Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes & Kale-Walnut Pesto


- By Geraldine Campbell

Natasha Uspensky is one of our favorite nutritionists—and not just because she used to be an opera singer. The Brooklyn-based health counselor’s holistic approach to eating right and enjoying food is a refreshing departure from diets that ban carbs, gluten, dairy, or all of the above. We asked Natasha for a few of her favorite recipes for summer, when, says Ms. Uspensky,hotter temperatures are ideal for a diet higher in raw, cooling fruits and veggies and lighter grains that are naturally lower in fat.”  

This light, gluten-free pasta recipe can be served hot or cold.  The kale pesto is a super healthy alternative to traditional basil pesto and is a great way to sneak in some extra greens!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1 box quinoa pasta
1 lb mixed organic heirloom cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, slivered
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt

4-6 leaves of organic kale, torn from stems
1/4 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 organic lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (an amazing vegan alternative to Parmesan cheese, and a great source of B vitamins!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss cherry tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, vinegar and sea salt.  Roast in a glass baking dish on center rack for about 40 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender.  Cook quinoa pasta according to package instructions.  Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached, about 30-60 seconds.  Drain pasta and toss with roasted tomatoes and pesto.  Refrigerate remaining pesto, and use on crostini, quinoa, broiled fish, or on roasted summer veggies.

Natasha Uspensky is a Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor specializing in weight loss, digestive and gastrointestinal problems, hormonal imbalance, and the unique dietary and health concerns of performing artists, models, and busy professionals.  She sees clients at her Brooklyn location, as well as in Soho, at beautiful Ethos Collective Wellness. In addition to her private practice, Natasha leads workshops and seminars, corporate wellness programs, publishes the health and wellness blog, The Organic Beauty, the wedding and style blog, Charcoal & Lace, and is a Health Correspondant for One Minute News. 

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