When you change your diet to dairy free, it’s easy to think that beautiful creamy sauces will have to become a long and distant memory.

The good news is, it’s actually quite easy to still impart a rich creamy texture into your dairy free meals.  My two favourite replacements are soaked cashews and butter beans (the large white tinned ones, not the fresh ones that look like yellow green beans).

Pesto has always been a favourite with my kids.

One of the things I love about it, is how easy it makes it to get a large serving of leafy greens into them.  My kids are like everyone elses, and have their moments of being fussy with particular vegetables, and spinach and silverbeet are one of those things that I do struggle to get them to eat as much of as I would like.

Given that pesto is already a brilliant green colour, it makes it super easy to throw in some other green veggies and they are none the wiser!

I usually serve this with gluten free pasta, but you could just as easily use veggie noodles or even serve it on a bed of rice.  For the Thermomix version, just scroll to the bottom of this page.

Chicken Pesto Pasta – Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Author: Cindy Kennedy @ www.NutritionNavigator.biz
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Raw Cashews
  • 2 cups Water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or 4 cubes frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 1 large bunch basil
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Coconut Milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra
  • 6 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces.
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews in water overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse.
  3. Blend in a food processor or blender with 1/2 cup fresh water until smooth.
  4. Add lemon juice, garlic, spinach, basil, yeast flakes, olive oil and salt.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add coconut milk. Blend until incorporated.
  7. In a large pot, brown the chicken in the extra olive oil.
  8. Add the pesto sauce and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  9. Serve with pasta, vegetable noodles or rice.

 

Thermomix Chicken Pesto Pasta

Step 1

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • Boiling Water

Soak cashews in boiling water for 30 minutes, then 1 min / sp 9

Step 2

  • juice of half a lemon
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or 4 cubes frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 1 large bunch basil
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Add to cashew mix.  1 min / sp. 9

Step 3

  • 2 cups Coconut Milk

Add to pesto mixture. 20 sec / sp 3

Step 4

  • 6 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces.

Add to pesto mixture. 20 min / 100oC / sp 2 Reverse

Serve

Serve with pasta, vegetable noodles or rice