Walnut + Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes + Olives

Thank goodness for pasta dishes that are ready in 20 minutes.  And that your child devours.  And that are super high in protein and omegas!  I love the simplicity of this dish, and how quick it is to make.  It’s one of those recipes I keep in mind for nights when I’m clueless as to what to cook up.  Sweet basil, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives bring a Mediterranean summery feel that I think we’re all craving right about now!

Fresh Garlic

Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts, but I love using walnuts because, for one, they are much more affordable, and also a rich source of omega-3.  They are great for your brain health, and they kind of look like little brains, don’t they?

I also skipped on the parmesan cheese as I avoid dairy whenever I can (it really doesn’t make me feel well) and tossed in hemp seeds instead.  I know everyone has been loving hemp for a while now, I just recently jumped on the bandwagon, and I am obsessed! I love the nutty, almost sweet flavour (much like a pine nut actually), and their tender crunch.  They are very high in digestible protein and in omegas as well, along with other minerals and vitamins.  They work so well in pesto as they give a very similar texture to the dish as parmesan cheese would.  At one point I thought I even tasted cheese.  All in my head.  

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

 I can’t wait for my summer vegetable garden and my own fresh basil.  I love heading to the backyard, barefoot, and picking it while I’m making dinner.  Nothing better.

Fresh Basil

Walnut + Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes + Olives
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 500 grams gluten-free pasta
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling pasta
  3. 2 bunches (approx. 2 cups) fresh basil, rinsed
  4. ½ cup walnuts
  5. 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  6. 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1 + 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  9. 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Begin by cooking your pasta noodles according to packaging instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and pour noodles back into the pot. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Place olive oil, basil, walnuts, hemp seeds, garlic and salt in a food processor. Process all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Spoon pesto into your pot of pasta. Place pot on stove top over low heat. Add cherry tomatoes, olives and black pepper. Toss all ingredients well to combine.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. You can make larger portions of the pesto and freeze it for later.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
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Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

 

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Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

My all time favourite way of preparing vegetables is roasting them.  Depending on the vegetable, it could be a short or long process.  This salad includes roasted asparagus and grape tomatoes which really don’t take long at all.  Hence, a perfect weeknight meal.  If you follow Love and Lentils, you’ve probably realized my appreciation for simplicity, and I think that is seen in my meals as well.  Although this is so simple with few ingredients, the flavours are delicious together, and the best part is, you’ll have this on the dinner table in 25 minutes.  We had our bean salad with vegan smoked apple sage sausages by Field Roast (side note; best vegan sausages ever).  Not a single weird ingredient and absolutely delicious.  So, it was a lazy(ish) Monday…but it tasted amazing.

Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 2 small 398 ml cans organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, roughly chopped
  • kosher sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Place asparagus and grape tomatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground pepper overtop.

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  • Place asparagus and tomatoes in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, or until asparagus is slightly tender and browned.
  • Prepare your vinaigrette by combining olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt and pepper.  Mix with a fork to combine.
  • Chop the asparagus into 2″ long spears and combine in a large bowl with beans and tomatoes.  Top with vinaigrette and mix gently to combine.
  • Serve with grilled lemon wedges (I did this using a pan on the stove).
  • Enjoy!

Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

Black Bean + Kale Soup

It doesn’t get much simpler, or healthier for that matter, than this veggie loaded soup.  It’s one of those soups that I (pretty much) guarantee you have all the ingredients for in your pantry and fridge.  My little guy also loved it, although I did have to pull out the kale from his bowl.  The only way he eats kale (for now) is when I make him chips.  I saw a recent poll on facebook where we were asked if we truly like kale or do we feel it’s just a fad?  I personally love it, it’s so versatile, tasty, and you can’t deny the health benefits.  It is also fantastic in this soup alongside the plump black beans.

Black Bean + Kale Soup Recipe

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans organic black beans
  • 1/2 a bunch kale, washed and torn into pieces, stems removed and discarded
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • dash of tabasco sauce (optional)

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Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.   Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, jalapeño, and cook for 10 minutes.  The carrot should be slightly softened now.
  • Add vegetable stock, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to medium-low, add kale, and let simmer for approx. 20 minutes, or until carrots and celery are tender.
  • Taste; add more salt if necessary.
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and tabasco (optional).

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