Starting your week off with healthy meals will set you up for a week full of good choices. So tonight, try out this recipe for nontraditional (but delicious!) penne from meatlessmonday.com.
Pea and Avocado Penne
1 1/2 ounces pine nuts, toasted
2 cups baby peas, shelled
2 garlic cloves, diced
Lemon juice, to taste
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
10.5 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
9 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cups canned (or fresh) lima beans, drained and rinsed
Preparing the Pesto:
1) Toast pine nuts over medium-high heat for 2-4 minutes, or until the pine nuts become fragrant. Set aside.
2) Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and cook peas until just tender. Strain, rinse and set aside.
3) When the pine nuts have cooled, reserve a few for garnish. Chop the rest roughly.
4) Place the avocado, peas, garlic, chopped pine nuts together in a large bowl. Drizzle with a few squeezes of lemon juice and mash with a fork until the pesto comes together, but still maintains some variety of texture. Stir in the chopped baby spinach and set aside.
To complete the Pea Avocado Penne:
1) Steam green beans for 3-4 minutes, or until just tender. Set aside.
2) Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the steamed green beans and lima beans, toss to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked penne and mix until combined.
3) Reduce heat to low and add the pea and avocado pesto. Toss until the pesto is evenly distributed on throughout the penne, green beans and lima beans.
4) Divide the pasta into 6 portions, enjoy topped with the reserved pine nuts and a few extra baby spinach leaves.