Showin’ Off My Skills

As part of the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College, each student had to present a 15 minute cooking demonstration with a recipe including three assigned skills.  It was like teaching a cooking class in front of my classmates, complete with nutrition information.  My skills were blanching & shocking, cutting a medium matchstick, and using a food processor.  I racked my brain for about a month for a good way to combine these seemingly unrelated skills, and here is what I came up with!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad with Apples & Chickpeas

This gluten free pasta dish is easy to prepare and features a great variety of textures.  It is a little high in calories as a four-serving main dish, but if you want to reduce the calories you could omit the apples or chickpeas, or divide into smaller portions and serve with a salad.

8 oz gluten-free spiral pasta, such as Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Garden Pagodas
2 medium heads of broccoli, cut into small florets (about 5 cups)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 Tbs white miso
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pasta
1 cup chickpeas, cooked
1 medium apple, cored and diced
1 large carrot, shredded
water (if desired)

1. Cook the pasta according to directions on package, just to al dente.  Drain, rinse and put in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and toss to coat.  Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have a bowl of ice water ready.  Add the broccoli to the water and boil for 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice water to shock.  Drain and shake off as much water as possible.
3. Place the walnuts in a food processor and process to the size of large breadcrumbs.  Add the miso and nutritional yeast and pulse to combine.
4. Add the garlic, parsley, broccoli and salt and process until incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
5. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  If needed, add a little bit of water to thin to desired consistency.
6. Add the chickpeas, apples and carrots to the pasta.  Add the pesto and mix gently to combine well.  Serve at room temperature.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 695.29
Calories From Fat (49%) 341.75
% Daily Value
Total Fat 39.3g 60%
Saturated Fat 4.82g 24%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 623.75mg 26%
Potassium 614.6mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 77.36g 26%
Fiber 10.86g 43%
Sugar 6.27g
Protein 15.61g 31%

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8 Comments »

  1. babette said

    That looks like a fantastic recipe. I’ve very curious to try it, especially the pesto with miso, parsley and walnuts. Do you think it would be any good with brown miso?

    • veganhomemade said

      Babette – Any miso would probably do, since it’s just to add a little tang and salty flavor. Brown miso might taste a little more “dark”, I guess, but I think it would be fine.

  2. jessy said

    you rocked those skills, Erin! oh my goodness. wow! your broccoli pesto pasta looks divine! it’s absolutely perfect for summer – and i LOVE that you’ve got carrots AND apples in there. what a deeeeelicious combination. w00t!

  3. Mandee said

    Looks delicious! You must be enjoying your course and I bet the presentation went well 🙂

  4. chow vegan said

    No doubt you got an “A” for the demo, it looks delicious! 🙂

  5. Melisser said

    How cool! I wish I was there to taste those skills!

  6. Julia said

    How did it go?? That seems so challenging, but fun. Hope it went well. This pasta sounds delicious.

    • veganhomemade said

      It went well, thanks for asking! I was quite nervous while prepping, but settled down once I began, and was done right on time.

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