Recipe of the Week: Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

I had a little fun this week learning how to EDIT VIDEOS and even add text to them! OOOOOOHHH! A whole new world has opened up for me!

So, I’m starting yet ANOTHER fun new project that I hope continues and I grow in developing- Small Kitchen, Great Meal. This was really just a tester video, but I’m actually pretty happy with it, to be honest.

All the information is in the video, but here’s the breakdown:

Cooking for People Who Are Afraid to Cook

Many people have approached me for help navigating these uncertain times, particularly about food. A lot of us have gotten quite reliant on fast food, take out, or grabbing quick meals from the grocery store each night that we don’t quite know what to do in that one room with a sink, a hot cooking thing (oven), and the food cooly thing (fridge), much less the spinny, slicey thing (blender), or sharp cutty things (knife).  Even more of us may watch shows like America’s Test Kitchen or the Great British Baking Show and think “Geez, I could never cook those meals, my kitchen is WAY too small!”

Well, fear not, my friends. I can help. ZooFit can help. I am not at ALL a trained cook. Actually, I learned to cook while trying to quit smoking. Several things happened in that time- I cooked A LOT. My cravings for cigarettes went away, and were replaced with inexplicable urges to cook. And I got really good at experimenting, or playing with my food, and creating recipes of my own from recipes I tried from other sources. Honestly, where do you think chefs get their ideas? From the sky?

Small Kitchen, Great Meal

I want to show people the kitchen isn’t scary. You don’t need state of the art appliances, a vast spotless kitchen, or a masters degree in culinary arts to cook great meals. You just need to practice.

Here is my very first Small Kitchen, Great Meals video:

I’ll share with you the original recipe with salmon, so you can try that version if you wish:

Salmon with Red Pepper Pesto  

 Serves 2:  402 calories, Carbs- 1.9 g, Fat- 17 g, Protein- 34.5 g

  • 2 salmon fillets, about 4 oz each
  • ¼ cup roasted red pepper (jar, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil + extra for brushing
  • 3 Tbsp almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  1. Preheat skillet over medium heat.  Brush olive oil on skillet and lightly sprinkle some salt and pepper on fillets.  Arrange fish in pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until done to desired degree.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients (red pepper through garlic clove) in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Plate fish and serve pesto on fish or in a side dish for dipping.

Here is my modified version for Pasta:

Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

  • 1 cup roasted red bell pepper (from a jar or oven roasted)
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions

  1. Heat plenty of water in a large pasta pot.
  2. Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or puree until smooth.
  3. Once water is boiling, add desired amount of pasta to pot. Stir, lower temperature to medium low, cover and let cook.
  4. Start making Almond Parmesan (recipe below).
  5. Once pasta is ready, combine pesto sauce with pasta in very large bowl. Top or mix in almond parmesan. Enjoy!

Almond Parmesan

  •  1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp lemon rind or lemon juice
  • 1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse or chop until almonds are crushed and mixture is fine like parmesan cheese texture.

Small kitchens can make some amazing meals. Have fun in your kitchen and stay safe while eating clean, living green, and training positive!

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