EASY PESTO PASTA

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Cooking dinner doesn’t need to be a chore with this quick and easy pesto pasta recipe. This recipe is great because it can be made in large quantities, only requires a few ingredients and takes hardly any time at all to make.

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I have only recently started to add grilled capsicum into this recipe but love the new addition! It adds more flavour and I seem to always have some in the fridge.

I also prefer to use cherry tomatoes although these ones are bigger than usual.

In a pot filled with 3/4 water, boil until bubbling. Once bubbling add in the full box of pasta.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, cut your tomatoes into quarters and the slices of grilled capsicum in half.

Then add to a pan with olive oil.

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Then add one tablespoon of pesto paste.

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Let this cook for a little bit (10 or so minutes) then I liked to turn it off until the pasta is ready.

Once the pasta is cooked (I like to take a piece out and cut it in half and if you can feel it’s soft then its ready) drain it to get all the water out of the pot.

Then add the pasta to the pan with the tomatoes and roast capsicum and add one more tablespoon of pesto paste and stir till mixed.

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Pour into bowls and I like to serve with parmesan cheese on top!

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Quick & Easy Caramello Slice

With only 4 ingredients, you can’t go wrong with this quick and simply Caramel Slice recipe.

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I begin by putting the marie biscuits into a freezer bag (a little hack instead of crushing them on a chopping board so bits don’t go flying everywhere),

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then roll them until they’re all crushed, however for a better texture sometimes I like to leave bigger bits in there.

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Then in a microwaveable bowl melt the block of caramello chocolate (after breaking the block up into small pieces to make the melting process quicker) and butter (it’s better if the butter is already at room temperature). You’ll find that the chocolate and butter don’t really melt into one but that won’t matter as it’ll all be mixed into the biscuit mixture.

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Add this mixture into the bowl with the crushed biscuits

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Mix well and add about 3/4 of the condensed milk in (if you don’t want the mixture to be super sticky only add about half of the condensed milk)

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Then place into a tin

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You can leave as it is although I find it tastes better to then melt some plain chocolate and cover over the top.

I always tend to struggle with the chocolate melting part and find I over microwave it. So when you’re melting the plain chocolate make sure you do it in a plain bowl and stir after intervals of about 20 seconds. I also find sometimes it helps if you add a splash of water.

Alternatively you can always melt over the stove!

 

PASTA ALTERNATIVES

As the new year approaches the idea of bettering oneself is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The typical new year’s resolution to be healthier is a cliché one that for many isn’t sustainable. Being healthier doesn’t have to be a huge lifestyle change, it can be as easy as making subtle changes in your diet. One of these changes is to substitute the calorie high meal of pasta with alternatives such as lentil pasta. With a flavoursome sauce you can honestly barely taste the difference. Below are some healthy alternatives to pasta.

 

  1. Zucchini Pasta

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(Picture from Wholesomeyum.com)

With only about 17 calories per zucchini this substitute is perfect if you’re looking for a low carb diet!

Simply grate a zucchini and cook in a pan before adding your pasta sauce.

 

2. Lentil Pasta

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With more protein and fibre than regular pasta, this lentil alternative will take much less to fill you up.

 

  1. Spelt Spaghetti

 

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Spelt pasta contains more fibre and protein without the wheat. It effectively is much easier for the body to digest. Although it doesn’t contain wheat it is still not a good gluten free option as it’s likely to contain small amounts of gluten still.

 

  1. Shirataki Noodles

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(Picture from Pinterest)

These Japanese noodles are fantastic for a low carb diet containing close to zero carbs or calories. These noodles are 97% water and a great pasta substitute.

 

  1. Chickpea Penne

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Chickpea penne is loaded with protein and almost always gluten free (check the packaging).

 

  1. Edamame Spaghetti

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A great alternative to traditional pasta. It contains much less calories than traditional pasta with only around 180 calories per serving.

 

  1. Brown Rice Pasta

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This pasta alternative is full of fibre, great for your heart and digestive system.

 

  1. Black Bean Spaghetti

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Although you can still taste a hint of the black bean and a bit of a chewier texture than you may be used to, this is a great low calorie pasta alternative with only around 180 calories per serve.

 

For me it took some time to get used to these pasta substitutes. There’s no problem with just slowly starting to incorporate these into your diet, starting with ¾ pasta and ¼ zucchini because at least even that is a healthier change for the new year.