24 January 2011

A Powerhouse Dinner is Ready in 10 Minutes with Avocado Pesto Spaghettini


Avocados were once shunned by the fat and cholesterol conscious,but, in fact have been proven to reduce overall cholesterol levels. Within their creamy goodness is an excellent source of folate and potassium, not to mention thiamine, magnesium and vitamins B6, C ,E and K. Plus they are an antioxidant powerhouse!!!!!


So when I came across this recipe in a Homemakers Magazine I had to give it a try.  For one I am attempting to make healthier choices and for another it's pesto folks!!!! Since I have been dubbed by a small handful of readers as the "Pesto Queen" it seems only fitting to shine up my crown in the middle of a sunless Okanagan Canadian winter, get into the kitchen and amp up the vitamin factor. Tree-ripened avocados will never be a reality for me living in The Great White North but if left to ripen for a few days on the counter the store-bought ones will have to do.

Even in the depths of winter I can still find huge bags of basil at my local Choices grocer. Thank goodness for greenhouses in Canada! The addition of avocado to pesto adds a delicious richness and creaminess and lets you reduce the oil, as well as omit the pine nuts. This dish takes as long to prepare as it takes to cook the pasta. Who wouldn't love to have dinner on the table in 10 minutes on a crazy work night!!


I am submitting this dish to Presto Pasta Nights the baby of Ruth at Once Upon a Feast and this week being hosted by Jen of Tastes of Home. You will always find a myriad of delicious dishes from lasagna to Pho on her site.

Pasta is part of a well-balanced diet. Current dietary guidance calls for up to 65% of daily calories to come from carbohydrates.

1) Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles.

2) Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow release of energy which will get you trough all the kid taxi runs and other daily chores.

 3) Pasta is very low in sodium and cholesterol-free.

4)  Whole wheat pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion.

Pasta is not the culprit to weight gain it is what you put on top. It’s a fact:...reducing calories, not carbohydrates, helps you lose weight if that is your goal. Even if you are the size you have always wanted to be this dish will boost your vitamin content for the day.

This is a perfect dish for Meatless Mondays and will take less than 10 minutes to devour it all!!!The best 20 minutes of your life well spent!!!!Although I consume a majority of vegetarian meals it has been a while since I posted a recipe for Meatless Mondays. From Canada to Croatia, nations across the globe are taking the pledge and joining the Meatless Monday movement. Going meatfree one day each week is a powerful way for each of us to reduce our ecological footprint and reconnect with foods that are both nutritious and delicious.

**Avocado Pesto Spaghettini**
adapted from Homemakers magazine

12 oz/375 g whole wheat spaghettini
1 large ripe avocado, cubed
3/4 cup/175 mL loosely packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons/30 mL fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon/2 mL salt
pinch black pepper
1/3 cup/75 mL grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup/60 mL extra-virgin olive oil
Generous handful baby spinach
Hot pepper flakes, optional

In boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserving 1/4 cup/60 mL cooking liquid, drain.

In food processor, puree avocado, basil, garlic, salt, black pepper and 2 tablespoons/30 mL lemon juice. Add Parmesan cheese. With motor running, drizzle in oil.

Scrape pesto over pasta. Add reserved cooking liquid. Add a generous handul of baby spinach. Mix well.

Serve immediately, with hot pepper flakes, if desired.

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

41 comments:

  1. I love the healthy richness of avocados, and they're perfect for a pesto! What a great idea. Sounds like a fantastic pasta meal.

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  2. We both did avocados! I have so many now I should probably give this a go. Pasta is always what I make when I have a bunch of something laying around. GREG

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  3. I love pesto and I love avocado! I really have to try this pasta.

    I remember when I was a small child growing up in the 70s avocados were a big deal. The health nuts were all over them. Then they went out of fashion in the 80s due to the fat content, but they made a strong comeback. I'm very happy about that. They're like butter made out of vegetables.

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  4. what a nice idea for a quick pasta! I have never tried to use avocado with pasta, but I now recognize that it sounds very appetizing. Have a great week!

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  5. Love all kinds of pesto and adore avocados so this is a really winning recipe for me. Can just imagine the creamy texture and fabulous flavour!

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  6. I pretty much always love pesto, and I always live avocado - what a great marriage of favorites!

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  7. I really have to give this recipe a try. I use avocado to make sauces for other dishes but had never thought of it with pasta. I really like the way this sounds. Have a wonderful day, Val. Blessings...Mary

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  8. Pesto and avocadoes are staples foods at Chez Bullhog, but we've never combined the two. Thanks for setting me on a new food adventure!

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  9. I adore pesto but I've never heard of this avocado version before! Here's to good healthy fats! Yum.

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  10. Val, another incredible looking dish, I love avocados , what a great combination. You know how much I admire you and your blogging , I passed on a Stylish Blog Award to you via mine. Bon Appetit !

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  11. Oh my! This is brilliant Val! I would have never thought to add avocadoes to a pasta but I can see how well it complements this pesto dish...thank you for sharing!

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  12. With all those stats, you convinced me. I'll eat more pasta (ha, ha)!!

    I never thought of avocado with pasta but there's no reason why not. I have to give this a try.

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  13. Both main ingredients are staples in my kitchen and yet never put the two together. I will have to change this ;o)

    Thanks for sharing such a simple tasty dish.

    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  14. Rest assured that your title as Queen of Pesto will remain on your head with this recipe. I'd put this right up there with asparagus pesto!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  15. Avocado pesto is a newie for me Val, but if you made it, it had to be delicious!!

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  16. A ten minute dinner that involves avocados is perfect in my book! I'm trying this for sure. :)

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  17. What a terrific use for avocado! This pasta dish looks fantastic!

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  18. Love a good pesto! The avocado is a great idea for creaminess and natural fat.

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  19. I, too, never would have thought of avocados in this pasta pesto! Brilliant! But the avocados here in Pennsylvania are pretty much rocks shipped from somewhere. Do I dare?

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  20. The pesto queen, I like that! Every time I hear somebody say that avocados are fattening I just want to slap them, hehe. I love this pesto!

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  21. I love the idea of an avocado pesto, sounds terrific with the pasta, a must try for sure!

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  22. What a delicious change from my short list of pastas I cook on a regular basis. Great idea, Val.

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  23. What a great way to trick my Honey into eating avocado! He doesn't think he's a fan... so I have to hide it and this looks awesome. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

    PS... I'm a pesto queen myself!

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  24. I love avocados and this sounds great. You are so lucky to have basil! I can't even get here in Swift Current in the summer.

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  25. What could be better than avocado, pesto and pasta!? I am so making this. Thank you!

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  26. Nveer would have thought of using an avocado in this manner. Coming from a tropical country, we only use on salads and sides.

    It's something to try. Thanks Val..you are always a fountain of information.

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  27. This would be delicious. You have reminded me of a salad a dear friend used to make that I loved. Iceburg lettuce, or romaine (crispy bits), covered with a dressing of pureed avocado garlic, salt and lemon. Outstandingly simple and outstandingly delicious.
    YUM!
    Valerie

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  28. I love just about everything with avocado so I have no reason to think this would be any different. Sounds great!

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  29. What a marvelous idea, Val. Avocado pesto. It's new to me, but looks wonderful. I much prefer whole wheat pasta too...much more flavor. We're spoiled here too...so many things year round.

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  30. this sounds like an excellent idea.. i have some avocado right now and now i cant wait to try this. thanks for sharing this

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  31. i've seen and tried many a version of pesto, but this may top them all. hooray for avocados!

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  32. Avocado pesto? You are a genius!

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  33. Pesto Queen! I love it -- and avocados any way I can get them. What a perfect recipe.

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  34. Hi Val - it never occurred to me to put avocado in pesto, this is a grand idea! YAY for heart-healthy!
    LL

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  35. Anything with avocado and I'm on board. I love the idea of it in a pesto.

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  36. A meatless Monday my whole family will love. Avocados in the pesto; a fantastic idea!

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  37. LOVE avocados but haven't used them in pesto before, this sounds great!

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  38. I never thought to put avocado on pasta! But why not! Sounds lovely, Val!

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  39. Hi, the round-up is done and at my blog! Thanks again for participating 

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  40. I love avocados, but I never would have thought of using them in a pesto like this - fantastic idea I will definitely be trying.
    Sue :-)

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  41. Well, I love avocados, I love basil, I love pesto, and I am beginning to 'appreciate' whole wheat pasta. So this sounds really appealing to me for a healthier entree! I'm enjoying this journey of making better food choices that are STILL delicious!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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