When I went to the garden the other day, I noticed that there was loads of parsley (and basil too). It’s getting to be that time of year when you get to harvest all that you planted earlier in the spring, and this was the week of the great parsley harvest. Since I recently made tabbouleh, I needed to move on and find a new way to use all that parsley. In this case, I decided to make Buckwheat Noodles with Parsley Walnut Pesto. This dish makes a wonderful lunch, can be eaten either hot or cold (I prefer it hot, but in the summer heat cold might not be such a bad idea), and involves minimal preparation.
From a healthy eating perspective, Buckwheat Noodles with Parsley Walnut Pesto is high in sodium if made with “regular” buckwheat noodles. The recommended sodium intake for people under age 51 is 2,300 mg/day; for age 51 and older, it is 1,500 mg/day. If this dish is made with “regular” buckwheat noodles, a single serving contains 650 mg of sodium (nearly 30% of your recommended daily amount if you are under age 51; over 40% of your recommended daily amount if you are age 51 or older). If you use a very low sodium buckwheat noodle (5 mg per serving) and don’t add any extra salt, the total sodium content for this dish drops to 35 mg per serving. If you need more flavor, try adding extra garlic, pepper or lemon juice instead of extra salt or soy sauce.
Recipe: Buckwheat Noodles with Parsley Walnut Pesto (makes 4 servings)
2 bundles (6.4 oz.) Japanese buckwheat noodles*
1/2 cup black beans (no salt added)
1/2 cup green peas (cooked)
2 Tbsp. Parsley Walnut Pesto (see below)
2 Tbsp. walnuts
*NOTE: Although buckwheat is often described as a gluten-free food, many varieties of buckwheat noodles contain wheat flour and are not gluten-free. Please read all food labels carefully.
Cook buckwheat noodles in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until soft. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Combine noodles with black beans, green peas and Parsley Walnut Pesto. Place in serving dish, top with walnuts and enjoy!
Recipe: Parsley Walnut Pesto
2 cups packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup walnuts
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
Blend all ingredients in food processor to form a paste. Adjust seasonings if needed.
Approximate nutrition information per serving of Buckwheat Noodles with Parsley Walnut Pesto: 280 calories; 7 grams fat; 0.5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 0 mg cholesterol; 650 mg sodium; 41 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams dietary fiber; 11 grams protein.