Carrot & Walnut Pesto w/ Baked Vegetables and Vegeroni

Recently I rediscovered a great little book from the 1970’s that I inherited from my beloved grandparents. Eydie Mae’s Natural Recipes for the Living Foods Gourmet is a wonderful healthy recipe book crammed with simple and creative raw recipes and I’ve been getting a little excited about all the healthy and delicious combinations.

The heath benefits of eating raw foods are obvious and while this dish is not a raw dish it does benefit from including raw carrots which are one vitamin and mineral packed little veggie! The carrot is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and manganese and raw carrot contains beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant that can help prevent cancer. Good for your skin, your digestive system and your overall health carrots are super healthy and super tasty too.

The ‘pesto’ is easy to prepare in a food processor and with the addition of dry roasted nuts and spices is super delicious. The recipe below makes a double batch of the pesto which means you’ll have enough leftover to enjoy in a sandwich, with crackers or like we did here in a fresh salad wrap. Combined with the tasty baked vegetables and tossed through warm pasta this vegetarian recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy lots of healthy vegetables in one dish. Served warm it makes a great pasta dish or try serving cold for a colourful and delicious pasta salad the whole family will enjoy.

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Preparation time: 45mins // Serves 4
Carrot & Walnut Pesto

  • 4 cups grated carrot (approx 4 carrots)
  • 100g (3½oz) walnuts
  • 60g (2oz) raw almonds
  • 1 tsp za’atar spice mix [or use any combination of spices you like, try sesame seeds, cumin, turmeric and/or sumac]
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs tahina
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juice only

Dry roast the nuts and spice mix in a frying pan over a medium/low heat for 4-5 minutes tossing frequently until they are golden, being careful not to burn them, allow to cool.

Combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, tahina and lemon juice together in a small bowl.

Add the grated carrot and dry roasted nuts and spices to a food processor and process until well combined, adding the apple cider vinegar mixture as you continue to process until the carrot and nuts form a fine pesto like mixture, set aside.

Carrot & Walnut Pesto w/ Baked Vegetables and Vegeroni

  • 1½ tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 470g (16½oz) vegetables, diced into 3cm (1½ inch) cubes [we used pumpkin, zucchini & capsicum]
  • ½ the prepared Carrot & Walnut Pesto [head over to Veggie num num’s flickr for an idea on how to use the remaining carrot pesto]
  • 375g (13oz) vegeroni (or any small shell like) pasta

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/392°F

In a large bowl combine the diced vegetables with the olive oil and sumac and toss until well coated. Transfer the vegetables onto a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft and edges golden. Remove from the oven a set aside.

Meanwhile cook the pasta to the packet instructions, drain well and set aside.

In a large bowl toss the carrot pesto through the warm pasta until evenly combined, add the baked vegetables and gently toss through.

Either serve warm as a great healthy pasta recipe or cold for a delicious bowl of pasta salad perfect for your lunchbox.

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