Have you ever just felt like you needed a big bowl of greens for dinner? I feel like that quite often, but honestly I do not always want to eat a salad for dinner. Sometimes, I want to eat my greens while also feeling warm and full! What better way than to eat a spinach filled green spaghetti?
I should start by mentioning, that carbs are not the enemy! I do not adhere to the conversations that tell you not to eat carbs. Bread and pasta are two of the best things we get in this life. In a world that’s working tirelessly to tear us down, we deserve some carb filled pleasures!
All jokes aside, carbs are important for maintaining muscles and for the production of energy. If you do the research, you will find that carbs can be much closer to our friends than our enemies. They have been given a bad rep because we associate things like bread and pasta with weight gain. I urge you to throw those misconceived notions out! As with most things, carbs should be eaten in moderation. Meaning, you should not have every meal throughout the day accompanied by a baguette (unless you are in France then totally ignore this!).
An easy way to consume carbs without guilt is to pair them with tons of healthy vegetables. This gluten-free spaghetti was dressed with a vegan basil and spinach pesto and topped with even more sautéed spinach and tomatoes. Such a simple way to elevate a pasta and to feel like you had a both satisfying and healthy meal!
This recipe feeds about 2-3 people, so adjust depending on the amount of people you are serving!
- dried pasta of your choosing, cooked as directed by package
- 4 tablespoons of basil/spinach pesto (can substitute with your favorite pesto)
- 1/2 cup of fresh spinach leaves
- a bunch of basil leaves (about 7-10 leaves)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of Braggs Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 vine ripe tomato, roughly chopped
To begin, cook your dried pasta of choice as directed by the package. Remember to salt your water as this is the only time you can season your pasta!
While the pasta is cooking, you can begin to assemble your vegan basil and spinach pesto. In a food processor or high powered blender, add in your fresh spinach and basil leaves, garlic, nutritional yeast, dried basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Blend until a smooth consistency is reached. Then set aside and allow the flavors to develop further while you saute your spinach and tomato.
In a medium-sized skillet on medium/high heat, add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. When hot, add in your cup of fresh spinach leaves. Allow the spinach to wilt down for a minute and then add in your roughly chopped tomato and stir. Sprinkle the spinach and tomatoes with coarse sea salt and black pepper. Then turn the burner off and set the saute aside.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it into your favorite bowl or dish. Be sure to save about 1/4 a cup of your salted starchy pasta water. Then, scoop your vegan pesto on top of the pasta along with your reserved pasta water. Then toss it together and allow the pasta water to marry into your pesto sauce. Once your pesto has evenly coated your pasta, top it with your sautéed spinach and tomatoes.
This is ready to be served as is or you can sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top or even a sprinkle of nutritional yeast if you’d like! Then enjoy and feel the liberating feeling of allowing carbs to become your friend again! #freethepasta 🙂