In terms of quick, fuss-free, crowd-pleasing (or kid-pleasing!) meal ideas, pasta would have to be a top contender. Not only is it all of those aforementioned things, but it can be done a number of different ways with various sauces, flavors, and ingredients built around what's fresh, ripe, and in season. If you're thinking right about now, "but that gluten tho...", stay with us.
It turns out, pasta does't have to leave you feeling weighed down or lethargic. Infact, pasta doesn't actually have to be made with traditional grain-based noodles at all. Instead of reaching for dried noodles in a bag or box, grab some zucchini, cucumber, and/or root vegetables (and that handy spiralizer of course) for a nutrient-rich twist to traditional pasta dishes. Using vegetable noodles lightens the carbohydrate and caloric load quite a bit, and eliminates gluten entirely, meaning you wont be feeling bloated or sluggish. On the contrary, you'll be feeling energized, alive, and vibrant. Raw food has a way of doing that. And with the right sauce your taste buds won't be complaining one bit.
Speaking of which...
A green pesto sauce is such a great alternative to cooked tomato-based sauces for spring and summer. It's also the perfect way to use up fresh basil from your garden or the farmer's market. We've taken the traditional recipe of olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan, and basil, eliminated the dairy, and greened things up substantially with fresh arugula (one of our all-time favorite super-greens - rich with sulphur for glowing skin!), and our Veggimins Hemp CBD Extracts - entirely cold-processed, broad-spectrum cannabidiol Co2 extracts, made from industrial hemp, infused into a base of cold pressed organic hemp seed oil. Adding a few droppers full enriches this pesto recipe with the far-reaching benefits of hemp CBD, giving the term "comfort food" a whole new meaning. We decided to use hazelnuts instead of pine nuts or walnuts, as their flavor goes so well with arugula, basil, and hemp.
Raw Hemp CBD Infused Hazelnut Arugula Pesto
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1 heaping cup fresh basil
1 heaped cup baby arugula
2 Tbs hemp seeds
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional for a more cheesy flavor)
1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1. In a food processor, combine hazelnuts arugula, basil, hemp seeds, lemon, nutritional yeast (if using) and garlic and process until combined yet still chunky.
2. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil and Hemp CBD Extract through the food tube in a steady stream. Stop and scrape the sides of the food processor as needed.
4. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust to suit taste if needed. Store in a glass container in the fridge.
Note: This pesto should be consumed within 5-7 days. Can be stored in the freezer for 3-4 months. Browning is normal as the fresh greens begin to oxidize. Add a touch more lemon to help prevent this from happening.