Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pink Pesto Pasta! GF, V, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Hey Happy Tummies!

Can you believe that we're almost halfway through August?! I mean, seriously! Slow down, Summer!!
Ah well, we must enjoy these last several weeks while we can :)

So as I told you, I did some major cooking while I was home earlier this month.

My brother and his wife had a baby!! So I was home visiting them:)

One day, I decided to cook a meal for them! This is a really great meal for when you’re cooking for people that don’t have dietary restrictions. It’s absolutely DELICIOUS, and you don’t have to make a separate meal for yourself!

It’s called: Pink Pesto Pasta!

For myself (the SCD version), it was a beautiful plate of sautéed veggies with a creamy pesto sauce.

For the “normal eaters,” I took my share of the veggies w/ pesto out, and then tossed the remaining veggies with some gluten free (or regular) pasta!

And the beauty of this dish is that it can be pretty much made ahead of time! I had the pesto all made, and the veggies all chopped. So when I got to their house, all I needed to do was sauté the veggies and cook the pasta! Voila! Instant gourmet meal!

Pesto is one of THE EASIEST things you can make that gets you the biggest “bang” for your effort. It really is SO simple and fast, and is SO incredibly delicious. It instantly elevates a dish to "gourmet level" when you announce “homemade pesto!”

And my version was Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here’s what you need: (Serves 5)

2 red peppers, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 ½- 2 cups grape tomatoes
1 beet, small dice
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic

1 ½ - 2 cups fresh basil
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp pine nuts
1 garlic clove
juice of 3/4 lemon
1-2 Tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper

Optional garnish for your dairy-eating guests: Feta, Goat or Parmesan cheese

Super simple pesto: Throw everything into the food processor and turn it on. DONE! Ok, you’ll need to scrape the sides several times, but come on, how incredible easy is that?!?! So then, I packaged that up in a Tupperware and threw it in the fridge.

To sauté your veggies, you’ll want to start out by browning your mushrooms, since you don’t want them becoming mushy and absorbing too much liquid. In the biggest frying pan you have, spritz it with olive oil. In a single layer, spread out your mushrooms. Do not sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let them sit, untouched for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Then, flip them, and let the other side caramelize for about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

**At the same time, if you’re also making pasta for your guests, boil the water and cook the pasta.

In the same huge frying pan, add 1-2 tsp EVOO. Add your beets and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Then, add your zucchini and peppers. Reseason with salt and pepper. Stir those around for about 4 more minutes. Stir in your garlic and let it cook for 2 minutes. Finally, stir in your tomatoes and let them cook for 1 minute before turning off the heat.

Now all you have left to do is toss this mixture with the pesto. Toss the veggies with the pasta right before you serve, and once the veggies cool a bit. If you add the pesto while it’s piping hot, it loses a lot of the basil flavor.

Once the veggies are tossed with the pesto, take out your share of the veggies (about 1/5 of the mixture.) Put them on your plate and top with 1/5 of the browned mushrooms.

Toss the pasta with the remaining pesto veggies until everything is coated. Garnish the top with the remaining browned mushrooms. This is the beautiful dish for your guests! **You can also top with Feta, Goat, or Parmesan cheese if your guests desire.**

My family absolutely RAVED about this dish. They seriously couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about how much they enjoyed it:) They couldn’t believe that I was able to make it in such a short amount of time. Seriously, by the time I had boiled the water for the pasta, it was ready to go!

And it was a really pretty dish. The pasta takes on this beautiful pink hue from the beets. It is absolutely stunning.

And my veggie dish was incredible too! I am such a fan of pesto, and in this dish, it really was the star of the show! The combination of beets and pesto is one of my favor flavor profiles! They compliment each other so well.

And I didn’t cook the life out of the veggies, so they still had a nice bite to them. It was just wonderful.
Cooking the mushrooms separate seems like a silly, trivial step, but it really makes a huge difference. Cooking such a large amount of veggies like that tends to steam them more than brown them. So by cooking the mushrooms separately allowed them to brown and remain nice and chewy.
Every bite with a mushroom was like a little surprise :) Simply Delicious.

Again, this was a great meal if you want to cook for your friends who don’t have any dietary restrictions. You both get an outrageously tasty, and healthy meal!

But be careful -- once you cook for them, they’re going to want you to do it again and again!! :D

On another note, while I was home, my mom had found a little goodie for me at the grocery store! She found these bars, Paleo Crunch by Steve's PaleoGoods! And my gosh, they were GOOD!

Unlike Larabars, they don’t have dates in them! They’re only sweetened with dried pineapple and coconut.

Check the ingredients! All organic, and super low in sugar.

I love Larabars, but dates don’t really agree with my tummy. They’re super high in sugar. Case in point: a Larabar has 18 grams of sugar. That’s A LOT! This Paleo Crunch bar only has 6 GRAMS!! Woo!

Check out the texture – it was chewy with a nice crunch. It had a very nutty flavor with a subtle hint of coconut. And not too sweet. Juuuust right:)

Want more GFHT?  You can now get my e-cookbook, The Best of GlutenFreeHappyTummy for only $2.99 on Amazon!


  1. Pink Pesto Pasta?! That's a cute name!

    1. Thank you Rika! I couldn't resist---I love pink! :) thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

  2. I think I am going to have to start eating more gluten free. I need to buy your book :)

  3. Thanks Reba! Glad you stopped by:) Enjoy your night!

  4. I see I missed your birthday! I hope it was wonderful!

    Congratulations to your brother and sis-in-law, what a cutie!

    Yum, this pasta looks so good. Mmm. . .

    1. Thank you so much Ingrid! Yep, she sure is a cutie! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great dy!

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