Pesto Pasta with Oven Roasted Veggies

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Did you know you can make pesto out of more than basil? Pesto can be made with basil, arugula, kale, spinach, peas…as long as its bright green it should work (I mean, within reason, no cucumber pesto or zucchini pesto). My problem with basil is that it’s hard to enough on hand to make pesto whenever you want it. Frozen peas on the other hand are easy to find, super affordable, and able to keep for extended period of time.

I prepped most of this earlier in the day so that I could throw it together before dinner time but you could easily make it all at once. Start by dicing all the vegetables: 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1/2 an eggplant, and 1 onion. Place these in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir well to combine. Transfer the veggies to a prepared baking pan. Preheat your oven to 350 and cook for 30 minutes.

While waiting for the veggies to cook, you can prepare the pesto and pasta. Cook 4 cups of peas until defrosted. Once cooked, drain and transfer to a large food processor. Add 2 tsp garlic, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/3 cup olive oil, juice from 1 lemon and 3/4 tsp salt.

In previous posts I’ve mention that I try not to add additional salt to meals. I stand by that generally, but felt that salt was definitely necessary for the flavor in this. However, feel free to adjust to salt to your preferences. Pulse the ingredients until smooth. Set aside until veggies and pasta are done.

Using a large soup pot, cook 1 lb (a full box) of pasta as directed on the box. I used Rigatoni and cooked it just past al dente, about 15 minutes. Once the veggies are done in the oven, the pasta is cooked and drained, and pesto is made, combine all in the large pot and stir to combine. It was a decent arm work out, haha. Once it’s all mixed together, you are ready to eat! Makes a large amount, seeing as you are using a full box of pasta, so plan for a few leftovers or lunches.

Pesto Pasta with Oven Roasted Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1/2 an eggplant
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups peas
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lb rigatoni (1 box)

Instructions:

  1. Dice all vegetables and place them in a large bowl. Combine veggies with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil. Place this in a large baking pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  2. While the veggies are cooking, proceed with cooking 4 cups of peas until defrosted. Drain the peas and place them in a large food processor with 2 tsp garlic, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/3 cup olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, and 3/4 tsp salt. Combine these until smooth. Set this aside until veggies and pasta are done.
  3. In a large soup pot, cook 1 lb of pasta as directed on the box, generally just past al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot once finished.
  4. Once pasta, veggies and pesto are done, add all ingredients to the large soup pot. Stir until fully combined. Serve!

Cauliflower Chana Masala

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One of my favorite throw together dinners on a busy night is Chana Masala by Tasty Bite. My mom first introduced this brand to me after buying it at Costco. It’s so simple. You can just throw it in the microwave, make a pot of rice and you have dinner. My only complaint was the lack of vegetables, so I set out to make my own similar recipe based off the packet.

Dice 2 potatoes, 1/2 an onion and 1/2 a head of cauliflower. Put these in a large pot with a bit of oil and 1/2 tsp garlic. Saute 5-10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and continue to saute for 10 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.

Add 30 oz of tomato sauce, 1 cup of vegetable broth, 15 oz can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1/4 cup of tomato paste, 1 tbsp cumin, 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric, and 1/4 tsp ginger. Let this simmer about 45 minutes until the potatoes and cauliflower are cooked through. When there’s about 10 minutes remaining add in 1 cup of peas. Serve with naan or over rice.

Cauliflower Chana Masala

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 30 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup of frozen peas

Instructions:

  1. Dice potatoes, cauliflower and onion. Place these in a large pot with oil and 1/2 tsp garlic. Saute on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth to cook it down a little bit (5-10 min).
  2. Add 30 oz tomato sauce, 1 cup of broth, the drained and rinsed chickpeas, 1 tbsp cumin, 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric, and 1/4 tsp ground ginger. Allow this to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, until cauliflower and potatoes are soft. About 10 minutes before it’s done, add 1 cup of frozen peas. Serve over rice or with naan.