Bri here. It’s been a hot minute since I posted anything on the blog and it feels good to be back! I took a break as I planned my wedding, got married, traveled and started a new job. Of course I’ve been sharing my foodie journeys and other tidbits along the way on my instagram @thenuttypear, but I am so excited to be sharing a new recipe with you.
The change of season is here in Minneapolis, with cool weather and changing leaves. I think fall is a difficult time to stay on track as far as eating healthy and staying motivated to exercise. Let’s be honest. Shorter days, big sweaters and comfort food are all great reasons to let it go a little.
But recipes like this one make eating a healthy weeknight dinner not sad. Yay for happy dinners!
We generally follow a low carb diet for any meals that we plan/cook and eat what we want when we go out to eat or want to have a fun little date night in.
My 2 favorite things about this low carb recipe:
Pretend pasta that is actually good! (Edamame noodles)
Creamy, flavorful pesto (with two secret ingredients, which won’t be a secret once you scroll down 🙂
Edamame Noodles = Low Carb Diet Friendly Pasta Substitute That Doesn’t Suck
Don’t be offended spiralized zucchini, sweet potato and spaghetti squash. It’s me not you. Just kidding. We are not breaking up. But we might be taking a break.
Edamame pasta is noodles made of soybeans. Which means they have TONS of protein! 24g per serving to be exact. I love that there’s a substantial amount of protein in this meal, not only to fill you up but so that you don’t even need to add meat. Perfect for a meatless Monday or vegetarians in general. I used to get it at Costco, but haven’t been able to find it for a while. I was so excited to find it here!
Pesto: secret ingredients
I added two secret ingredients to my traditional pesto that you won’t even notice.
Nonfat plain greek yogurt – makes it creamy and coats the noodles
Spinach – you can’t taste it, it’s already green anyway so why not? I’m a fan of sneaky veggies.
Try this one out guys and please drop a comment and let me know what you think! Enjoy 🙂
- ½ box of edamame pasta (8 oz box) – where to get
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- Optional: Grilled shrimp or chicken
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ½ cup fresh spinach
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (plus extra for topping)
- 2 cloves garlic
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- Mix all the pesto ingredients in the food processor and blend for 30 sec – 1 min. I like to put the garlic at the bottom to make sure it gets minced well.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions (5-10 min total time)
- Turn the broiler setting of your oven on to high and put halved cherry tomatoes + a drizzle of olive oil in a small pan with sides in the oven for about 5 minutes. Be careful, they can burn quickly.
- Toss the edamame pasta with the pesto until well coated. It will look like there’s too much pesto for the pasta, but be generous! It’s best when you use it all.
- Plate the pasta first, then add tomatoes and shrimp/chicken if using. Top with parmesan and fresh herbs if desired.
Hello chilly temps, chunky sweaters and delicious comfort food!
I just love a creamy potato soup at this time of the year, but I don’t love that there’s not much nutritional value in a potato soup. They are usually made with lots of potato (duh) which means lots of starch which turns to glucose/carbs and doesn’t include much of anything else that’s nourishing to your body. Potatoes themselves are not unhealthy, but we tend to eat so much potato as it is (fries, pot roasts, hash browns etc). So one of my missions this fall was to create a comforting potato soup – adding nutritional value while keeping the yum factor 🙂
Soups are a great way to sneak in some extra ingredients that you may not notice but add protein and/or more veggies. Unless you’re eating veggies as snacks every day, it can be hard to get all your veggies in for the day.
So how did I do it? I still used potato of course, but instead of using all potato, I substituted some for leeks, cauliflower and broccoli. I also love adding plain, tasteless collagen powder to my soups for the added health benefits. You can learn more about the benefits of collagen powder and where to get it here.
Instead of using cream or milk, I used non-fat plain greek yogurt to make it creamier, thicker and add more protein. This ingredient is so versatile and can add lots of low fat protein to your meals. One serving of non-fat plain greek yogurt has 22 grams of protein!
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cups leeks chopped (about 2 medium leeks)
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1½ cups riced cauliflower
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
- Olive oil or avocado oil for cooking
- 4 cups chicken, vegetable or bone broth
- S&P; to taste
- Optional: 4 scoops collagen powder – where to get
- Fresh chives
- Steamed broccoli
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- STOVE TOP
- Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium / high heat and add 6 slices of bacon, if using as a topping. Turn every couple minutes until cooked.
- Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Keep the bacon grease in the pan over medium / high heat and add chopped onion and leeks. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the potatoes, riced cauliflower (can be frozen), broth and salt and pepper (keep in mind that the broth, bacon and cheese all add saltiness).
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Check the potatoes to makes sure they are soft. Turn off the burner and take the top off the pot. Add butter and mix it in. Let the soup cool a little for at least 5 minutes.
- Using a ladle, remove one big scoop of the “chunky stuff” (potato, leeks etc without much broth) and set aside.
- Put the rest of the soup into a food processor and add greek yogurt and collagen powder if using. Blend for one minute or so (you can also use an immersion blender but I find the food processor works better).
- Return the soup to the pot and add the scoop of chunks you set aside
- Serve topped with broccoli, crumbled bacon, chives and shredded cheese.
- SLOW COOKER / CROCK POT
- Add all ingredients except for greek yogurt, butter and toppings to the slow cooker.
- Set the crock pot according to its settings and the desired cook time (4, 8 hours etc)
- Once cooked and potatoes are soft, take off the top, mix in butter and let cool a little while you cook the bacon in a pan and set aside.
- Remove one ladle of the “chunky stuff” (potatoes leeks etc without much both) and set aside.
- Add the rest of the soup to a food processor along with the greek yogurt and collagen powder if using. Blend at least 1 minute (you can also use an immersion blender but I find the food processor works better).
- Return to the pot with the scoop of chunks you set aside earlier.
- Serve warm topped with bacon crumbles, steamed broccoli, chives and shredded cheese.