Green Goddess Pasta

Green Goddess Pasta
I have decided to take a look back at some of my first recipes that ever made it to Clean Eating Goddess. I can’t believe I’ve been working on this blog for almost three years. It has been SO much fun and a great hobby. Now that spring is finally here, I was reminded of this green goddess pasta I made years ago.

I reworked the recipe slightly to include a chickpea pasta, shaved zucchini and asparagus tips for the perfect light dish. The pasta is loaded with protein on its own so there is no need to add any meat or fish. When buying pastas made from beans, be sure to look where it comes from and that the only ingredients are the bean flour itself.

Of course, you can do this with store bought pesto, but making it yourself cannot be beat! I leave out the cheese and add a little extra salt, lemon zest and a handful of spinach for bright fresh flavour as well as a vibrant colour. The cheese is mostly added for a salty component and really isn’t missed when left out. By adding the pureed avocado, you achieve the same creamy texture without the added dairy. I ate it cold, but would work wonderfully warm as well. I hope you love this new revamped recipe! It is full of protein, good for you fats and of course LOTS of flavour!
Green Goddess PastaGreen Goddess Pasta
Serves 3-4

Pesto Ingredients:

• 1 and 1/2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
• 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (you can set some extra aside for garnish as well)
• 1 small garlic clove
• zest of 1 lemon
• juice of 1/2 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 large handful of fresh spinach
• salt to taste
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pasta Ingredients:

• 1 package chickpea pasta (230 grams)
• 1 ripe avocado
• 4 tbsp frozen of fresh peas
• 12-15 asparagus tips
• 1 zucchini (shaved, I used a vegetable peeler)
• 3 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts (I used a mix of both)
• freshly ground pepper (for serving, optional)

Directions:

1. Lightly toast the your pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until oils start to release. (3-4 minutes)
2. Place all of the pesto ingredients except for oil in your food processor. Pulse. Slowly incorporate the oil while the machine is running, until a smooth paste has formed. Continue blending for 15 seconds to thin the sauce out.
3. Remove pesto from processor bowl and set aside. Now add your avocado flesh into the bowl and process until smooth. Place in a bowl and mix with fresh lemon juice so it does not brown.
4. Cook pasta according to directions. When the pasta is 2-3 minutes away from finishing, into the same pot, add your asparagus and peas. This avoids having to clean an extra pot! Drain and rinse with cold water to keep the the bright green colour.
5. For a warm pasta, put pasta back into pot on med-low heat. Add 2 heaped tbsp of pesto, mashed avocado, half of the peas, shaved zucchini, asparagus and nuts. Toss until creamy and combined. For a cold pasta, mix in a large bowl.
6. Plate and top with remaining nuts, peas, and asparagus. Finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon and some freshly ground pepper.

Green Goddess Pasta

Italian Eggplant Marinara

Eggplant Marinara

This recipe has become one of my absolute favourites to have in the fridge. Not only does it go so well on top of pasta, but it makes an incredible side dish for meat, fish, tofu and legumes.If you are not a fan of eggplant, it is still worth it to make this marinara sauce! It is my go to homemade pasta sauce. A good tomato sauce isn’t really about the quantity of ingredients but more about the quality. From my travels throughout Italy, I realized how SIMPLE every dish was. When you have great quality fruit, veggies, oils and so on, your meal will be amazing without having to do much to it. So for a healthy and truly delicious meal, spend a little extra money on your ingredients and you will notice a huge difference in flavour. Hope you love this recipe as much as I do. It will keep you nice and toasty as we head into fall.
Eggplant MarinaraEggplant Marinara

Ingredients

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 shallot (chopped)
• 2 tbsp garlic (minced)
• 1 cup red wine (I like any Chianti)
• 2 cans San Marzano tomatoes in puree
• 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
• 2 tbsp basil (chopped)
• 2 tbsp salt (or to taste)
• 1 tsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
• 4 italian eggplants (diced)

Directions for sauce

1.In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent, then add garlic.
2.Stir in the wine and cook over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add your tomatoes, chilli flakes, basil, salt and pepper. Using the back of your spoon, break apart the tomatoes until desired texture is achieved. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.For a smoother sauce, transfer to a blender.

Directions for eggplant

1. While the tomato sauce is simmering, clean and cube eggplant. Steam the eggplant for 8-10 minutes. This ensures a really tender eggplant without having to fry it in loads of oil.
2. Once the eggplant is tender, transfer into tomato sauce and serve!

Eggplant Marinara

Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

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I have only been blogging for a few months now and it has been a great learning experience. I really went into this with more confidence in my passion for cooking then in my writing. Both finding my voice and determining what exactly I want to share with my readers has been a truly interesting experience. I really don’t know if readers want to know more about me personally, less about nutritional information etc…What is so great about a blog however, is that the writing is truly reflective of a moment in time for the writer, reader etc… Today for example, I feel like showing a side that most bloggers don’t. A truly honest side that will show insecurities, mistakes and a general confession of my ‘go with the flow’ attitude. So here it goes…

To start off…I am an amateur photographer. I still have barely any idea of what I am doing with my amazing Canon Rebel. I highly recommend this camera because without any knowledge of this device I have been able to capture some pretty sumptuous looking pictures. All I know about taking great pictures is to ALWAYS use natural lighting. Most of my pictures are taken right on the windowsill. The bolognese pictures came out so horrible because I was rushing against the sun that was setting very quickly. It was already a rainy day to begin with so odds were not in my favour. In turn, my so called “food styling” was non-existent and I ended up with some pretty drab looking pictures (notice the dark/yellowish hue). But lets face it. If I wasn’t photographing this food for my blog, that would be what a home-cooked dish looked like in most homes, including my own. And that truly is why I decided to do this post. It is to encourage you to make more time to make home-cooked meals! So many people look at photographs taken in recipe books, magazines and blogs and think that they are too difficult. I always hear people say “I could never make that, I am the worst cook!” They also might think that if they make a dish and it looks slightly different in the picture that they have failed. I’m here to tell you that is simply not true.

I beg you to try to reach out of your comfort zone and try attacking a recipe you never thought possible. They don’t have to be my recipes, and they definitely don’t need to be gluten, dairy or refined sugar free. However by simply making more meals yourselves (and with loved ones) you will be more conscious of ingredients, flavours and what’s in season. Even if you are making shepherds pie, the home cooked version will always be healthier because it isn’t laced with loads of preservatives, chemicals and other gross stuff. So although my pictures don’t look as appetizing as they normally would, I am only human. I am just like you, doing the best I can. And now, on to the bolognese…

Ok, so I am sure many of you are surprised to see bolognese on here. Many of my recipes are friendly to vegans because my recipes do not contain dairy. Although I do not eat meat on a daily basis, I do still enjoy good quality meat from time to time. (Vegan readers, just skip this recipe for now and check back later!) Especially in the winter, there is nothing more comforting then diving into a bowl of brown rice spaghetti and meat sauce. By substituting the pasta with spaghetti squash, the dish has now become a summer staple. I know many clean eaters have different opinions on eating meat. But if you truly enjoy it, then there is no harm in having anything in moderation. Especially if you are getting organic, grass fed beef that has a lower fat content. That is just my philosophy, and many people will agree or disagree.

I love food too much to say NO forever to something I really enjoy. This blog is really all about that. I take foods that I truly love and adapt them to make them more wholesome and cleaner without compromising on flavour. So here is my favourite recipe for clean bolognese, I hope you enjoy!

Ps. Another error I made while making this bolognese is cutting the carrots in medallions instead of finely chopping it. By the time I got them in the pot and looked at how odd they looked in there, it was too late. But, they did taste delicious anyway.
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Ingredients:

• 1 spaghetti squash
• 1 lb organic, grass fed lean ground beef
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 carrots (chopped fine)
• 2 yellow onions (chopped)
• 3 cloves garlic (minced)
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
• 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
• 1 tsp ground pepper
• 1 can San Marzano tomatoes
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 cup dry red wine (don’t cheap out here, make sure you would drink it with a meal)
• 3-5 drops stevia (optional)
• fresh basil (for serving)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds and place on sheet pan and bake for one hour. I also bake the seeds on the pan and eat them later on! Pull strings out using a fork and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Cook onions, garlic and carrots until the onions are translucent and no longer firm.
3.Add oregano, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and beef. Cook beef until it is no longer pink.
4. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Break down the tomatoes using the back of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 35-40 minutes.
5. Add red wine and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add stevia (or other sweetener) if you would like the sauce to be more sweet.
6. Simmer on low for another 10-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the moisture has mostly cooked out.
7. Pour sauce over spaghetti squash and top with fresh basil.
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