And just like that… it’s winter! In a weird way, I enjoyed scraping the ice off my car this morning before work. I like winter. There is something magical about the temperatures dropping and bundling up that brings fond memories of sitting by the fire, gathering with family, and celebrating the many blessings we have.
Speaking of family, you might recall that last year, my sister and I decided to go on a no white sugar, no white flour kick during the month of November until Thanksgiving to be a bit more healthy. Welp, we’re at it again. Whole grains. Natural sugar. Low processed food. It’s going well so far, but the day after Halloween was rough with all the candy around! The whole thing has opened my eyes to how much I crave something sweet in the evening and how I am so quick to grab something unhealthy rather than planning ahead and making smarter choices. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to snarf on Thanksgiving, but I hope to keep this up for a while so it becomes more of a lifestyle change (with occasional splurges). I believe that treats can be well deserved and enjoyed in moderation. Do you do any sort of detox before the feasting between Thanksgiving and Christmas begins?
This is a great pasta for when I’m craving cold weather comfort food, but trying to make smarter culinary choices. I made it in the midst of a busy week when I needed something quick and healthy. It turned out to be way better than I imagined. Instead of using heavy cream, the avocado provides rich texture and is full of flavor. The amount of heat in this recipe is up to you, but I like to add more spice than the average bear, especially in the winter. If you’re like me, go ahead and add the red pepper flakes and pepper jack cheese. I like the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s, but I’m sure any frozen corn would work just fine. Hopefully you’ll feel a little less guilty grabbing a bowl of this creamy, flavorful pasta.
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 12 min
For the Avocado Sauce:
2 avocados, pitted
2 limes, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, stems discarded and leaves roughly chopped
1 tablespoon hot water
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
For the Pasta:
1 lb. whole wheat rotini pasta
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
2 cups frozen roasted corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded (optional)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced (optional)
1 cup black beans (optional)
In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the jalapeño, red bell pepper, and frozen corn. Turn heat the medium low and cover, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to directions on package, drain, and return to pot. Stir in the avocado sauce, vegetable mixture, and tomatoes until well combined.
Serve warm and top each bowl with pepper jack cheese.