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Avocado Basil Pesto Pasta with Lemon Garlic Chicken

RECIPE: Avocado Basil Pesto Pasta with Lemon Garlic Chicken

Avocado Basil Pesto Pasta with Lemon Garlic Chicken- Cook It Healthier

I’ve realized that I have been gravitating towards almost any other sauce but red sauce lately. I think it’s for a couple reasons, but the main one being that my fiance has the MOST HORRIBLE heart burn known to mankind. Poor guy loves Italian food, especially pizza, but that red sauce just causes his acid reflux to flare up bad.

The other reason is that red sauce just gets boring. I want to explore other flavors and use tomato as an accent flavor, not the entire flavor. Plus, it’s usually pre-made with a TON of sugar and other things I try to watch in our diets.

One of my go-to sauces lately has been basil pesto. It is packed with flavor and goes well on so many things – pasta, chicken, seafood, spoonfuls (what? who said that?).

I found this chickpea spaghetti at Sprouts recently and was dying for a reason to give it a try… Would you look at the protein per serving! 11 grams? That’s insane for pasta!

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Luckily, this pasta cooked up really well. I was worried because sometimes these pasta alternatives can be tough to cook, but this one did well. The downfall though was reheating the leftovers. YIKES. My bowl of spaghetti, which was pre-mixed with the Avocado Basil Pesto basically turned into mush. It was avocado basil pesto hummus…

Anyways, this pasta was a crowd pleaser when we ate it the first night , but didn’t hold up in leftovers. So it’s best to enjoy one night only.

Avocado Basil Pesto Sauce - Cook It Healthier

The sauce is pretty simple to make, so long as you have a food processor that isn’t the size of a sippy cup. I have one that is meant for small amounts of dips, so I have to make everything in batches. I tell you this so you know it is possible in things other than just a normal food processor.  That being said, having this Cuisinart food processor would be ideal to make the sauce. Here’s to hoping I get one as a wedding gift later this year!

I N G R E D I E N T S

For the chicken

For the sauce

  • 2 large, ripe, avocados
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic (I prefer to roast garlic first)
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1 fresh lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3-4 tbsp. EVOO

I N S T R U C T I O N S

  1. The key to the chicken being flavorful is marinating it in all the juices and seasonings at least 24 hours ahead of time. I add all the chicken to a gallon bag, then blend the lemon juice and fresh basil in my mini food processor. Then I add the blended juice/basil to the bag + the Primal Plate garlic seasoning. Toss it around so all the chicken breasts are moistened with the juice and leave in your fridge to marinate over night.
  2. When you’re read to make the sauce. add the pine nuts, lemon juice and spices to your food processor first. Blend until creamy. Then add in the basil and avocados and blend thoroughly until creamy.
  3. Next you will slowly add the EVOO and sea salt (and cracked pepper to taste) into the mix until everything is blended and creamy.  I would give it a little taste and add more lemon and salt to taste. Remember, you can always add, but you can’t subtract. So I try to be modest with my measurements even though I personally add way more of certain flavors like lemon and salt.
  4. Set your sauce aside and prepare your pasta and chicken.
  5. I prefer grilling my chicken because I think it has the best flavor, but you can also bake. If you grill, I would start with 4 minutes per side on your chicken and then give them a check. There’s nothing worse than dry chicken.dry meat - Christmas vacation
  6. Then prepare your pasta according to the box instructions. See below for each dietary lifestyle suggestion on what to have with this recipe. These chickpea noodles were an experiment and a decent gluten free option, though I probably won’t be getting these again for the fact that they don’t hold up for left overs. So below are some other suggestions!

Paleo Diet:

  • Zucchini noodles
  • Top some steamed cauliflower rice
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Just use the sauce to top your chicken on a bed of kale

Whole30 Diet:

  • Zucchini noodles with the Primal Palate Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • Top some steamed cauliflower rice
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Pre-make the sauce and use it as a marinade on chicken then enjoy on a ‘stuffed’ sweet potato

Gluten Free Diet:

  • Zucchini noodles
  • Top some steamed cauliflower rice
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Quinoa fusilli pasta would be fantastic with this dish (personally, my favorite gluten free pasta alternative that I have found is made with quinoa. I have found that they just hold up better in dishes.)

Let me know what you guys think of this recipe! I would also love to hear all the other creative ways you use this sauce. Leave me a comment to let me know what you come up with.

xoxo Ashley

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