The Fit Life, LLC

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recipe Post: Vegan Faux Fredo with Kale/Walnut Pesto

You know I typically stick to simple, but delicious recipes because I don't like taking a lot of time to cook. But sometimes, when I have some extra time, I really enjoy tackling a higher maintenance recipe. Tonight was one of those nights. This is decadent, but still healthy! You will need a food processor and a high speed blender (or at least one of these--washing it out between uses). It is vegan and gluten-free.

I stole the original recipe from Healthy Recipe Ecstasy. So give that blog a read when you have some time. I'm posting the original recipe below, along with the changes I made (in red) to please our diets/palettes. It's always fun to add your own twist to recipes!

  • 3 cups kale (fresh with tough stems removed or frozen)
  • ¼ cup raw walnuts (I could not find raw walnuts, so I used regular walnuts from the bakery section)
  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (I had some infused olive oils on hand so I did 2 parts regular olive oil and one part hot red pepper infused olive oil to give it a little kick).
  • 1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast
  • Coarse salt & black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup vegan margarine (I used 1/4 cup unrefined, organic coconut oil). 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups canned white beans, rinsed and drained (Three cans of organic White Northern Beans)
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened soy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • Coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta (I used my Mung Bean Pasta "go to" for this. See picture below). 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (I skipped using any extra oil).
  1. Transfer the kale, walnuts and garlic to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and process to a coarse purée.

  1. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and keep warm, retaining one tablespoon pasta water.(I didn't bother with the tablespoon of water).
  2. In a large sauté pan over low heat, melt the margarine. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Transfer the margarine mixture to a blender or food processor, and add the white beans, vegetable broth, soy milk and pasta water. Blend until completely smooth.
  4. Pour the sauce back into the pan over low heat, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce is warm.
  5. Add the sauce to the pasta, and mix until all the noodles are covered in sauce. Divide pasta among 4 bowls. Top each bowl with 2-3 tablespoons kale pesto and some olive oil.
  6. NOTE: At first, it may seem like you have too much sauce for the pasta, but the noodles quickly soak up all that sauce. To reheat leftovers, I like to slowly warm the pasta on the stove and add ¼ cup broth to help loosen up the sauce.
Look how creamy the white bean sauce is. It looks like we splurged on heavy cream, but this recipe gets rid of all of that unhealthy dairy.
Here's my pasta "go to" these days. It's packed with protein and fiber--and it's gluten/wheat free!

About Me

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I am the owner of The Fit Life, LLC. The Fit Life, LLC offers fitness instruction and nutrition counseling in a holistic way. I focus on personal training using mainly your own body strength--very little equipment. I also hold a certification in holistic nutrition. Because nutrition counseling regulations are very strict in Ohio, I'm still working on what nutrition services I can provide to my clients; however, I'm happy to provide general nutrition information. I enjoy teaching TRX, Indoor Cycling, and Boot Camps.