Tag Archives: pasta

Vegan pesto you can trust

Pasta. It’s such a wonderfully simple food.

Mix it with a little pesto and suddenly you’ve got  yourself a dynamic evening meal (though don’t forget some tasty vegetables to balance the meal).

But stop! If you prefer having vegetables on your plate to meat, then pesto may not be so great after all… It’s not vegetarian.

Not everyone realises that pesto is made with parmesan, and that parmesan is made with animal rennet. Unlike other cheeses, there is no true vegetarian alternative to parmesan which might mean that your favourite pesto flavour is suddenly out of reach.

vegan and vegetarian pesto

Pesto you can trust

Thankfully, while the parmesan might be irreplaceable, there is a vegan version of pesto you can try: Zest Vegan Pesto.

The advantage with Zest is that it is made with completely natural ingredients – there’s nothing artificial in it at all. To replace the cheese they use cashew nuts and you know what? It tastes just as great  – as the numerous reviews suggest.

But why stop there? Zest also make a sun-dried tomato pesto, a densely flavoured coriander based pesto and plenty of other pasta sauces too.

Just remember, in all your excitement, a few veggies tossed in the pesto tastes great too.

Pasta coeliacs will love – organic gluten-free fusilli

Last night I was feeling hungry, so I had some of the noodles I’d bought from our office at GoodnessDirect. These were no ordinary noodles…

First of all they were made from buckwheat which is significant because buckwheat is a seed, not a grain. In other words it’s gluten-free because it doesn’t carry the proteins that coeliacs don’t handle.

Secondly, these noodles were flavoured with green tea. Call me strange, but I kinda liked them.

buckwheat pasta

100% buckwheat pasta

But I’m not trying to persuade you to eat crazy foods. The truth is, buckwheat pasta without the funny flavours is nice enough. I’d say it is nicer than ordinary pasta. There’s a kind of sweet nuttiness to it which is completely missing from ordinary pasta.

Amisa Organic make a buckwheat fusilli which is, of course, organic, but also vegan, wheat free and dairy free.

I don’t know if you’re a pasta enthusiast but fusilli is one of my favourites. The spirals help to capture the flavour of whichever sauce you eating it with. So imagine a sweet nutty pasta with a creamy cheesy sauce or a piquant tomato salsa and you’ll appreciate that you’re in for a real treat.

Who knows? You might even get into trying some crazier flavours.

Not all gluten-free pasta is equal

We’re not boasting. But some gluten-free pasta is better than others. And some people think this is the best gluten-free spaghetti around…

organic quinoa gluten-free pasta

Better than normal spaghetti

I know, you may well say spaghetti is just spaghetti but, if you’re up for trying new foods then I think you’ll appreciate the bite and taste of BioFair’s organic gluten-free version.

Some even say it is better than normal spaghetti.

The difference is the use of the superfood quinoa mixed with rice flour. In my opinion, the magic touch comes from the high protein content in quinoa, which gives it a more enjoyable mouth-feel. The cooked result is certainly not over-starchy, as you’ll find with many gluten-free pastas. Another advantage is that it’s suitable for those who have to stay corn free (or just can’t stand the taste).

For an enjoyable meal, serve it with sautéed tomatoes, aubergine, red onion, sweet pepper courgettes and mushrooms, tossed in truffle oil or worcester sauce.

You’ll find Biofair Fair Trade Rice Quinoa Spaghetti on the non-wheat pasta shelf at GoodnessDirect.



Delectable, delicious and vegetarian – gluten free gnocchi

Persuading my Indian wife that there was something wonderful about Italian food except pizza wasn’t going to be easy.

As a vegetarian from birth, I couldn’t tempt her with some delicious meat feast. It was meat-free only. “It’s just boring! What are they going to give me that I can’t make at home?” is her usual challenge.


Naturally gluten free gnocchi

But this was our anniversary so she was in the mood for a meal out.

And that was the night that she discovered gnocchi – small Italian dumplings usually made from potato, flour (traditionally buckwheat flour) and egg – so,  interestingly enough, naturally gluten free.

Serving the little balls with a rich balsamic sauce was enough to persuade her that good vegetarian food really does exist in Europe.

Le Veneziane make a gluten free potato gnocchi we now keep in the cupboard whenever she wants a non-spicy treat. It’s ready in just two minutes.

The fact that it is gluten free is a huge plus. My wife often suffers in her stomach so has to be cautious around wheat based foods like pasta. But Le Veneziane make a remarkable range of gluten free pastas, including some quick-cook pasta meals that are ready in just 10 minutes (maccaroni with mushrooms or tomato and basil penne).

Next I have to convert her to Mexican food… any suggestions there?

Everyone needs some Organico sauce

Organic Italian Sauces

Good Italian food made easy

My wife is currently banned from the kitchen while she nurses a broken leg back to health.

Suddenly I’ve found myself back at the stove full time – having to make all my favourite family meals (with a big bias towards Italian food.)

But, I have to admit, nursing my beloved back to health feels like a full time job in itself. – So I’m really thankful for Organico’s pasta sauces and condiments (not to mention their pastas and risottos) which have allowed me to cook lovely meals without the stress.

Organico, of course, are all about organic quality and care which, in turn, means great flavour; but there’s an extensive range of flavours too. The latest innovations include Tuscan Olives & Capers Sauce, Grilled Aubergines in Olive Oil, Kickin’ Garlic and a Raw Vegan Pesto.

Certainly enough variety for me to serve us Italian food several times a week without getting bored. As if a lover of Italian cuisine ever could be!

For more and more organic Italian dishes (the grissini, olives, balsamic vinegar, polenta, sun dried tomatoes and more) check out the GoodnessDirect Organico shelf.


Get ready for a new kind of pasta

Pasta… It seems we can’t get enough of it.

Ever since Marco Polo was fabled to return from China we’ve been enjoying it by the bowlful.

Incidentally, legend has it that it was macaroni he brought back – and it’s still popular, that’s why wholefoods company Suma feel it’ll be profitable to bring their own version of white organic macaroni onto the market.

But what Marco Polo really discovered was that the Chinese had their own version of the already popular Mediterranean food. In fact, the Chinese have more exotic versions of pasta than we realise: dumplings, buns, pancakes as well as noodles (again, Biona have brought out an ‘organic noodle‘ version).

pancit canton

Try a tastier pasta

The Filipinos also have a instant noodle which in English gets translated ‘flour sticks’ – which I guess differentiates it from rice noodles. It’s also very economical.

What’s more significant is that the Filipino name for the pasta is Pancit Kanton – also the name of a delicious, popular Filipino meal. The instant noodles (marketed by Buenas) are actually made with spice and coconut oil – and that guarantees them to be a very tasty meal indeed.

If you’ve grown bored with pasta and love food with a bit of spice, give Pancit Kanton a try. Marco Polo would be proud of you.


New incredible vegan pasta

Well this is different…

Pasta made from organic beans like soya, black bean and mung beans.

a la eco

Clever pasta: smart food for everyone

But don’t stop there. They really taste very good. Not quite like your normal spaghetti or fettuccine but truly nutritious nonetheless.

And it’s going to be popular…

Vegans will love them because they’re full of protein and egg free, dieters will love them because they’re low in GI and fat, coeliacs will adore them because they’re gluten free and everyone else may well just go crazy for them simply because they’re tasty and healthy, rich in minerals and fibre.

Allergen friendly, healthy and fun. The name you need to search for is À La Eco.