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.
I tried this recipe last night, with the addition of some maitake mushrooms, and it is delicious! Amazing how well the carrots stand in for pasta…and they are sweet. I used a finer julienne.
Hi Angela, I read your new recipes all the time and have made several dozen from your blog and cookbook….but I hardly ever see reviews from people who have actually made the recipes and comment about how much they enjoyed or didn’t like the recipes. Was wondering if you don’t post those or do people not comment after they have tried a recipe?
Hi Barbara, You can often find the reviews/feedback of the recipe on the last page(s) of the comments. Hope this helps!
SO GOOD OMG! Angela, thank you so much for your recipes. My boyfriend has had an easy time going vegan thanks to all your recipes. When I gave him this he said, “No one ever told me that vegan food was so delicious!” So thank you. It makes me so happy that he and I follow the same diet now.
I made this yesterday and it was absolutely amazing!!!! I’m a new vegan and a new follower. Your blog is fantastic and I cannot wait to try more receipts. I’ve just ordered your book as well. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration :)
This looks FABULOUS! I am a newbie trying to eat mostly veggies, fruits and grains and limiting my dairy and meat intake and this is right up my alley. I love all the ingredients and I feel they are all easily attainable (and affordable!) which is usually a concern for me.
Thank you so much for such a yummy-looking recipe – can’t wait to make it! :)
Made this for dinner tonight, substituting farmer’s market scallions for leeks. I did serve it with pasta so my teenagers would have enough food to eat. It was a HUGE hit. I’ve had 2 requests for making it again soon and everyone cleaned their plates. I am having a hard time believing how many veggies my family has been eating. What more can a mom ask for? Thanks for sharing your fabulous recipes with us.
Made this today, added a bit of nutritional yeast to the pesto, AMAZING! Even better, my initially sceptical other half loved it too. Thank you Angela!
I made this last night and it was amazing. A perfect and light spring meal. I was skeptical about the carrots but they were the perfect pairing—I shredded them in my food processor. Just discovered this website and bought the cookbook at Costco. Every single thing looks great!
We made this last night (with pasta instead of carrots) and it was amazing! The pesto with lemon and sun-dried tomato was unique and really set the dish apart. When we were eating it, we both said that we would order it in a restaurant!
Made this dish and it was so delicious! Ate half of it for dinner and the rest cold for lunch the next day. Prefer it warm but it was delicious both ways.
I’m a newbie but I tried this recipe and it was awesome! I couldn’t find leeks so I used a mix of regular yellow and green onions. I will be trying your chia seed pudding next!!
This recipe looks just beautiful! And it’s such a fresh take on a traditional pasta dish. Can’t wait to try it – thank you!
This recipe looks great. Looking forward to trying it tonight. How do you suggest adding the lentils?
I made this pesto yesterday as a trial run for a dinner party I’m having Friday; it is so good! I made a wrap for lunch today with it and your hummus, along with various fresh and roasted veggies I had on hand.
Last week I made your almost-instant chocolate pudding (such a hit! I have since frozen a bit of left-over coffee to try with the next batch!), your roasted tomato-basil sauce, and your lemon-tahini dressing; all were delicious! I’ll try several more recipes from your cookbook this weekend; I’m totally addicted!
Thanks so much for your blog/book; switching to veganism a few months ago has been really fun, with the added benefit of correcting my cholesterol without meds!
Wow. WOW! Love this. I can’t wait to try this. Perfect for spring. Thanks for sharing!!
This was delicious. The pesto is fabulous.We have made it 2x. We used raw zucchini the second time. I love all of your recipes that I have tried. My only complaint is that they seem to take much longer than what you have posted. Any advice.
I am SO happy right now – just made this for dinner and my whole family thought it was so good! My first time using hemp seeds. Thanks for a great recipe – I’m excited to try more recipes from your site!!!
Yum. I can’t wait to try this!! My husband and I follow a paleo diet and I was a vegetarian/vegan for the previous 3 years. I have a dairy and gluten intolerance as well. We have been trying to incorporate meals that are both vegan and paleo-friendly into our weekly routine to try to reduce the meat intake, so a recipe like this is perfect! I’m finding that A LOT of your recipes fit the bill. Thank you so much for the delicious ideas!
I made this last night, and it was delicious! I ate so much of it, and felt great about it! Thank you!
I made this tonight and it was soooo delicious. However the hemp seeds wouldn’t go smooth and stayed whole. Is that because of a crappy food processor or are they meant to stay crunchy?
Gorgeous recipe though!
This is officially my favorite vegan recipe! I never thought I would like a recipe with JUST veggies!! (Especially carrots as the “pasta”)
The taste is just so delicious, I’m so happy I found this! Definitely a keeper!
I added garlic into the pesto, mmmm mmmm mmmmm!
Thank you so much for sharing and I can’t wait to try other recipes from this website!
I made this dish for my wife last night, and it was amazeballs!!! Seriously though.. Not to build it up too much, but we were thoroughly impressed, and I almost didn’t want to tell her how easy it was to prepare. It’s a keeper.
So happy to hear that Todd!
This was amazing! I loved the complexity of the green veggies together, and that pesto mixed in. Yum! I used a grater on my carrot and did a quick boil to heat them, but keep a crunch, and we loved it. Thanks for a great recipe.
I love this recipe so much and have made it for friends and family. l love to mix it up abit and add my favorites
Made a double batch of this recipe for the sis in law and my four year old niece, there were no leftovers! My niece loved having carrot “noodles” and claimed it was one of the best things she has eaten. I loved it as well, the sun-dried tomato basil hemp pesto was definitely my favorite part, oh and the leeks, so delicious! Will definitely make it again and recommend it to some of my friends, thanks Angela! :)
I was very surprised with the flavour of this dish. The pesto was truly delicious!! I am continually in awe of your creativity Angela, you are a genius!
I just put this into cronometer and it provides 15.2g of protein per serving (as well as being mega-rich in vitamins and minerals), which is just over 1/3 of the RDA for women in one very light meal. So no need to fret. Protein comes automatically. But if you can’t resist, I reckon green broad beans would be more Italian than edamame and just as delish.
Great recipe by the way. I’m a beginner learning to cook healthy meals for my parents, who are convenience food vegans. This site is a great resource for nutritious whole-foods meals.
I’ll probably serve this over normal pasta and cook the carrots slightly to soften them. Any tips on how to reduce the garlic? They are both haters. Is it essential to the flavour? What about keeping the garlic in the pesto, omitting the it from the primavera and replacing it with a small onion and some more Italian herbs like parsley or oregano?
Amazing! Love the addition of hemp seeds to the pesto.
I made it with buckwheat noodles. Was hoping for leftovers, unfortunately that didn’t happen.
Hi my fiancé is allergic to hemp seed. Can I replace it with something else?
Thanks for these wonderful recipes.
I tried the Glowing Green Pasta Primavera and everybody loved it. Easy to prepare and will make this again.
I could not find hemp seeds so I used roasted unsalted sunflower seeds for the pesto. And I added chopped fresh mushrooms to the primavera. It was delicious.
I just made this and had to come on here and post something about it. IT WAS AMAZING!! I didn’t even use a blender for the sauce, just added the ingredients at the end… sans the hemp seeds, was fresh out of hemp. But it still came out so amazing. The taste… And the colors… And the…EVERYTHING!
Even my husband, a very non-vegan was amazed at the taste. I had to give him mine and came another for me.
I cut the veggies in half for a single portion but made the sauce with the amount it called for… Worked out great!
Such a good dish, I’ve made it now three times and without fail! Today am trying it with frozen corn as there was a shortage at the grocery store. Putting it on quinoa with some baked yams… yum!
This mock-pasta is my favorite of all of your recipe! I have probably made it a dozen times. It’s pretty much perfect.
Even though it is packed full of fresh veggie goodness it comes together quickly with little prep work and cooks up in a flash. It works very well with seasonal substitutions of pretty much any kind. The pesto can be made ahead of time and freezes well for an even quicker fix.
This dish leaves me feeling sated but not too full or gross and pleases even the meat eaters in my life. Hubs used to fry himself a sausage on the side with it, but now he says this is perfect as is.
I made this last night. The flavors were out of this world!! I had a carrot juice for breakfast so decided to use this bag of black bean pasta instead. The pasta got in the way of the sauce though. Next time I’ll use the carrots or zucchini. Sauce was amazing! I will double the recipe so I’ll have leftovers. Thanks!!!
I really liked this, well everyone did. I didn’t use spiralized veggies I used real pasta and it was awesome. I made it exactly as written.
I just discovered your website last week while browsing for a recipe for raw energy balls. I have been browsing your website ever since! I fed my kids & my sister the crispy quinoa cakes and it was popular. I had to make a second batch!
I started 2015 with a cleanse and a decision to move towards a plant based diet. Being new to this, what’s the difference between hemp hearts and hulled hemp seeds?
I also wanted to add that I am so happy to see that you are Canadian! “Canadian girls kick a–!”
Thanks for your website.
I used hulled hemp seeds. It was the only thing that my local health food store carried.
Just made this for the first time. Could not get enough of that pesto! It’s amazing and super easy! Thank you!
Absolutely Ah-May-Zing! I loved it and so did my carnivore husband. So delicious!
This is an amazing veg dish – I make it without the “pasta” and since I can’t eat peas, I sub in brussel sprouts (about 1/2 lb) which I cook with the leek and garlic. So great! Love the pesto recipe too!
The combination of veggies + amazing pesto was killer in this recipe. I made it with regular pasta (brown rice spaghetti) instead of julienned carrots. If I made it again, I would add more pasta to make the veggies go farther.
I’m new to your Blog! I thought I would make Glowing Green “Pasta” tonight. I don’t have hemp seeds in my kitchen, but I do have hemp powder, flax powder and Chia seeds. Can I replace the hemp seeds with hemp powder; if so, how much? If not, what would you suggest I replace it with?
Went to Trader Joes, got everything I needed, just unpacked, the cashier gal accidentally forgot my hemp hearts :C :C :C can I sprinkle Flax Seed over top at the very end? The hemp hearts are there simply to add protein, correct?
I just made this! I used my spiral veggie cutter and made zucchini noodles. I added some salt and vegan butter to the noodles, and added a little rice vinegar to the pesto. Otherwise I followed it to the tee and loved it.
My husband and I made this, the vegan Caesar salad, and the chocolate pudding for our Valentine’s dinner and this was out absolute favorite! You showed us that it is possible to make dishes that are just as good, if not better that any restaurant! Thank you for making our day special and delicious! Would recommend this recipe to all!
I just made this recipe and it was so delicious. I sautéed one extra clove of garlic and this was just bursting with flavor. I also sautéed half of the carrots right at the very end to get them warm and married with the other flavors. I’m a college student, so trust me when I say this recipe is so quick and easy. (Secretly I wish it would’ve taken a bit longer to keep me from actually studying ;) kidding of course!)
I love it and I recommend you to try it!
Wow this was so delicious! I first made the recipe as is, except I didn’t have peas so I used some spinach instead, and I used some Pappardelle noodles (similar to fettuccine) instead of the carrots (still grated some carrots into it). It was SO GOOD!
I love this sundried tomato basil hemp pesto, it is so tasty you don’t even notice the cheese is missing. I made extra pesto and meant to save the rest to use on a sandwich with the buffalo hummus (for the “Ultimate 4-Layer Vegan Sandwich” http://ohsheglows.com/2013/09/04/ultimate-4-layer-vegan-sandwich/), but I devoured my pasta and leftovers, and made more pasta with the rest of the pesto.
The second time, I sauteed some asparagus, onions, red cabbage, corn, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and a little parsley, and threw that in with some bowtie pasta and the pesto. I’m tempted to make the pesto again right away, it was that good! Definitely would recommend making this.
Just made this for dinner and..
That. Pesto. Deserves. An. Award
The pesto was amazing!
First time cooking with leeks, and discovered my family does not like them LOL.
I might just use chopped regular onions next time but for me, this was amazing!
Sprinkled nutritional yeast as my “parmesan” and that was over the top good :)
It’s no exaggeration to say that this recipe (and blog) changed my life. I’d been slowly making the transition to eating plant-based whole foods but had no imagination and was struggling. Finding your blog in January this year really motivated and inspired me. This was the first recipe I tried because it looked fun and easy. Before that, like you and a lot of other people before we started eating this way, I hated cooking and was convinced I couldn’t cook. I ate convenience food and processed junk all the time and had a terrible relationship with food. Now I absolutely love cooking, and I think I make better food than anyone I know haha (I don’t tell them that of course)! I’ve also had an eating disorder most of my life too and, like you, i’ve found eating plant-based food makes me really happy and it’s changing my relationship with food completely. I see food for its nourishing and healing qualities now, rather than something to be demonised and either avoided or binged on. Eating this way has also helped me overcome depression and anxiety, which I let get the best of me for the past 10 years. I took myself off meds in jan this year and started eating plant-based whole foods, starting with this recipe, and I honestly think the food I eat is keeping those issues at bay. I just feel too good now! I adapted this recipe to suit me so I just throw a ton of dried basil in with the veg when I’m cooking it. (I don’t have a food processor yet so i found it hard to make the pesto, but it tastes great anyway!) Sometimes I’ll add extras like black olives, mushrooms, broccoli etc. I’ve basically eaten this meal in some variation for the past 2 months! So many recipes on here that I want to try though once I can afford the ingredients and equipment! Thank you so much for an amazing blog, for sharing your story, and helping me to change my life. Xx