Beans for Protein (and pesto too)Posted: July 17, 2011
I have recently been trying to find ways to cut down the amount of meat we are eating. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. First, meat is expensive. Second, we should be eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and we can only increase those if we decrease something else we are eating.
I got the following recipe idea one day when we were at my sister’s house. She didn’t have any chicken, so instead she added white northern beans to the pasta she made for us. I thought it was great, and I loved that when the beans got smashed up you couldn’t even tell they were in there (perfect for picky kids!). I made up my own batch of pesto pasta and stirred in black beans, and served it up with sliced carrots. Even the hubby didn’t mind there was no meat!
Homemade Pesto (Thanks to my friend, Timothy)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
3 Tbl. pine nuts or walnuts
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Blend together in food processor (I use my VitaMix).
I only use whole wheat pasta. If you have trouble swallowing the heavier pasta, try adding about 1tsp of sugar while its cooking (for 1 14-160z box). I usually pair pasta with steamed brocolli, brussel sprouts, or green peas. I think this day we were in a hurry, which is why we had carrots. When we have tomatoes (and time) I usually dice those up and mix in with the pasta. The bean version is a new favorite around here.
Do you have any good no-meat recipes to share?