My favourite package free go-to meal is my avocado pesto pasta dish, it has also been a regularly requested recipe for me to post.
Not only does this look and taste amazing but I can guarantee you can make this entirely package free. And if you don’t have access to bulk food store or market, they can be found at your local supermarket - there might be a little bit more packaging at the supermarket but I’ll share some tips on how to reduce it.
One of the biggest changes we’ve made to live more sustainable is buying food without packaging and reducing the amount of meat we eat. This meant we needed to get a bit more creative in the kitchen and learn some new recipes.
It also meant that some recipes had to be “flexible” and we could easily switch out items for whatever we had in the cupboard.
I’m not really one to follow recipes so it works for me to read a recipe and then improvise based on what we have, and this is how my go-to Courgette & Avocado Pesto pasta was born. As well as making this from package free ingredients, you can also have it vegetarian or vegan.
Ingredients, mostly package free part from the Pasta, we now get this package free at the bulk food store (spaghetti style pasta not available at bulk store that I have seen).
Vegetables – all vegetables used can be easily found package free either at your local supermarket, veggie store or farmers market.
Cherry tomatoes – We usually get ours at the local farmers market, but if you’re shopping at your local supermarket and you can't find loose ones, make sure you go for the tomatoes in the cardboard packaging and remove the plastic window (if it has one) before recycling. We have seen some supermarkets with loose cherry tomatoes as well!
Pasta – You can get package free pasta at most bulk food stores. However, if you don’t have access to a bulk food store or your local doesn’t have pasta, then you can usually buy pasta in a cardboard box at the supermarket. Remember to remove the plastic window (if it has one) before recycling.
Nuts – readily available at bulk food stores and in the bulk section at your supermarket, remember to BYO lightweight reusable bag or use a paper mushroom bag as supermarkets generally can’t tare the weight of your containers.
Parmesan OR nutritional yeast – this is where you can choose to be vegetarian or vegan. If you have cheese at home, use what you have. We love Parmesan cheese, so we still occasionally buy it in plastic packaging as package free alternatives can be expensive and harder to come by, however, if we’re lucky the local farmers market will often have package free cheese available – we take a beeswax wrap along to wrap it in. Nutritional yeast is known as a Parmesan replacement, which is a pretty good substitute which I use occasionally. This might be little harder to find, I have found it at the GoodFor store and know that Ceres Organics do Savoury Yeast Flakes, which you might find at your local supermarket. Of course, you don’t have to use either!
Avocado pesto in the making, using nutritional yeast.
Courgette & Avocado Pesto Pasta
Ingredients for two servings
- Pasta of your choice – we like to use whole grain spaghetti pasta, but you can use whatever you have available
- 2 x Courgettes
- A handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 x Capsicum (optional)
For the Avocado Pesto
- 1/2 an Avocado (whole if you don’t use the courgette)
- 1 courgette – grated (optional)
- 1 garlic clove (2 if you like it tangy)
- A handful of pine nuts or cashew nuts (you can also use walnuts, but as they have a stronger flavour you don’t need so many)
- A handful of fresh basil from your garden, or a few pinches of dried basil
- A handful of parmesan cheese OR a tablespoon of nutritional yeast (or skip this part)
- Juice of ½ a Lemon
- Olive oil (lots)
- Salt and pepper
Cooking pasta al dente
- Cut your two courgettes into long strips, not too thick, or if you prefer, cut them into thinly sliced rounds. Also cut your Capsicum into medium size strips and then grill both in a cast iron griddle pan, BBQ or in the oven until cooked.
- Cook your pasta to your liking, I like to add salt and a bit of olive oil to the water once it has boiled and before adding my pasta.
While your vegetables and pasta are cooking make the pesto sauce…
- Put a whole avocado or ½ an avocado and 1 grated courgette into a or a Nutri Bullet or food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients - garlic, nuts, basil, parmesan cheese OR nutritional yeast, lemon juice and a few generous glugs of Olive Note that if you’re using a Nutri Bullet make sure you use plenty of olive oil so it mixes well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once thoroughly mixed together have a taste, you might feel like you need more garlic, salt or parmesan OR nutritional yeast. The Pesto should be a relatively smooth consistency.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.
- Once your vegetables and pasta are cooked and your pesto is made, add everything in a large bowl and mix. I like to have mine cold, so I let the pasta and vegetables cool in the fridge before mixing.
- Top with parmesan OR nutritional yeast and maybe some finely chopped nuts to serve.
If you want to have this the next day, make sure you remember to add the lemon juice as the avocado can go brown otherwise.
This is my first time writing a recipe so I hope this is helpful, please tag us or let me know how you go making this yourself.