But I haven't fallen off the wagon that quickly, I promise- I've actually ventured into the world of wheat substitutes. So this recipe uses a spelt pasta by Biona. It isn't gluten free, but has less gluten than normal pasta and is obviously wheat free. I was slightly skeptical of anything that promised to be an alternative to wonderful pasta- surely nothing can be as good?! But I was pleasantly surprised- turns out spelt pasta is delicious! It has a slightly nutty taste, and a great texture that is substantial and keeps a bit of a bite. Plus it's lighter than normal pasta so you don't end up with that swollen, bloated "I've eaten too much pasta and now need to go and lie down for a week" feeling. I could get used to this!
The golden beetroot in our Local Greens bag this week was such a brilliant bright yellow! Golden beets have a slightly less "earthy" taste than regular red beetroot, so the addition of pomegranate seeds in this dish bring out the sweetness and the spinach and red onion balance it all out.
I would normally have slathered this meal with some lovely veggie hard cheese or maybe added some feta, but of course, none of that anymore! But it was just as good without, and don't think it really needed it. I am finding it quite difficult to get out of the habit of adding cheese to everything, but I do feel a lot healthier for it and it is good to have to work a bit harder to make tasty meals without relying on cheese to jazz it up.
What are your favourite wheat or dairy alternatives?
Golden beetroot pasta
2 golden beetroots, peeled and cut into medium sized chunks
150g spelt pasta (or other type of your choice)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
handful of toasted pine nuts or seeds (I used pumpkin and sunflower)
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the beetroot in a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Shake the tray to make sure all beetroot is covered. Roast in oven for about 25-30 minutes until the beets are tender.
Cook the pasta according to instructions. Drain, making sure to keep about 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in a glug of olive oil until soft.
Once cooked, mix the pasta, beetroot, onion and garlic together in the pasta pan. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. (The spinach will wilt slightly from the heat but you don't want it completely cooked.)
Place in serving bowls and top with pomegranate and toasted seeds.