It's all about being healthy and going green for me, on Meat Free Monday. It's my birthday tomorrow, not a significant one with a zero at the end, but at my age every birthday is special, and I'm sure there will be a few treats, so Monday's repast will need to be simple and delicious. There are some nights when just a quick and healthy pasta dish is required. I try to focus on adequate fibre content with our meals, and sorghum spaghetti ticks all the boxes. Its full of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, and its gluten free which is always handy to have on hand, in case of visitors requiring a gluten free meal. This is very much a vegetarian recipe which I cooked last week, and the Yeast flakes which are essentially vegan can easily be swapped out for 1 cup grated cheese. Yeast flakes aren't an ingredient I would normally cook with but it has many other uses so it won't go to waste. I'll be cooking this dish again this Monday. It's ready in 30 minutes, so it doesn't get much easier than that.
This recipe was on the back of the Ceres Organics Sorghum Spaghetti packet (no promotion intended) which I found at our local Mifsud's Fresh Fruit Barn in Mackay. They stock a lot more interesting products than the average fruit barn and the freshest of produce. Quite a few local restaurant chefs shop there frequently. My interest in using sorghum products for cooking was piqued during a recent road trip along the Burnett Highway, an inland rural highway in Queensland, where the broad acre agricultural fields were mostly rust, orange or red coloured sorghum. Sorghum in general has a diversity of uses, from livestock cattle feed to human food, so I was interested to see this sorghum spaghetti in the shop, even though the country of origin isn't Australia, but Bolivia in South America. Never mind, it's still organic and still healthy. We've heard a lot about superfoods and super crops, but not much about sorghum being one of those, but it is. Bolivian white sorghum is grown for flour for the food industry, so presumably it was used for this spaghetti. I read that it is also grown for the brewing of beer. Whereas red and rust coloured sorghum in the photo below is so versatile that it is used primarily for fuel and cattle feed but has many other uses as well. Sorghum is an ancient grain native to Northeastern Africa, and requires little water to grow, so is now being considered environmentally beneficial for the planet. This makes it perfect for agricultural use in rural Queensland, which is notoriously dry, although when we travelled through there had been recent flooding.
|Rust coloured broad acre sorghum fields
During our road trip along the Burnett Highway, we also saw this creek sign. We had a good laugh when we tried to say the name, and decided this must be the longest creek name we have ever seen. Toondoonnananigy Creek, probably derived from the language of our First Nations People.
LET'S COOK with Sorghum Spaghetti:
Ready in 30 minutes, serves 3-4 (See notes)
1 packet Organic Sorghum Spaghetti (I used Ceres brand)
1 bunch coriander
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups peas, blanched
1/4 cup Organics Savoury Yeast Flakes
Cook sorghum spaghetti according to packet instructions, much the same as normal spaghetti but takes a little longer, about 13-15 minutes until al dente.
Wash the coriander and dry it in a herbs spinner. Coriander always needs washing and drying before use, this is an important step.
In your food processor bowl, place the coriander, garlic and yeast flakes and give it a good blitz. Then scrape down the sides.
Drizzle the Extra Virgin Olive Oil through the lid chute, and process to a pesto consistency. I used all of the oil. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Drain the pasta, return to the saucepan, add a little olive oil to loosen the strands, and then stir in the pesto and peas. You have a delicious and attractive meal on the table in 30 minutes.
- The recipe stated that this feeds 3-4 people. Mr. HRK and I ate this over two small meals, but it could easily be bumped up to feed 4 comfortably by adding some sun-dried tomatoes, cooked mushrooms, or roasted pumpkin or whatever vegetables you would like. Tasty mature grated cheese would also make it more filling than the Savoury Yeast flakes.
- Whilst it was delicious and we really enjoyed this dish, I would have liked even more flavour in this recipe. But that's me, and I love coriander which can be quite a strongly flavoured herb. Any herb pesto could be used though, and next time I make it I'll double the amount of pesto and keep adding it to the spaghetti until I'm happy with the flavour. Ill freeze the remainder for adding to other dishes.
Is Meat Free or Meatless Monday still a thing? According to various websites I visited it is. I try to stick to it as a matter of routine, and it's an easy way to reset after the weekend when we may have had a wee indulgence or two. It appears that people are also more open to healthy behaviours at the beginning of the week, before the busy week gets on top of them. Just one plant-based day a week is a fun and easy way to do something for the planet and our future.