This week, Tone It Up launched their first cook-off challenge, and it’s right up my street! With a list of five ingredients from which each recipe has to choose three (Kale, Avocado, Pomegranate, Tone It Up Protein and Spaghetti Squash), it took me a while to figure out a flavour combination that would work! I wanted to go for something savoury that would make a great lunch. I also wanted it to be a recipe that could easily be prepared for the whole week, since I really rely on meal-prepping these days. If I haven’t planned and prepped, I end up eating junk! With that in mind, I decided to share Jake’s Kale Pesto Pasta, topped with avocado and fresh pomegranate. It sounds like a strange combination, but it’s actually the perfect balance of creamy, fruity and tangy, believe me!
A few notes on pasta and on pomegranate before we dive into the recipe for kale pesto! I really enjoy white pasta every so often, it’s a great source of carbs, especially the night before long runs, and the texture is just irreplaceable in my mind. I do really like to mix it up, though, and there are now scores of pasta types available to cater to everyone’s individual needs. Most major supermarkets (including Morrison’s and Asda) now carry legume-based pasta. Green pea and red lentil seem to be the most common. Personally, I find the green pea version tastes more of, well, green peas, while the red lentil is a bit more neutral. I also find the lentil-based version more filling, and it has a better texture, falling apart less easily. But that’s a personal preference, I encourage you to try both! Brown rice pasta and protein-enhanced wheat pasta are also becoming more and more readily available, and of course there are lots of whole-wheat options available, too. Plenty of choice, and the all go beautifully with kale pesto.
On pomegranate, STEP AWAY from the packaged seeds. Honestly. First of all, extra plastic is a gigantic threat to our oceans and bulks up landfills like nobody’s business. Seriously. If you don’t need to buy something packaged in plastic, don’t. A whole pomegranate grows in its own natural, bio-degradable packaging. You don’t need to remove that and replace it with plastic. Secondly, it’s really bad value for money. A whole pomegranate will cost you roughly the same, but will give you four times the amount of seeds! And finally, a packaged pot will last for around three days before it goes off, while a freshly prepped pomegranate in your fridge will probably last you much longer. This is much better for kale pesto meal-prepping purposes!
- 400g pasta, legume-based or wholewheat
- 1/2 bag kale
- 1/2 bag coriander
- 50g pine nuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- sprinkle of salt & peppper
- 1/2 a medium avocado
- 2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, place back into the saucepan. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine all the pesto ingredients and process until completely smooth. You'll have to pause the processor every so often to scrape down the sides.
- Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to combine.
- Divide into five individual servings for the week!
- Before serving (or chucking into your bag to take to work), top your serving with 1/2 a diced medium avocado and 2 tablespoons of pomegranate.