and spinach for a moment. Spinach contains approximately ten times more vitamin A , four times the amount of iron, and about three times the amount of folate, than iceberg lettuce per 1 cup serving. That is a pretty substantial difference between two common salad greens!


Orange vegetables and fruits contain carotenoids (responsible for the bright pigmentation) which are a powerful antioxidant.

Sources: Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, yams, peaches, nectarines, cantaloupe, mangos

By having your dark green vegetable each day, you'll be sure to be getting a good dose of nutrients like folate and vitamin A.

Sources: Asparagus, spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli, swiss chard, watercress, collard greens, brussel sprouts, romain lettuce, dandelion greens

This pasta recipe incorporates kale, a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as fibre. I also chose to top this pasta with edamame beans for some added protein. One of my favourite ways to buy edamame beans is frozen and here is why: they are equally nutritious as the fresh variety, they are pre cooked and only take a few minutes to prepare, and make an easy addition to any pasta, salad, or stir fry.


This sauce is a favourite of mine because it is so easy to prepare; just throw all the ingredients in a food processor and you are good to go. The avocado and ricotta give this sauce a smooth creamy texture. If you prefer an even creamier sauce, you can substitute the water in this recipe for skim milk.


Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Sauce serves about 4 portions of pasta 

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh basil
1 avocado, pitted and removed from flesh
1/4 cup ricotta 
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
juice from half a medium size lime 
3 Tbsp water (for blending)

Pasta Toppings: 
1 cup kale
3/4 cup edamame beans (removed from shell) 
1/4 cup clives, diced 

+ Desired pasta for serving 

Directions
  1. In a frying pan, sauté kale, edamame beans, and chives with 1 Tbsp of olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Add basil, avocado, ricotta, oil, salt, garlic, lime juice, and water to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 
  3. Heat sauce in a small saucepan until warmed through. 
  4. Add sauce and vegetable mixture to cooked pasta. Stir to combine. 






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