Having an easy pesto pasta dish handy for lazy dinner nights can still be a healthy option. I am a fan of making my own pesto (which you can get the recipe for here). It is an easy and quick dip or flavour boost to a pasta.

This pesto pasta is a vegetarian version. I am not a vegetarian but have been eating more purely plant based meals lately, as I know they are very good for you. So this was my attempt at a vegetarian pesto pasta. I would normally add chicken instead. So if that is your preference then substitute the tempeh out for chicken breast (diced).

I always like to use wholemeal pasta when I can get it. I have found that it is not always easy to find with some supermarkets not stocking it. The wholemeal varieties are much more palatable these days than they used to be. Of course if you eat gluten free food you can also buy the pulse pasta or other GF options. Although the pulse pasta had a much higher amount of fibre which is the point in choosing wholemeal. Fibre is one of the foods that our good gut bacteria thrive on. So having a good variety of fibre is important for our health. If our gut bacteria are happy, we know that a lot of other health problems will be kept away. So always keep in the front of your mind the need to have a high fibre diet.

I chose tempeh in this recipe because I wanted a good source of protein, calcium and iron. In addition, tempeh is a fermented soy bean and fermenting can often help improve the availability of the nutrients found in the food source, which can be very important for a vegetarian or vegan as well as those with low iron [1]. A lot of beans and legumes have anti-nutrient effects, which just means the nutrients are in the food, but because of the way it is locked up in the product, our body can’t access it. Fermenting seems to improve this issue and make the nutrients more available.

The rest of the ingredients (besides the pesto) are really based on what I had available and can be swapped for what you have available in the fridge. This recipe really is very simple and barely warrants writing it down. The only other thing I will make note of though, is that tempeh is quite a bland flavour. I made the pesto pasta with the tempeh but ended up having to add sun-dried tomatoes for a bit of a flavour boost. Finding flavour enhancing options that don’t include salt is very important for our health. Salt is an over-used addition to most western diets and we would be wise to find alternatives that we enjoy. Sodium is naturally in most foods, so even when we don’t add it in, we will still be getting some and in most situations, enough for good health.

Here is my recipe. I would love to know what flavour enhancers you used for this recipe without resorting to salt.

I will update this recipe as I work more with tempeh.

Simple, speedy pesto pasta