Does it happen to you as well to have a desperate craving for something you shouldn’t really eat? Well, of course it does, we’re all humans! Pasta with pesto, as an example, is one of my (many) biggest weak spots when it comes to Italian cuisine. It’s delicious, especially when prepared the traditional way with potatoes and green beans. Obviously though, still being in a regime of clean eating, pasta + potatoes is a carbohydrate bomb I don’t allow myself to indulge in.
Anyway, I had this desire for pesto since last Saturday, and today, while doing grocery shopping at the supermarket, it hit me. I had the solution for a not too heavy version with a different twist: using rocket and sunflower seeds instead of basil and pine nuts, and giant couscous instead of regular pasta. Plus, a whole load of oven roasted veggies to bulk up fibres and vitamins!
INGREDIENTS (serves 1)
- 50g giant couscous
- a handful rocket leaves
- 2 heaped tbsp shelled sunflower seeds
- 15g parmesan or grana padano cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 200g mixed frozen vegetables
Ok, so I oven roasted the vegetables to give them a more earthy flavour, but you can also steam or boil them if you want to stay on the lighter side, or pan fry them if you like a more robust dish. For oven roasting, just toss the veggies in a few drops of olive oil and put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, boil the couscous according to package instructions.
To prepare the pesto, a little blender will be very helpful. Put rocket, sunflower seeds, cheese, salt, pepper, oil and garlic in the jar and whizz until they become a finely grainy paste. That’s it! If you want it a little more liquid, just add a couple of tablespoons of the couscous cooking water and blend again for a few moments.
Drain the couscous, mix it with the vegetables and pour over the pesto, stir well, and serve.