Parsley walnut pesto over buckwheat noodles makes a delicious lunch or dinner that can be eaten hot or cold, and involves minimal preparation.
In the summer growing season, you might have extra parsley in the garden, and this makes a great way to use it as an alternative to tabbouleh. In the winter or early spring (or if you are not a gardener), you can buy wonderful Italian parsley most of the year. The main thing is you need to use fresh parsley for this recipe; dried parsley will not provide the flavor or texture to make the pesto correctly.
What is buckwheat? Is it some sort of wheat?
Buckwheat is not from the wheat family. In fact, it is not actually related to wheat at all. It is a pseudo-cereal grain which means its seeds can be ground into flour and otherwise used as cereals. On a nutritional level, Buckwheat has a high protein content. It is a good source of manganese. Manganese is a trace mineral (i.e. you don’t need a lot of it), which helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors and sex hormones. Buckwheat also provides copper, magnesium, fiber and potassium.
The fiber can help slow down the absorption of glucose which can be beneficial for diabetics or those trying to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Used in Asian and East European cuisine for over 8,000 years, Buckwheat has become a widely consumed grain and can be found in a wide variety of recipes.
Buckwheat noodles and sodium
From a healthy eating perspective, this recipe 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).
Use low sodium buckwheat noodles
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.