I made this dish a couple of nights ago, before we flew to Sydney. Creamy Risoni pasta with Chicken and Pesto is one of my favorite dish that I use to often get at my fathers restaurant when I was a teenager. I haven’t thought about it in years, but I was really craving it. I tried to make it with a Pistachio Pesto, which I have never tried to make before. I used italian parsley instead of basil and less oil. The pistachios didn’t break down as quickly as pine nuts usually do, but the end result was still delicious. To make the cream sauce I used Aldi’s Organic Soy Milk, which becomes so thick, if its been sitting in the fridge before opening, that its great for creamy sauces.
Risoni with ‘Chicken’ and Mushrooms in Creamy Pistachio Pesto Sauce (vegan)
Ingredients for Pistachio Pesto:
2 garlic cloves
40g shelled pistachios
1 cup italian parsley
2.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
sea salt & black pepper to taste
2 serves of risoni pasta
1 small onion, diced
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Fry’s Chicken-style Strips, chopped
1 cup thick organic whole soy milk
sea salt & black pepper to taste
1. First make the pesto by first adding the garlic and pistachio to processor. Process until mostly broken down, then add italian parsley, olive oil, water and season with salt and pepper. Keep scraping the sides and continue to process until it becomes a pesto. May take up to 10 mins.
2. In the mean time heat the water to boil for the pasta, dice the onion and mushrooms. Roughly chop the Chicken-style strips.
4. In a pan add about a tablespoon of olive oil, then cook mushrooms until they have browned. Remove from pan.
5. In the same pan, add some more oil, then saute onion for 2 mins. The add the Chicken-style strips. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until golden.
6. Add the mushrooms, thick soy milk and pesto and heat through, until it comes to a light boil. Place on simmer then season with salt and pepper.
7. Lastly, add the risoni pasta to the pan and heat through, then serve.
*Ingredients for Pistachio Pesto makes about 1/2 cup
As I mentioned, we flew to Sydney yesterday to pick up a car. It was a really, really early 4 in the morning that we had to get up to get a 6 am flight. We left from International airport, which ended up being a lot more daunting then a domestic flight. Luckily we didn’t need our passports, but there were lots of checks done and waiting in lines. Anyway after we got the car we made our way back to Brisbane. On the way we stopped at a place we have stopped before and I really loved, Oliver’s Real Food. This is a natural, organic fast food stop that has 3 locations through New South Wales, outside of Sydney. They have heaps of vegan options for breakfast, lunch, sides, snacks and drinks. Some include Fresh Seasonal Fruit Salad, Organic Wholemeal Toast, Vege Patch Pita Pocket, Vegetarian Suishi, Organic Pumpkin Soup, Steamed Edamame Beans, Raw Organic Nut Mix, a range of fresh juices, coffees and bottled drinks. They also have a large range of Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Lacto-ovo Vegetarian options, as well as meat dishes.
Last time we picked up a car I had the Vege Patch Pita Pocket. Unfortunately this time I wasn’t quite ready for lunch just yet. So I got the best and most expensive fresh juice I’ve ever bought. After seeing the ingredients of this juice I really didn’t mind paying $9.90. It included raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, pomegranate, goji, carrot, beetroot, tomato, rosehips’s echinacea, cranberry, blackcurrent, passionfruit, blackberry, coconut water, orange juice and banana. I can’t believe they managed to cram that much goodness in one serve of juice. It really woke me up and kept me alert for most of the trip. Marco really regretted getting the MacDonalds after I told him off, but I still shared my juice so he could get some nutrients in his body. So lucky me didn’t miss out on a juice day.
Today I tried something different. I added pumpkin to my morning juice. It was quite nice and didn’t have an overpowering taste. I also added orange, apple, ginger, cucumber, celery and carrot.
The last thing I wanted to share is an Ice cream shop that I went to with the kids today, that serve vegan ice cream at Southbank! Geláre is a quality ice cream cafe, that is along the main drag in Southbank on Grey Street. They have dairy free vegan Sorbets, such as Mango, Raspberry and Lemon. The kids both had Mango Sorbet and the really loved it. I had the Naked Coconut Ice cream, which is organic, dairy free, vegan and naturally Sweetened with Organic Agave. This was the best Ice cream I have had in Australia. I was really impressed. They also have Vegan Dark Chocolate and Cappuccino Bliss (soon), which are also vegan, organic and naturally sweetened with organic agave. I am looking forward to meeting friends here and actually getting to have Ice cream out again.