lentil pasta with arugula pesto

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist EatsToday’s pasta recipe and giveaway is sponsored by friends at Uddo’s Kitchen.

Let’s share a bowl of spring-time pasta today, shall we?

It’s not just any bowl of pasta though. It’s LENTIL pasta. (More on that in a minute!) And it’s ARUGULA pesto.

Yums all the way around because it’s absolutely delicious and it’s absolutely good-for-you.

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

I’ll start with the pasta. Uddo’s Kitchen lentil pasta is made out of…red lentil flour! That’s it. Just lentils. Which means that in addition to being really high in protein (14 grams per serving!) it’s also gluten-free. Pasta made entirely of lentils may make you a bit nervous, but the texture is great and I think it would be hard to tell that there is anything ‘different’ about it.

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

Want to try it out? (Of course you do!) You can find it at Sam’s Club nationwide and Costco in the midwest. And you can enter to win two cases of it below!

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

As for the pesto, when I thought about what I liked to eat with lentils, arugula topped the list.

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

After a lot of research (during those middle-of-the-night feedings) I decided to try out a pesto made with arugula, instead of basil. We loved it! (Richie actually said it was the best pesto he had ever had.) The addition of lemon juice and zest makes it really bright and flavorful, and it’s a delicious addition to the standard parmesan, pine nuts and garlic. You could definitely use a different nut if you don’t have pine nuts – I think almonds or cashews would both work well!

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

In addition to being tasty, pasta and pesto meals are so easy to make. (The best kinds of meals, right?) Throw the pesto ingredients into the food processor and you’re done. Toss with the pasta, top with some parmesan and red pepper flakes and dinner is ready. (Leftovers are also delicious!)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lentil Pasta with Arugula Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups arugula
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • salt & pepper
  • 12 oz Uddo's lentil pasta
  • shredded parmesan and red pepper flakes for serving
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta as directed.
  2. While pasta is cooking, process garlic cloves in food processor until finely chopped.
  3. Add arugula (two large handfuls), lemon zest and juice, nuts, oil, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Process until desired consistency.
  5. Toss with pasta and top with shredded parmesan and red pepper flakes if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 397 Fat: 20 grams Carbohydrates: 38 grams Sugar: 1 gram Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 19 grams

 

Thanks again to Uddo’s Kitchen for sponsoring this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 easy trader joe’s meals

Last year, I shared a 5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less) and it’s been one of my most-popular posts ever since! It seems like we are all looking for quick meals that come together in minutes – I get it.

And I’m back with some more. I visit Trader Joe’s a LOT. It’s two blocks away and now that shopping involves schlepping a stroller + car seat up stairs…I’m there even more because I can only carry one bag (max) at a time. (Is it ridiculous that I still get a bit nervous to leave the house?!) Maybe you shouldn’t answer that…

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

Ideally, each of these meals would have a vegetable component, but some of these are lacking a bit. So to add a quick vegetable side, try salad greens with dressing (I love their refrigerated Cilantro Dressing), roasted broccoli, or sautéed green beans. If you are really desperate, carrot sticks always work in a pinch, too!

Country Potatoes with Eggs:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

The Country Potatoes with Haricots Verts & Wild Mushrroms is one of my new favorite items from Trader Joe’s, it’s SO good! Simply prepare the potatoes as instructed and fry or scramble an egg to serve alongside. It is suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Turkey Bolognese Pizza:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

You know I love my tortilla pizzas! (Pesto Pizza / Healthy Taco Pizza) and I thought trying the bolognese sauce would be a great way to switch up flavors, and get an extra boost of protein. Simply bake the tortilla until crisp (at about 400 degrees), top with sauce (drained as much as possible!) and cheese and bake until cheese has melted. (Brown rice and sprouted tortillas are my favorite to use.)

Falafel Sandwiches:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

If you’re looking for a vegetarian lunch or dinner, this is about as easy as it gets! Whip up a quick cucumber sauce, heat up the falafel and pita and your meal is on the table. Combine one container of greek yogurt, a minced clove of garlic and 1/2 cup shredded cucumber with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried dill, salt & pepper in small bowl and set aside. Heat falafel (takes 2-3 minutes in the microwave) and pita (in oven or microwave) and serve with cucumber slices.

Penne Peperonata with Sausage and Spinach:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

I branched out and tried some of the frozen pastas that Trader Joe’s stocks in it’s freezer cases. I didn’t have high hopes going into it and frozen pasta has always seemed a bit ridiculous – it’s so easy to make! Well, it’s delicious. And it’s easy. Remove casing from hot italian sausage (or use sliced chicken sausage) and heat over medium heat until cooked through. Drain and set aside. Prepare pasta as directed. Toss hot pasta over spinach (or try arugula!) and top with sausage.

PS. Looking for more? 5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less) 

asparagus & garbanzo bean salad

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Guess who hasn’t cooked a thing since having a baby? ME!

Now that’s not to say we haven’t been eating well, because we have. Between my parents, our cousins and friends, we’ve been SO well-fed and SO spoiled. (Not quite as spoiled as Demi though, packages arrive on a daily basis for that girl!)

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

This salad was the last thing I made before I went into labor and I will definitely be making it again soon for a few reasons:

  1. My favorite spring vegetable is without-a-doubt, asparagus. Now is the time to eat it!
  2. It combines my favorite salad toppings. (hard boiled eggs! feta cheese! garbanzo beans!)
  3. I definitely need more salad in my life. Vegetables have been seriously lacking lately.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

This salad requires a bit more than most of the salads I make, but it is SO worth it and it’s full of so many tasty things.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Butter lettuce, asparagus and radishes act as the vegetable base for this salad. We’ve got green, we’ve got crunch and…asparagus. See above.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

And for flavor, protein and texture I topped the vegetables with hard boiled eggs, garbanzo beans and some thinly sliced feta cheese.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Then there’s the dressing. You can go a few ways with the dressing. My personal favorite is green goddess, but it is an extra step. You could also use french (Richie liked it with his homemade french dressing) or a simple shallot vinaigrette.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

It’s pretty on a plate and is perfect for company. Serve with some crusty bread and some grilled protein like chicken or fish.

It makes me excited for salad.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Asparagus & Chickpea Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 4 oz radishes (about 1 cup thinly sliced)
  • 1-15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 oz feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add asparagus and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set aside and let cool.
  4. Divide lettuce leaves on 4 plates.
  5. Top with radishes, chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, feta cheese and asparagus.
  6. Top with fresh ground pepper, a sprinkle of salt (if desired) and drizzle with dressing.
Notes
Dressing not included in nutrition facts.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 203 Fat: 7 grams Carbohydrates: 24 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 12 grams

 

quinoa stuffed peppers

Quinoa stuffed peppers are a vegetarian dinner packed with protein and fiber! 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

You guys, I had the most amazing weekend. My cousins threw us a ridiculous baby shower, my Mom was here for a visit and some of our best friends were here for the weekend. There was no shortage of good food, cupcakes and conversation. (I am very disappointed in my lack of photos though, I didn’t get a one!)

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

And then the party was over and everyone left. I’m always a little sad after we have visitors who then have to go back home. Ok, sad might be an understatement. Depressed is a little more like it.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

But before I can even blink, it’s time to get back into the groove of work, cleaning the house and making dinner. (Which is probably a good thing, so I’m not home moping around…) And if dinners are delicious, it makes the transition a little easier to handle.

A while ago (like a year?!) I asked for the type of recipes that you guys would like to see and I’ve been working through that list for quite some time now! I received a few requests for quinoa recipes and specifically, quinoa recipes that your kids will eat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a quinoa casserole, only to be disappointed each time. So the quinoa casserole is not there yet. But today, I have a quinoa stuffed pepper, full of Mexican flavor (always a family favorite, right?) that’s not only healthy but really tasty.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

Quinoa is a super-nutritious grain (that’s actually a seed, but it’s typically categorized as a grain) – full of protein and fiber. Combined with some beans and cheese, each pepper contains 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, an excellent source of both. Here, I cooked the quinoa with a combination of broth and salsa (yes, salsa!) to make sure it’s really flavorful and then I added black beans, stuffed everything into the peppers and topped them with shredded cheese. It’s a delicious meal that’s vegetarian, gluten-free and definitely family-friendly!

And no surprise, this dinner is an easy one!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

One pepper isn’t really enough for a meal, so I’d recommend serving two of them per portion or adding something on the side like grilled chicken or if you want to keep things meatless, a big green salad with tomatoes, avocado and pepitas.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - a meatless meal that's high in protein and has tons of flavor! | anutritionisteats.com

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ cup salsa (use a watery salsa, like salsa verde)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stir together quinoa, salsa, water and broth in a small pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until water has been absorbed.
  4. While quinoa cooks, cut peppers in half, lengthwise and remove seeds.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until slightly charred.
  6. When quinoa is done cooking, stir in black beans and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture (you’ll have some leftover) and top with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pepper Calories: 262 Fat: 7 grams Carbohydrates: 38 grams Sugar: 4 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 14 grams