It’s taken me a while to feel inspired to cook spring recipes due to the move/renos and the on-again, off-again spring weather (ahem, fresh blanket of snow last week), but now I can say it finally feels like spring. Today also happens to be Earth Day which is even more reason to eat some plants. I love this time of the year and it’s been fun experiencing spring with a backyard again! Oh how I missed having a backyard. The tulips and daffodils are coming up, the frisky red squirrel is trying its best to take down our bird feeder, and Sketchie is sniffing the spring air through the screen door while the birds, bunnies, and squirrels drive him insane. It’s a good time of year.
Now that we’re starting to get settled into the new house, I’m finding my way back to the kitchen and away from the Indian food take-out menu (at least some of the time). The kitchen is slowly starting to feel like home, complete with fresh tea and vanilla extract stains on the laminate countertops (those were not designed for an avid cook, I tell you! ahhh) and the padded chef’s mat underneath my feet. Every time I cook in there, I get a bit more familiar with my new space and I find myself cursing less and less as I search for misplaced kitchen tools. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.
This recipe is an ultra-fresh take on pasta primavera – a spring vegetable pasta dish. Rather than relying on heavy pasta for a spring recipe, I decided to lighten things up with a fresh carrot “pasta”, which is simply julienned carrots. Obviously, the carrot pasta tastes nothing like actual pasta, but I promise you won’t miss it one bit! You’ll be feeling light and energized after eating this rather than sleepy and sluggish. I plan on making a seasonal summer version and a fall version to follow so keep your eyes peeled for those recipes later this year.
So what’s in this delightful spring dish? As per my usual style, it’s loaded with fresh vegetables. Leek, garlic, asparagus, and peas are sautéed with some pink salt, pepper, and olive oil. Ignore the snap peas in the photo above, I opted not to include them in this dish (but feel free to improvise if you’d like). Then I whipped up an incredible batch of pesto – my nut-free Sun-dried Tomato Basil Hemp Pesto adapted from the pesto in my cookbook. Kale can be used instead of basil if you prefer. It’s packed with protein thanks to the hemp seeds and it’s completely nut- and dairy-free without giving up that creamy, luxurious texture that makes pesto so great.
Once the vegetables are tender, I stir in the pesto. This is when things go from good to mind-blowing; a simple spring veggie sauté is transformed into something decadent. It’s one of those I-can’t-stop-eating-this-straight-from-the-skillet dishes. Hold me back! If you can share, it’s the perfect amount for two veggie-loving people – decadent but light, simple to make, and packed with veggies. I swear I felt the baby bust out a flutter kick dance recital after I ate it.
Glowing Green "Pasta" Primavera
This is my take on a lightened-up version of pasta primavera - a spring vegetable pasta dish. Rather than using pasta, I opted for fresh carrot pasta which is simply carrots that are julienned into very thin strand-like noodles. This is the julienne peeler that I use. The vegetables are coated with a decadent, but nut- and diary-free sun-dried tomato hemp pesto and it transforms this dish into something decadent and special.
FOR THE PRIMAVERA:
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, thinly sliced into rounds and rinsed off
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas.
SUN-DRIED TOMATO BASIL-HEMP PESTO:
- 1 small clove garlic
- 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1⁄4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup hulled hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt, or to taste
- With a julienne peeler, peel the carrots into thin, spaghetti-like strands. Cover with a damp tea towel or damp paper towel to avoid it drying out.
- Add oil to a large skillet or wok, and preheat over medium. Add sliced leek and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add a couple pinches of salt and several grounds of pepper.
- Add the asparagus to the skillet and saute for around 8 minutes more, until tender. Increase heat if necessary. Finally, stir in the peas and cook until heated throughout.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Add the garlic into a food processor and process until minced. Now add in the basil and sun-dried tomatoes and process again until smooth. Finally, add the rest of the ingredients and process again until combined and smooth.
- Stir all the pesto into the vegetable skillet mixture and cook until heated throughout. Season to taste.
- Serve the vegetable pesto mixture on top of the carrot pasta.
Note: If you'd like to add more protein to this dish, I recommend French green lentils. Edamame would work nicely too.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Lastly, I’d like to pass on some new cookbook reviews and interviews from these lovely bloggers:
Kim @ Our Fresh Kitchen (interview)
Valerie @ Vbouv (multiple recipe reviews)
Melissa @ It’s Got Vegan In It (review)
Ari @ Abe’s Market (interview)
Bianca @ Vegan Crunk (review, recipe)
Lauren @ Lauren Lives Healthy (review)
Alex @ Vegetarian Snob (review, recipe, giveaway)
Jess @ The Wellness Warrior (interview)
Richa @ Vegan Richa (review, recipe)
If I missed any of your reviews please let me know and I’ll be sure to add them to my book page.
It’s so green, I love it! This sounds like it would be tasty leftover cold. I’m traveling this weekend for a race and was trying to come up with some foods to bring on the trip that I could carb load with that didn’t need to be reheated. This may do the trick (and help me get some veggies in which is nearly impossible for me to do while traveling!)
Please let me know how that goes! I’d love to make this recipe ahead of time for work, but I’m not sure how well the dish would reheat.
This dish is great hot or cold. I’ve never reheated it as I don’t like to microwave my food. I would definitely recommend it cold and usually use it as an ahead of time lunch meal prep option. But am making it for dinner tonight ;)
I just got a spiralizer and was wondering if you think zucchini noodles would work just as well as carrots?
Great recipe and I hope your move has gone well!
Yes it totally would!
This looks so good! I love asparagus, and I am thrilled they are finally in season. I have been craving them all winter! And I love all the garlic you use in this recipe. Have to make it soon :)
I’ve been following your website and your recipes for a while now, and I’d love to buy your cookbook. The only problem is that it is appearently not available in the belgian iTunes store… Is it a problem that can be solved ;)? Do I have to change my settings in iTunes, I absolutely have no clue?
All the best and the best wishes for your expanding family!
Happy to hear that! Thank you. I’m afraid I’ve never purchased a book from itunes before, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. This is the link my publisher gave me though: itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-oh-she-glows-cookbook/id663459556?mt=11
The book is also available from the Book Depository if you are outside of North America: bookdepository.com/Oh-She-Glows-Cookbook-Angela-Liddon/9781583335277 They have free worldwide shipping. If you want a digital copy you can buy that from Amazon.com. As for the Belgian itunes store I will have to follow up with my pub. on that one. Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for the quick reply!
I’ll look into the Book Depository as soon as possible :)
No problem :) Hope it all works out for you!
It did work out, soon we’ll be eating those delightfull dishes of yours :)
great, thanks so much!
Last Saturday the cookbook arrived. It was an instant hit: my little (autistic) brother, who has a lot of allergies, could not be seen without your cookbook for 2 days straight. He even kept it next to his bed at night. The smile on his face was priceless! He is so happy that there exist tasty dishes that he’s allowed to eat :)
I was only wondering if one can substitute the oat flour for another gluten free flour, because he doesn’t react well to oats…
Thank you anyway for the lovely work you do! God bless you.
aww I’m so happy to hear that Johanna! Thank you. As for subbing oat flour, it really depends on the recipe so I can’t say it will work for sure, but it should be ok in most recipes. Did you have any recipes in mind in particular that you want to try out right away? If so, let me know and I’ll see if I have any info to provide.
Thank you for responding so fast :)
I was thinking of making the “Out-of-the-door chia power doughnuts”(p.41) and “the super-power chia bread” (p.229). We have quit a lot of millet flour and buckwheat flour in stock these days ;) could I use one of these?
He will be so happy having something different (just like the other kids) to eat than fruit during recreation time.
I think I am actually drooling here. I have been all about asparagus this year and this dish not only uses it, but looks like I could inhale it without it. I’m so glad you’re getting back into the kitchen because my tastebuds will be thrilled.
You’ll have to do a post on the new place and some before and afters. I love that stuff. So glad you’re getting settled and it definitely takes time to the find the rhythm in a new kitchen!
It looks absolutely amazing. I will be making it tonite for dinner! I’m wondering if this could be made eliminating the hemp seed?
Gorgeous & pinned! I love the contrast of the orange/green! Makes me feel healthy just looking at these images :)
This looks delicious, although I must admit I’m a bit afraid of so many carrots together at once! I may have to give it a try with a different veggie!
— Alex at cashmerekangaroo.com
Oh I know how you feel getting the new kitchen set up just the way you like it. This recipe looks beautiful! I don’t use leeks enough, I will most definitely pick up these ingredients to whip this up for dinner tonight!
That looks so yummy!! I’m definately making this soon. I think I will substitute fresh green beans for the asparagus since my hubby won’t eat asparagus.
Perfect colors for spring! I love how the new house is inspiring you to be creative in the kitchen!
This looks so LOVELY!!!
This looks crazy delicious! And so nutritious! :)
I just reviewed the book and also have a giveaway running through this week on the blog!
the pasta looks so perfect for Spring! xx
Thanks so much for your lovely review! So happy you are enjoying the book. :) I’ll add yours to the reviews now.
I love the book! Also Giving away a copy on the review post. Congratulations on the book and the upcoming addition to the family! <3
I love this recipe. My spiral cutter is one of my favorite kitchen tools. Lovely recipe!!!
This looks so good – especially the pesto! I love using raw veggies in the place of pasta! You’re totally right – its much lighter and leaves you with way more energy! Will try this with my spiralizer!!
This looks delicious. My only question would be: Can i replace the oil with something? I try at avoid any and all oils. Thanks so much :)
This looks amazing and perfect for Spring!
I went to Maoz (in NYC) today for lunch. I’m not sure if you’ve been there, but it’s 100% vegetarian with loads of vegan and gluten-free options. But it’s better known as simply a good falafel joint. Anyway, I got vegan rice pudding there, and it was so perfect on this slightly warm day. It’s kind of cinnamony and super creamy. I thought of you right away thinking that perhaps you had already posted a recipe like this, but don’t see one. Do you happen to have one? Also, if you haven’t been to Maoz, you should. It is so amaaaaazing.
Hey Sara, I can’t believe it but I’ve never made a rice pudding before! I should fix this :) I’ll have to try out that restaurant next time I’m in NYC!
So happy that the spring sunshine inspired you to make this dish! I am looking forward to trying it! Happy Earth Day! :)
I recently just started eating hemp seeds and I really like them. Cant believe how much protein is in one serving! The more I eat vegan dishes during the week (I still eat chicken, turkey, and fish sometimes) the more my body has been craving plant based foods. Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Could you please give me permission to post one of the recipes from your book (summer harvest tortilla soup) on my blog? I’m currently working on a review post for your cookbook.
Thanks in advance! :)
Although if you don’t want me to post a recipe from your book that’s fine…
Hi Courtney, My publisher has a list of approved recipes that bloggers can share – if you email me (press[at]ohsheglows[dot]com) I can hook you up with the list! Thanks :)
Angela – you have such a talent for making vegetables look so appetizing! You’re an inspiration. This dish looks flavorful and so delicious!
Julienne peeler, julienne peeler. I need one of those.
Love this lightened up version–fresh & light feels like the perfect thing to be eating this time of year.
Julienne peeler, julienne peeler. I need one of those.
Love this lightened up version–fresh & light feels like the perfect thing to be eating this time of year.
Wow what a delicious recipe idea and the pictures look mouth watering! If you have the time, and it’s a cause you support, please sign this petition asking McDonald’s for a veggie burger option to be added to their Canadian menu. Thank you and Happy Earth Day! change.org/en-CA/petitions/mcdonald-s-canada-add-a-veggie-burger-option-to-the-mcdonald-s-menu?share_id=iAmxFUgZPu&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition
looks amazing! just wondering about heating up the hemp hearts, I read that this can turn the good fats into trans-fats? have you heard anything about this before? Just got my cook book today in the mail! Can’t wait to sit down with it and a cup of tea! It looks beautiful!
This sounds SO brilliant Ange! I’ve never been a huge pasta person for the same reason you mentioned- the whole heaviness associated with it. Veggie pasta however, I could eat for days! I also love all the green here – perfect for Earth Day! Glad to hear you’re settling into your new space and getting back into the kitchen! :)
I just happen to have all these ingredients and didn’t know what to make for dinner. I have the sauce made and the rest sautéing. Smells great. Thanks.
Yummmm! This was delicious and very simple. I replaced the peas with edamame as I had some handy in the freezer, and I swapped the carrot for pasta (I realise that sort of defeats the point, but I love me some pasta!) It was very flavourful and moreish – definitely recommend it!
I only wish that this recipe made twice as much pesto! As a girl who loves her sauce/sun-dried tomatoes/basil, I was disappointed there wasn’t more. Note to self for next time!
Oh YUMMY! I love how you celebrate spring veggies in this recipe. Makes me huuunnngry. :)
Looks delicious – fresh and spring-like. I love asparagus so this will be a must try
I was flipping through my tabs when I saw the first photo and exclaimed “Oh damn, that looks tasty”! Can’t wait to try it!
I love the idea of Pasta Primavera on Earth Day! We’re just emerging from supercold weather so everything is still so very drab and brown…all that verdant green makes me spin with happycheer! Many thanks for the recipe…I’m gonna edamame it too for extra greenpower! :)
I Love your book. I just used one of your recipes for hummus. It came out amazing :)
Are you still in GTA or you guys moved somewhere further?
Made this wonderful dish tonight. So easy and SO DELICIOUS! Thank you!!!
What a creative take on “pasta”! I can’t wait to get my hands on some fresh carrots at my farmers market!! I love your book, and the recipes are so inspiring. I did a “review” of a few recipes the first few days I had it: thedirtysifter.weebly.com/1/post/2014/03/the-oh-she-glows-cookbook-rockin-tahini-granola.html?fb_action_ids=10102984168933417&fb_action_types=weeblyapp%3Ashare&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582
Cheers and happy spring…good luck getting acquainted with your new digs :)
Thank you so much Annaliese! adding the review now :)
Angela! You are so talented! This looks amazing! Love the raw veggies.:)
This looks so flavorful! I love cooking with sun-dried tomatoes. This is so delicious looking!
Oh this sounds so tasty and creative! Saving to try soon!
Thank you for this!!!! I have been craving a pasta dish and this definitely will satisfy!!!! I’m off to the store for some sun dried tomatoes today!!!
I JUST got the julienne peeler when I ordered your cookbook off of Amazon last month and I love both (clearly the second the most haha), so this sounds perfect to put that peeler to use more!
Hi Angela! My birthday was on Easter so my mom and I decided to make a vegan feast for my family. We loved your life affirming nacho dip and sundried tomato pesto! The cookbook has been Amazing so far we can’t wait to try more!
Hi Nicole, So happy to hear this! Thanks for all your support :)
Do you think grape tomatoes would work in this recipe? I happen to dislike the taste of sundried tomatoes.
you might be able to skip the sun-dried tomatoes all together – i’d worry that regular tomatoes would make the pesto too watery?
this looks so good – certainly glowing with healthy and yumminess!
Hi Angela! This recipe looks perfect for Spring, I love all the green!
I also wanted to let you know that I wrote a review and am having a giveaway of your cookbook on my blog; herbivoretriathlete.com/oh-she-glows-cookbook/
Thank you so much Anna! What a lovely review. I will be sure to add this to the list :)
I made this for dinner last night. Didn’t have hemp seed so I substituted pistachio nuts. It was fabulous. Thanks for such a tasty meal.
So glad you enjoyed it Robbie! Thanks for your feedback.
Thank you soooooooooo much for all your delicious recipes. I most recently been trying to become 100% vegan ( can’t say I have not cheated once in a while) but your amazing ideas of food combinations makes it easier to get back on track without sacrifycing my demanding taste buds (all about great tasting recipes). Easy, delicious and nutricious!! Thanks again!
Do you accept followers recipes for your website?