Yesterday morning, I spotted a pack of squirrels throwing a Sunday brunch around my compost bin. The nerve! One of the squirrels was eating an apple core and another was feasting on a piece of burnt toast! Those crazy little buggers. It appears that the animals in our backyard do not want my compost waste to turn into soil….
This means war.
I even put rocks down last week to ‘prevent’ this from happening…
But no such luck! The squirrels moved the rocks quite easily and entered through the trap door. I peered into the trap door and a chipmunk bolted out giving me quite a scare! Well, I probably scared him more than he scared me, but still. :)
So, I dug up some bigger rocks! I also put a stick between the holes in the door to ‘secure’ it. I use the term secure loosely here…we have some sneaky
raccoons bandits around here!
I think I just heard the squirrels laughing at my ‘big’ rocks. sigh.
Eric and I spent most of Sunday installing the deck railing. It was monotonous work!
Sawdust-covered boom box, anyone? Am I the last person on earth who even uses CD’s anymore!? I think I need an ipod…
It went much slower than we anticipated due to the numerous measurements and calculations involved.
Or maybe it was the beer..
We left large gaps in two different places because we’re going to put glass in these sections. This will make the backyard more visible from the dining area of the deck and also from the house. We don’t want to close it off too much, so the glass will help open it up.
It’s looking more and more polished with each day!
For last night’s dinner, I intended to make the Penne and Roasted Vegetables out of the Clean Start cookbook, but once I got cooking I threw the recipe out the window and let my inspiration guide me. I just wasn’t in the mood to follow a recipe last night. Sometimes the cooking process is more enjoyable that way- if it turns out, that is. I’ve had many vegan disasters winging it, but fortunately, luck was on my side last night.
Vegetable and Edamame Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce
Inspired by Clean Start and 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta.
Yield: 4-6 servings
- Approx 300 grams (about 5 cups uncooked) Rotini or Penne pasta (I used Kamut rotini)
- 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen edamame (or bean of choice)
- Basil sauce: 1 cup packed fresh basil, 1 small avocado (or half large), 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, black pepper & red pepper flakes (to taste)
- Kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, to taste (I used lots of red pepper flakes so it had a nice kick to it)
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Sautee onion, olive oil, and minced garlic in a large skillet for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add in chopped vegetables (except for the tomato) and edamame. Sauté for another 10 minutes. Reduce heat as needed.
3. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 9-11 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Pour into colander and rinse very well with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
4. In a food processor, make the basil cream sauce by processing the basil, water, olive oil, lemon juice, avocado, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes until smooth (or just about).
5. Just before the vegetables are done cooking, add the chopped tomatoes, and cook for another 5 minutes until tender.
6. Add drained pasta to the vegetables in the skillet. Mix. Now, pour on the basil cream sauce and stir until combined. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste. Garnish with basil leaves. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4-6 servings.
This pasta is fresh, fresh, fresh…great for Spring and Summer. Hopefully I can make it again this summer with my own veggies!
I thought the sunlight gave the peppers a cool effect in this photo below…no diffusion disc required.
Kamut pasta is a dream. I buy it at Superstore in the natural foods section. It has a better texture than brown rice pasta, even though I think both are great.
The best part about Kamut flour is that it is high in protein; just one serving of this pasta has 13 grams of protein! It’s a sneaky way for a vegan meal to pack in more protein. For another protein source, I also added in the edamame which gave a fresh crunch to the pasta dish. Eating a vegan dish certainly doesn’t mean that you need to skimp on protein.
We gave this pasta two thumbs up and proceeded to have seconds.
I tried some today at lunch and it was also good cold. :) Leftovers here I come…
I hope your week is off to a great start. Happy Memorial Day to those of you in the US…I hope you are somewhere basking in the sun and having a BBQ!
Thanks for the info on the Kamut Pasta! I tried brown rice pasta once and found it to be a bit rubbery compared to whole wheat pasta…but i *may* have overcooked it. I’ll pick up some Kamut pasta this week because I’m def. trying this pasta dish this week. I love edamame!
As far as the squirrels go – we have the same problem, and were told to sprinkle chili powder over the base, or lid…..it did NOT work. I think they might have actually enjoyed the additional seasoning.
Hah that’s funny about the seasoning! I find it’s really hard to cook brown rice pasta perfectly!
Your food pics look to die for! The deck is coming along nicely!!
I honestly thought at first that you had MADE it to be a cold salad! It looks like it would be enjoyable either way! Thanks for the info about the kamut flour. I’m trying to make the switch away from meat, so knowing the pasta packs as much proteins as bean courses truly helps me out!
The deck looks great!! and the pasta looks amaaazing!
THIS SOUNDS AMAZING!! :D
i can’t wait to try this salad it looks amazing!! i love your squirrels! lol so smart!
You need a yappy little dog to chase the squirrels away! Our compost bin is open on the top – no sneakiness required, but we’ve never had problems with critters getting in. Our dog Polly, has scared them all away. p.s. the deck is looking amazing!
Heh great idea!
The pasta looks divine! What a great way to sneak in protein with the high protein noodles.
All your hard work is paying off…the deck looks gorgeous!
Have a wonderful day!!
Angela, this looks SO delicious! As it just so happens, I have some extra beans, avocado and onion lying around the house…I’ll have to make this tonight! Except for one this time… :)
Speaking of which, do you ever post recipes “for one?” I live by myself and have a hard time coming up with things to make that won’t leave me with 495834908534908 dirty dishes, too much leftover food, or 19 half-used ingredients lying around…
I don’t typically do single servings because I love leftovers and think leftovers actually save me time in the big picture (easy lunches!), but I’ll keep it in mind!
This looks SO good…seeing as I am already heading to Whole Foods this afternoon, I am trying this TONIGHT!
This recipe looks very tasty. I am going to add it to the menu this week. Thanks for always sharing all your GREAT recipes! :)
If this pasta dish is anywhere near as good as your Alfredo pasta, then I know I will LOVE it. Your recipes are ALWAYS the best!
This recipe is absolutely the healthy summer pasta recipe I’ve been looking for. Looks amazing, can’t wait to try it!
Yum this looks and sounds so so good. I think I might make it for dinner tonight because I have most of the ingredients on hand already! Thanks for sharing your always delicious and inspiring recipes!
Made the pasta for dinner tonight – was amazing – everyone loved it! Followed the recipe but used red and yellow cherry tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes and added some left over sugar snap peas as well. The basil cream sauce was fabulous. Just found your blog and I love your story – very inspiring! Looking forward to trying out many more of your recipes, they all look delicious!
I’m so glad that it went over well :) Great modifications too!
I just made this for lunch/dinner (leftovers!). WOW that basil/avocado combo is out of this world! I could eat that by the spoonfull. Thanks for the healthy inspirational eats! :)
i really like the way you do home improvement. my husband and i have been tearing our house apart and putting it back together for ten years now. we, too, have a sawdust covered boom box (CDs all the way!) and his favorite building attire is a pair of cargo shorts to hold the Pacifico beer in the leg pocket.
This was such an amazing dish. Love it.. mine turned out great and I really enjoy it cold:
Any chance I could leave out some or all of the oil? I am really trying to cut it out of our meals.
Hi. I made this pasta yesterday and we loved it. Since I can’t eat peppers I replaced them with chayote ( a mexican veg. I’m in Mexico) and corn and it was great. Love your site. Blessings
Made this for dinner last night – it was great! Added some sun-dried tomatoes with the pasta near the end of cooking, and roasted my veggies (zucchini, red onion, yellow pepper, sweet potato) in the oven before adding to the pasta. Really nice flavours! Thanks for the recipe!
I’ve been following your site for about six months and have made a few recipes . Tonight I tried your basil cream pasta and it was fantastic. It was so fresh tasting. I actually had to add some spinach because I did not have enough basil and it still tastes wonderful wish I would have tried it sooner. Thanks
This looks so good it’s making my tummy rumble! I’ll definitely make this soon… I bet some shredded carrots, corn, and spinach would go really nicely in this too! I’m really looking forward to trying out the avocado cream sauce! :)
Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!