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Warm Whole Grain Pesto Salad with Toasted Walnuts

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    Most people don’t know that whole grain pasta takes longer to digest and doesn’t put blood sugars out of balance. For more fibre, add a bean of your choice. Chickpeas in particular go well with most Mediterranean-style dishes. Freeze any leftover Basil Pesto in small portions for use throughout the year as a quick and tasty sauce or as a spread on whole grain toast topped with fresh tomato and ground black pepper.

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    Whole Grain Salad

    4 cups (1 L) water
    2 cups (500 mL) whole grain rotini pasta
    1/4 cup (60 mL) Basil Pesto (see below)
    1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Basil Pesto

    10 garlic cloves
    1/2 cup (125 mL) onion, coarsely chopped
    3/4 cup (185 mL) fresh walnuts or sunflower seeds (unroasted)
    2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) loosely packed basil leaves
    1/2 cup (125 mL) nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
    1/2 to 1 1/2 cups (125 to 375 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) salt, to taste

    To prepare Whole Grain Salad, boil water in large saucepan and cook pasta as directed on package.

    Meanwhile, make Basil Pesto by processing garlic, onion, and nuts or seeds in food processor until fine. Add basil leaves and nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese. With food processor on, slowly add enough oil to make sauce quite thick. Use immediately or store in glass jar with a little olive oil poured on top to prevent oxidization of the basil. Consume within 2 or 3 days or freeze in 1/4-cup (60 mL) portions. Makes 8 portions of pesto.

    Serves 4.

    source: "Full of Beans", alive #277, November 2005

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    Warm Whole Grain Pesto Salad with Toasted Walnuts

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