Rigatoni with Kefir Avocado Pesto and Spring Vegetables

Featuring our favorite spring produce, our Rigatoni with Kefir Avocado Pesto and Spring Vegetables is full of fabulous flavor, fiber, and healthy fats.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Lifeway Organic Plain Whole Milk Kefir
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves + more to serve
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves + more to serve
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese + more to serve
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 oz uncooked rigatoni pasta
  • 4 servings of protein of choice (we like shrimp, tofu, and chicken), already cooked
  • 2 cups purple kale, rinsed and shredded (any variety of kale works)
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (see Notes)
  • 1 cup crisp baby peas (if frozen, thaw first)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Slice the avocado and remove the pit. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the avocado into the base of a food processor. Add the Lifeway Plain Organic Whole Milk Kefir, cilantro, parsley, Parmesan cheese, two tablespoons of sunflower seeds, lime juice, garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Pulse or puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. For a thinner sauce, add more Lifeway Plain Organic Whole Milk Kefir. For a thicker sauce, add more avocado. Set aside until ready to serve.
  3. Prepare the rigatoni according to package directions. After it is finished cooking, drain into a colander and immediately return to the pan (you want the pasta to stay hot). Add the shredded kale, peas and sun-dried tomatoes to the hot pasta along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate and allow the kale to wilt.
  4. To serve, divide the pasta, kale and sun-dried tomato mixture evenly between four bowls. Top each bowl with pesto, protein of choice, sunflower seeds, cilantro, parsley, and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!

    Notes

  • We used sun-dried tomatoes that weren't packed in olive oil, but feel free to use any variety of your choosing.
  • Keep this recipe gluten-free by using the gluten-free rigatoni of your choice.

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