Tag Archives: Secret Recipe Club

SRC: A Calculated Whisk’s Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad

A Calculated Whisk Avocado Pesto-3
For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Becky of A Calculated Whisk. She also cooks gluten free (and paleo), so I was was spoiled in my options and with the eye candy of her beautiful photos!

Becky also loves putting avocados in smoothiesSalted chocolate hazelnut cookies, Mexican almond pulp browniesVietnamese caramelized pork meatballs vermicelli bowls and Pico de gallo de frutas.

I had a few avocadoes on my counter and some fresh basil that needed using up, so I ended up making her  avocado cilantro pesto pasta salad.

A Calculated Whisk Avocado Pesto-2

I did modify the recipe as I had basil to use up, so I replaced the cilantro in my version. I added garlic because what pesto is complete without garlic? I used my single serve blender instead of a food processor as it’s much easier to clean. I think pestos are supposed to be chunkier, but I blended mine smooth. I used hemp hearts instead of the feta as I had it on hand and I try not to eat a lot of cheese.

I tried it both warm and cold and I prefer the cold version of it. It goes very well with barbecued meat, making this the perfect healthy summer side dish! Mr. Bean and I liked it so much we are definitely adding it into our repertoire!

A Calculated Whisk Avocado Pesto-1

Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad

2 avocados
1 clove of garlic
1 c. Fresh basil
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. Hemp hearts, divided
Juice of 1 lime
Salt
Pepper
Green onions, sliced
Peas (optional)
1 lb. pasta (I used go go quinoa circle pasta, but feel free to use whatever kind of pasta you want.)

  1. Cook pasta to Al Dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, blend together avocados, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and basil. Once smooth/to the desired degree of blendedness, add 1/4 c. of hemp hearts and blend.
  3. Pour pesto over pasta, adding green onions, peas and remainder of the hemp hearts.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

A Calculated Whisk Avocado Pesto-4

What’s your favourite summer pasta? 

For the rest of Group D’s recipes, please click below!

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SRC: A Kitchen Hoor’s Bean and Basil Pesto Penne

A Kitchen Hoor's Bean and Basil Pesto Penne-4For May’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. She likes to cook healthy and low fat – and has lost ~100 lbs, which is quite the accomplishment! Christie is definitely an example of how healthy recipes don’t have to be bland or boring!

A Kitchen Hoor's Bean and Basil Pesto Penne-1

Christie has tons (and I mean tons – I’m so impressed with how regularly she posts!) of delicious looking recipes like her Orange Beef Stir Fry, One Pot Paprika Chicken with Spinach, Poutine for Dessert and her Banana Waffles with PB Syrup (I totally need a waffle maker!) She also makes macarons. So much talent and delicious food! It was so hard to choose!

I ended up choosing her Bean and Basil Pesto Penne and I was definitely pleasantly surprised with the results! I’ve always wanted to try pesto, but it seemed really complicated or full of dairy. Fortunately, Christie’s version is simple (2 steps!), vegan and delicious! Mr Bean liked it so much that he had huge amounts of seconds! I upped the recipe a bit so that I would use the entire 398mL (14 oz) can of beans.

A Kitchen Hoor's Bean and Basil Pesto Penne-2

Gluten Free and Vegan Bean and Basil Pesto Penne

1 – 14 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed (I used navy as I’ve never been able to find Cannellini)
3/4 c. fresh basil
1 oz almonds
1/2+ c. vegetable broth
2 -3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 box of Catelli gluten free Penne (or whatever kind of pasta you want), cooked to al dente

  1. Add beans, basil, almonds, broth, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to food processor and process until smooth, adding more broth if required.
  2. Pour over hot pasta and toss to coat.
  3. Enjoy!

A Kitchen Hoor's Bean and Basil Pesto Penne-5

Christie, it was a treat looking through your blog! :)

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!

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SRC: Collie’s Kitchen’s Roast Carrots

Collies Kitchen Roast Carrots-3

For January’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Nicole of Collie’s Kitchen. Nicole is a woman after my heart – we both love to cook and hate doing dishes!!

Even though it hasn’t been terribly cold here lately, I’ve been wanting healthy comfort food like roast veggies. I don’t think a week has gone by that I haven’t roasted any! Of all the veggies I normally roast, carrots aren’t part of that rotation, so when I saw Nicole’s recipe for Roast Carrots, I knew I wanted to give it a try! I had some leftover rainbow carrots that are only palatable when cooked (am I the only person who is a carrot snob? Normally we get carrots from a local grower and they are infinitely better than the woody carrots from the store, even the rainbow ones!) so I thought why not? (If roasting carrots isn’t to your fancy, Nicole has TONS of other roast veggies like Asparagus, Cabbage, Green Beans or Zucchini!)

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I used the amount of oil called for in the recipe, but I found the carrots were too oily and I patted them off with paper towel before I ate them, so I recommend starting with 1 tbsp and adding more if desired. Despite the recipe being simple, they were very tasty! Nicole was right, these babies shrink a lot!

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Roast Carrots

1 lb of carrots, cleaned and peeled
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. Cut carrots into slices and pile onto the pan.
  3. Pour olive oil over carrots, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat carrots and spread out into a single layer.
  4. Roast carrots for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how brown you want them to be. At about 15 min, shake pan and flip carrots over so both sides brown nicely.
  5. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy!

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Nicole, it was lovely to spend time looking through your blog! You have so many delicious recipes!

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!

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SRC: Bewitching Kitchen’s Avocado Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing

Bewitching Kitchen Avocado Orange Salad-4For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Sally of Bewitching Kitchen. Sally is Brazilian and a biochemist. She has a beautiful smile, an awesome kitchen, and mad cooking and baking skills! I feel like we have a connection as we both went grey early. :)

She has TONS of delicious looking recipes, like this Cauli-Couscous, this simple non-roasted “roasted” broccoli, this ultimate Apple Cake and this granola. She is also a champion bread maker and I am so impressed by all her Brazilian Food!

Bewitching Kitchen Avocado Orange Salad-1

I ended up choosing her Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing – definitely a winner! I changed it up a bit – I used a blender for the dressing as I’m too lazy to chop things that small), added orange zest and added toasted almonds instead of seared scallops (shellfish = bad for me). I expected it to be fairly spicy, but it wasn’t – just really tasty!

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Bewitching Kitchen’s Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (I used 1 orange plus the juice left in the membrane from the segmented orange)
Zest of 1 orange
1 jalapeño
1 small shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
2 oranges, cut in segments
Mixed greens (I used power greens mix)
Toasted Almonds (Optional – I ran out of time and didn’t toast mine, but I definitely recommend it to take the flavour to the next level)

  1. Simmer orange juice in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp.  It should take a little over 5 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Roast jalapeño directly over a gas flame (I used my BBQ), turning occasionally, until charred on all sides.  Let cool; remove stem, skin, and seeds.
  3. Place shallot, vinegar, reduced orange juice orange zest, olive and the jalapeño in a single serving blender container (i.e. magic bullet or similar) and blend until all chunks are gone; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss avocados, orange segments, salad greens,  and vinaigrette in a bowl.  Serve with toasted almonds if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

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Sally, it was a joy to read through your blog! I love how your fun personality shines through in all of your posts and your wide array of recipes!

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:

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