Meatless Monday: Pea and Avocado Penne

Meatless Monday: Pea and Avocado Penne

Meatless Monday: Pea and Avocado Penne

Pea and Avocado Penne is a vegetarian take on a traditional Italian dish.

Published June 11, 2012

Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of preventable chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.


Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is Pea and Avocado Penne. "Sweet peas are mashed with avocado and toasted pine nuts for an untraditional, yet luxuriously creamy, pesto sauce," writes the Meatless Monday website.


Pea and Avocado Penne, Serves 6

For the pea and avocado pesto:

— 1 1/2 ounces pine nuts, toasted
— 2 cups baby peas, shelled
— 1 avocado
— 2 garlic cloves, diced
— Lemon juice, to taste
— 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

To complete the Pea and Avocado Penne:

— 2 tablespoons olive oil
— 10.5 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
— 9 ounces green beans, trimmed
— 1 1/2 cups canned lima beans, drained and rinsed
— or
— 1 1/2 cups fresh lima beans, cooked


Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium-high heat for two to four minutes, or until the pine nuts become fragrant. Set aside to cool.


Place about three cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook the peas for one to three minutes, or until just tender. Strain, rinse and set aside.


When the pine nuts have cooled, reserve a few for garnish. Chop the rest roughly.


Place the avocado, pees, garlic, chopped pine nuts together in a large bowl. Drizzle with a few squeezes of lemon juice and mash with a fork until the pesto comes together, but still maintains some variety of texture. Stir in the chopped baby spinach and set aside.


To complete the Pea Avocado Penne:


Place fill a double boiler or steamer with water over medium-high heat. Add the green beans and steam for three to four minutes, or until just tender. Set aside.


Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the steamed green beans and lima beans, toss to combine and cook for one to two minutes. Add the cooked penne and mix until combined.


Reduce heat to low and add the pea and avocado pesto. Toss until the pesto is evenly distributed on throughout the penne, green beans and lima beans.


Divide the pasta into six portions and enjoy topped with the reserved pine nuts and a few extra baby spinach leaves.


This recipe comes from veggie.num.num.


Nutrition info: 418 calories, 16 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 62 g total carbs, 14 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar and 12 g protein.



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(Photo: Courtesy

Written by Kellee Terrell


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