Friday, March 31, 2017

Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad


Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad
I'm not the only one pining over spring and summer. These long winter months are dragging and we all want something that will look, taste, and even smell like spring. I can't think of anything more spring and summer-like than Basil! The smell alone is the definition of spring, so fresh and sweet. Pesto makes it easy for anyone, in any season to enjoy spring and summer anytime. Now theres a twist to this recipe. You see a big bowl of pasta BUT its not what you think, its soybean pasta. Now I know what your thinking, "I've tried those pastas and I'm not a fan!". I would have said the same thing before but I recently discovered a NEW brand *GAFELL ORGANIC* that not only tastes like pasta, but the texture is so similar you can't tell the difference. No gummy pasta here! The benefits along sold me, 25g of protein in a single 2oz serving....WHAT?! So the next time someone asks you "Where do you get your protein?", tell them...my pasta! BOOM!

This super easy recipe will give you tips and tricks on how to make the best vegan pesto and a super easy dish that you can make anyway of the week and enjoy for lunch or dinner and on the go. You won't feel guilty eating pasta everyday and you'll be even happier when you find out your family will love this recipe too. Don't believe me...just watch the videos and check out the pictures, I have 2 VERY satisfied customers! Enjoy!
Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad
Ingredients
PASTA SALAD
  • 2 cups cherry/baby tomatoes, halved
  • 7 ounces box GAFELL Organic Green Soybean Fettuccine Noodles 
  • 5 Tablespoons Hampton Creek Just Mayo 
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup Pesto (Recipe Below) or use store bought
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped (oil or water packed or fresh/frozen work fine)
  • 1/4 cup Sub dried Tomatoes, minced 
  • 1/2 cup shredded Daiya Mozzarella (you can use any brand you like, I had this on hand. Miyoko' would be great in this also)
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste 
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh or dried Parsley 
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced (2 Tablespoons) 
  • 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional) 

Optional Add Ins
  • Peas
  • Asparagus 
  • Vegan Chick'un
  • Vegan bacon 
  • Spinach (fresh or sauteed) 
  • Arugula 
  • Olives (kalamata) 
  • Vegan Feta instead of mozzarella 
  • Capers
  • Broccoli 
  • Beans (chickpeas or great north) 
  • Red peppers (fresh or roasted) 
PESTO
  • 2 1/2 cups semi-packed, fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 cloves roasted of fresh garlic, minced (2 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or sub raw walnuts, pistachios, or cashews (I like a mixture of pine nuts and walnuts or pistachios) 
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on how salty your vegan cheese is)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 lemon, juiced (3 Tbsp)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese, you can add more to taste
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast 
  • 3/4 cup organic olive oil (extra virgin is best)
Directions 
Pesto
Make pesto by adding basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, vegan Parmesan cheese and salt to a food processor and blending to combine. Stream in the olive oil until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. If too dry, add a little water. It should be thick but pourable. 
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, vegan Parmesan cheese for cheesiness, salt for saltiness, or garlic for bite/spice. Set aside. 
*Any leftovers Pesto can be stored in the fridge or put in ice cube trays, topped with olive oil, and frozen for later use.*
Pasta Salad
In large mixing bowl add in your Pesto and Vegan Mayo, whisk to combine. Next, add in your lemon, herbs, seasonings to taste and whisk again. Once the pesto mixture is combines, prep your add ins and add them in as well. 
 


Once you're done with this process, you can set it aside and make you Pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling add the Soybean pasta (or whatever kind you like) and cook according to package instructions. 

You Can Find Gafell Organic on or visit them at https://www.gafell.com

Packed with Vegan Protein!
*I cooked the Soybean pasta for 6-7mins to a softer texture so my little ones could enjoy it better. But you can try it as the instructions instruct for 5 mins.*


For PERFECT texture, 5-7 Minutes (6-7 for Babies)
Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
Add cooked pasta and the rest of the remaining ingredients to a mixing/serving bowl. Toss to combine and enjoy immediately or refrigerate and enjoy as a cool salad. 
 



Garnish with extra vegan Parmesan or mozzarella cheese (if desired) and/or fresh parsley or basil (optional). Pairs great with a vegan Chick'un cutlet, regular side salad, or on its own. Perfect for 
picnics, events, or a recipe for the week for lunches. So many options! Enjoy! 
-Amy

Guess who enjoyed it too??

Kids Don't Lie! YUM!!