Today, on this freezing cold day, I couldn’t be more thankful for carbs. I love carbs. Having lived a low-carb lifestyle for about a year, I realise now how much I need them. They give me the energy I need to perform well, refuel after exercise, keep warm, boost my energy and concentration, and they’re delicious. You can read about my experience being low-carb here.
However, I always make sure to have a greater ratio of veggies to starchy carbs, preferring to base my meals on veggies. Whether it’s by sneaking zucchini/courgette into my Zoatbowls, or spinach into a smoothie, I always get them in somehow. This simple and easy “recipe” for my favourite jazzed-up pesto pasta is just an idea for a quick, nutritious and plant-based lunch or dinner. It’s my favourite go-to lunch every Saturday, to refuel after my 5k run. I hope you like it!
50g uncooked wholegrain pasta (I like brown rice pasta)
80g frozen peas
80g frozen sweetcorn
1 large handful spinach
3tbsp cooked black beans (I use Biona tinned)
¼ avocado, chopped
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
Chilli flakes, to serve (optional)
(Un)Toasted pine nuts, to serve (optional)
Grated cheddar cheese, to serve (optional)
1.) Pop the uncooked pasta into a medium saucepan and fill the saucepan about halfway with boiling water – enough to more than cover the pasta (I boil the kettle first). Bring to the boil so that it’s bubbling, then cook for 2 minutes.
2.) Add the frozen peas and sweetcorn to the saucepan and continue to boil for a further 5 minutes. (The water will temporarily stop boiling because the frozen veggies will reduce the temperature, so just make sure the gas heat is high enough to bring it back to the boil).
3.) Turn off the heat and add the spinach to the pan, stirring it through to wilt.
4.) Drain the contents of the saucepan (I use a large sieve) and transfer the contents to a bowl. Add the black beans, and stir through the pesto. Top with the avocado and cherry tomatoes, and sprinkle over the chilli flakes, if using.
Hey PESTO! (Sorry, couldn’t resist a good old pun)