Beef & Broccoli Pesto Pasta

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Looking for creative ways to use that head of broccoli that’s been sitting in your fridge for a couple days now? This pesto sauce is a perfect solution. It’s a great way to flavorfully and painlessly make vegetables the main part of your dinner tonight. The sauce is a flavor blast of garlic, parmesan, and broccoli all in one. Seared beef adds protein and iron to your plate while a bed of noodles is a great way to refuel after a long day with some needed carbohydrates.

This meal is especially good for long distance female endurance athletes because of it’s iron and vitamin-C content. To read more about the importance of iron in these athletes, check out the following article written by Kristi Spence MS, RDN, CSSD on Runsmiles.com. The vitamin-C found in broccoli will help the iron from the beef be better absorbed in the body.

This sauce can also be adapted for any variety of recipes out there; try using the sauce for homemade pizza or replace the noodles for a bed of lettuce to mix things up.

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Beef and Broccoli Pesto Pasta

1 large bunch of broccoli

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 TBSP olive oil

1 small garlic glove

1/2 cup broccoli water (see instructions below)

1 TBSP parmesan

1 tsp vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Wash and separate broccoli into flowerets. Thinly slice broccoli stems. Place broccoli in a pan and cover the broccoli with enough water to cover all of the flowerets. Bring water, broccoli, and bouillon cube to a boil then cover and simmer till broccoli is tender. With a slotted spoon remove broccoli and place in a blender or food processor. Save the water and remove about 1/2 cup of broccoli flowerets to place on top of the pasta afterwards. Add olive oil, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the broccoli cooking water. Pulse the blender to mix all the ingredients together. (It doesn’t take much with the broccoli being so tender!) Be sure to leave it a little chunky – pureed broccoli pesto pasta sauce has a strange texture and is not taken well (speaking from experience). Stir in parmesan, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss the sauce with hot pasta, beef, extra broccoli flowerets, and some sprinkled parmesan cheese.

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