If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I have been creating a series of short, daily workouts for my followers to help them fit movement into their busy lives. Known as The Daily 15, The Daily Shorty and the Morning Dose, these workouts have been my savior over the past month, because juggling full-time work, caring for an infant, maintaining a household and starting a business has been incredibly challenging and a graduate-level exercise in time management.
Despite the fact I love working out because it is my therapy and "me time," quick workouts are often the best I can do right now. Similarly, although I love cooking, on most days, I probably have about 15-20 minutes to dedicate to meal preparation for any given meal, and so I have been scouring the Internet for healthy recipes that can be made, start-to-finish, in under 20 minutes (I'm quite sure Rachel Ray's empire would have been built on 15 and not 30-minute meals if she had children of her own...).
I recently stumbled upon a 15-minute pasta dish that is perfect for spring and so easy and delicious to make that I felt compelled to share it with all of you. Not only did The Man, The Au Pair, and I love this meal, but so did Beautiful Baby A, who is enjoying her solids more and more as she approaches 10 months old and has 4 teeth showing!
The recipe, appropriately entitled 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta, comes from one of my favorite blogs, Oh She Glows. If made with gluten-free noodles, it is vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free and gluten-free, but full of flavor.
My only modification to the original recipe, which can be found here, was to add halved cherry tomatoes to the pasta after mixing it with the avocado sauce. This adds a pop of color as well as some extra veg nutrition (I know, I know. A tomato is a fruit not a veg...), and I really think it makes the dish. I recommend serving this with some Ezekiel garlic bread, along with a side of roasted asparagus (because it is spring, after all). As written, the recipe makes 3 servings, but feel free to double or triple it if you have a bigger family or want leftovers for lunch the next day.
15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta
9 ounces uncooked pasta (I used tiny pasta so that it was baby-friendly)
1-2 cloves garlic (I used 2, which was perfect for us)
¼ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for a garnish when serving
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. EVOO (that's Extra Virgin Olive Oil - an homage to the 30-minute cook herself)
1 ripe, medium avocado, pitted
1 Tbsp. water
¼-½ fine sea salt (I left this out because extra salt is a no-no for babies, and we didn't miss it at all)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Approximately ½ cup of cherry tomatoes, halved (add more or less, depending on your preference)
Lemon zest, for serving
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, process the garlic, basil, lemon juice, EVOO, avocado and water in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more oil or water. Season with salt (optional) and/or pepper to taste.
3. When the pasta is finished, drain it and put it back into the pot. Stir the avocado cream sauce and the cherry tomatoes into the pasta until combined.
4. You can gently rewarm the pasta if desired or serve it at room temperature. Top each serving with a little lemon zest and some fresh chopped basil, if desired.
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Until next time, be happy and healthy,
Hello, friends! I’m Kathleen, the Kettlebell Mama. Welcome to bells & peppers – a blog dedicated to all things related to fitness, nutrition and healthy living. As an athlete, trainer, nutritionist, cooking instructor, attorney, senior executive and new mom, I have learned how to balance my personal health and fitness goals with paying the bills, spending quality time with family and friends and pursuing a demanding career – without losing my mind! My goal is to inspire, empower and provide you with simple strategies to help you become your healthiest self in a balanced, realistic and sustainable way. Feel free to read more about my story here. Thanks for visiting bells & peppers!