Today I wanted to share something I’ve been dying to try out for ages – beetroot pasta! :Except, our government-sponsored electricity supplier decided to kill our power in the neighbourhood, so halfway through boiling my precious pasta, which I’ve been saving up for two weeks, there was suddenly a very real lack of boiling. So, this is plan B with all the toppings I had originally planned on. Boo hiss, but oh so delicious nevertheless.
There’s something magical about bright colours in foods that immediately whets my appetite in a way that smell and taste can only peripherally compete with. While there may not be any beetroot pasta and wonderful pink goodness to eyeball, I was SO chuffed that my dinky handheld spiralizer I bought sort of works. I’ve been looking for one of the big contraptions for ages with no luck, and it didn’t occur to me to look for something a bit more compact – my delight at discovering the last box has been rather immense and there has since been lots of smugness.I wanted the raw pasta for my lunch, but that’s not really Man-thing’s scene, so he got two pieces of rye bread smeared with marmite underneath, just to keep him from chirping too loudly. All in all, this was great! I’m not even sad about the lack of beetroot pasta anymore, except for the fact that it’s now chilling on the stove, half-cooked and probably very confused about its life purpose. Anyway, this isn’t a recipe post more than it is just a celebration of finally opening up the doors and windows and having a meal outside for the first time in our new house. I won’t lie though; the food was awesome.
Pretzel pesto + artichoke tofu pasta and toast (serves 2):
- 1 batch pretzel pesto (check to see if the pretzels are GF friendly if need be) – I added some mint this time around
- raw zucchini + carrot pasta OR toast (or other pasta of choice)/ I used approx 3 medium zucchini and 1 medium carrot
- 1/4 cup red lentil buffalo sauce (I added 1/3 cup chickpeas for extra thickness to the original batch)
- 1 roasted garlic nib, chopped finely
- 1 tub tofu (the kind that floats in water) – pressed dry for at least 1/2 an hour (I fold mine in paper towels between two dinner plates with books stacked on top)
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts (fresh or canned)
- Tabasco to taste
- Tumeric, smoked paprika, oregano
- Optional: strawberries, nuts, extra oil, nutritional yeast
- Press out your tofu in advance, then cut your tofu into blocks and heat up your non-stick pan to medium-high heat.
- When your pan is hot (a splash of water will fizzle), throw in your cubes and let them fry for 5 minutes with the lid closed, then flip and fry for another 5 minutes.
- Break your tofu cubes to create a scramble, then throw in your tumeric, paprika, oregano, as well as your modified buffalo sauce and artichoke hearts. Stir to coat and let it fry for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside with the lid covered.
- Meanwhile, make your pretzel pesto and set aside. If you’re sharing with someone who eats garlic, by all means swirl it in there.
- Use a spiralizer or cheese/vegetable grater to make your zucchini and carrot pasta. Drizzle some tahini oil and mix to coat – this will give it some sauciness OR just slice your bread if you’re a monster who hates awesome fresh vegetable pasta.
- Serve with your tofu artichoke mixture on top, and a sprinkle of nuts if you like (cashews roasted in some syrup and spices would be amazeballs in this). I splashed a bit of chinese bbq sauce over our stuff for that last flavour zing, but it works without as well.
Depending on your pasta portion this could make a really filling lunch or dinner. You can also wrap it all in a lettuce leaf or two and eat it like that, with the buffalo sauce for dipping – YUM! I even had some patty pans all steamed up to eat with the pasta but I overestimated the size of my stomach – raw pasta might sound like a joke to some but yeesh, it’s pretty stuffing and flavourful, especially with that touch of tahini oil.The red lentil buffalo sauce is just awesome! I loved it without the chickpeas, but adding the chickpeas just gives it that extra bit of density and even more protein pow. It makes an amazing topping for warm toast or in a wrap. Once our power is back on I’m making more – it’s definitely going to be a staple in the fridge!I went over to my dad’s place yesterday and got some amazing goodies – lots of fresh basil and mint from their garden, as well as some edible flowers. Beautiful! That’s how the mint and basil ended up in our meal – from one garden to another. I’m so frightfully jealous of their amazing garden – they have pumpkin, granadilla (!!), strawberries…pretty much everything awesome, BUT we got some people in yesterday to saw down trees galore (that were breaking down walls and stuff), so there’s sun everywhere and soon enough we’ll start our own.
We were also exploring in the garden yesterday and found this wacky bug! Its shell was cracked open and it was dry inside, so we’ve no idea if it was attacked and eaten alive on the spot, since it was clinging to the plant rather willfully. Does anyone know what it is?Speaking of exploring…guess who got to go outside today at last? We usually keep the little rascal in for a long time after moving, just to be sure that he won’t dash off, so he was very interested to finally get to explore the wide outdoors. Of course, there are birds EVERYWHERE, including woodpeckers and other stunning creatures, so it’s really going to be a bloodbath from here on out. It doesn’t matter though – he’s such a majestic little monster! ❤