Beans for Protein (and pesto too)

 

 

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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?

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3 Comments on “Beans for Protein (and pesto too)”

  1. Beans are awesome aren’t they, I’ve got plenty of vegetarian recipes on my blog that use beans. That pasta salad looks really delicious.

  2. Christy says:

    I am loving beans! The trick is getting my husband not to miss the meat. He has been a good sport so far, but I think he got tired of the lasagna bean casserole we ate for 5 days straight.

    I will be checking out your blog! I am always on the lookout for recipes.

  3. Becca says:

    You got away with it because it was Mr. Hamlin. And you were an AP student. And an orchestra student. Don’t you realize the power that gave you!? 😉 We used to carry our violin cases around the halls with us when we were wandering the halls. No one ever gave us flack – we had our cases so they figured we were on very important orchestra business. Ha ha. I love that high school 🙂


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