Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pea Pesto Kale Pasta with Balsamic Pepper Tempeh Nuggets

My love for pasta goes way back, half my family is Italian- need I say more? But gluten filled pasta and my tummy and good health really don't mix (a sad fact I'm still coming to terms with). When my other half is digging into a plate of spaghetti I try to make meals with zucchini/carrot spiral 'pasta' or gluten free pasta substitutes like this. 

This recipe uses a pea pesto- its another version of my vegan pesto that's a great way to amp up the veggie intake. I love the sweetness that peas add to the sauce and the slightly lighter texture it gives the pesto. Obviously if you're not a fan then pick another green veggie you do- spinach and broccoli work wonderfully for example.

The tempeh nuggets were a momentary stroke of genius if I do say so myself. I was just going to add it plain but because I was testing out a new noodle I was a little worried it would be bland. Not with these! they're full of flavour and you don't need many but they really elevate the dish to a meal. If you're not a tempeh fan why not use tofu or balsamic and pepper toasted nuts? or you could simply drizzle the dish with balsamic vinegar!

Pea Pesto Kale Pasta 
with Balsamic Pepper Tempeh Nuggets
Makes 1 huge serve (pictured) or 2 regular serves
1 x 250g packet Slim Me Noodle (fettuccine) or flat rice/bean noodles
1/2 bunch Kale (4-5 large leaves)

1 cup Peas (fresh or thawed frozen)
1 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
1/4 cup Nutritional yeast
Seasoning to taste

50g Tempeh
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Cracked black pepper to taste (lots!)

Fresh Basil
Pine Nuts
Nutritional yeast
  • Begin by preparing pesto- thaw peas if not done
  • Combine all pesto ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth
  • Chop tempeh into small cubes- if you're not a fan of the nutty flavour of tempeh feel free to pre-steam to reduce this or substitute
  • Marinate tempeh in balsamic vinegar while you
  • Chop kale finely, remembering to remove the stems!
  • Massage kale (like kneading dough) until it softens and loses some volume
  • Dry fry tempeh nuggets until crisp- they will darken quickly because of the balsamic
  • Season liberally with freshly cracked black pepper
  • Cook noodles according to packet in instructions (most just need to be covered with hot water for a short period of time and drained)
  • Combine pesto, kale and noodles making sure the pesto coats everything evenly
  • Add tempeh nuggets
  • Garnish as desired with nutritional yeast, pine nuts, cracked black pepper and basil
  • Enjoy!

I hope you're all finding lots of yummy ways to eat your veggies too! and Aussies- don't forget to enter the Slim Me Noodle Giveaway!

Love and Smiles,

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