Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada, but opinions are all my own.
We have all had pesto before, but have you ever tried adding split peas to it? It adds a wonderful flavor as well as a boost of protein. This Green Split Pea Pesto Pasta Salad is a must make! It starts with these beautiful split peas.
This is perfect for summer cookouts and parties. The tomatoes also add some nice color and pair well with the mildly sweet flavor of the peas. Most recipes for split peas are soups, but I wanted to utilize them in a different way. They were perfect in this pesto.
Split peas, along with other dry pea varieties, beans, chickpeas and lentils, fall under the category of pulses. Did you know, the UN even declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Why you may ask? Pulses are nutrient dense superfoods that give you a lot of bang for your buck. A few fun facts:
- Pulses contain up to 9 grams of protein per 1/2 cup cooked serving
- Beneficial for disease prevention because pulses have been shown to improve blood sugar and lower blood pressure
- Great for people with dietary restrictions (they are naturally vegan and gluten free)
- High in fiber so you can feel full for longer
- Nutrient dense (high levels of potassium, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and iron)
So I ask you to take the Pulse Pledge with me – a 10 week commitment to eat more pulses (at least once a week) in 2016!
Green Split Pea Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4-5 servings
- 2 cups gluten free pasta
- 1 cup pine nuts
- ½ cup cooked split peas
- ½ cup nutritional yeast (Parmesan cheese may be used in place of the yeast as well)
- 10-12 basil leaves
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 cup yellow tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Optional: garnish with fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, combine the cooked peas, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, basil leaves, garlic and salt. Blend until smooth.
- If you need to, add water until you reach a desired consistency.
- In a large bowl, mix the pasta and pesto together.
- Add the tomatoes and garnish with parsley.
- Serve immediately, or store in the fridge up to 4 days. Enjoy!