Brown Rice Pasta with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

The ancho chili is the dried version of the Poblano pepper. Ancho chiles have a deep red color and a wrinkled skin. Anchos are sweet and smoky with a flavor slightly reminiscent of raisins. Their heat is mild to medium-hot.

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Serves: 2-4

1 avocado
1 cup packed handful cilantro leaves, thick stems removed
handful parsley or another fresh herb you have on hand (optional)
the juice of one lime
3 tbsp olive oil
⅓ cup water (or more depending on how thick you want the sauce to be, add less if you want it as a dip)
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼-1/2 tsp chilli powder*
pinch sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 bell peppers
2 zucchinis, peeled if not organic
½ tsp coconut oil
brown rice pasta (enough for 4)

Optional add-ins:
chilli flakes for topping
cherry tomatoes (fresh or roasted)
cooked chickpeas
roasted eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, sauteed mushroom

*Make your own chili powder by grinding a dried chile pepper in a coffee or spice grinder till a fine powder.

Preheat the oven to 200C (392F).
First, make the sauce. Put all the sauce ingredients into a blender (avocado, olive oil, water, onion powder, garlic powder, chilli, salt, and pepper) and blend on high until smooth. Set aside.

Remove the seeds from the bell peppers and cut them into thin stripes. Do the same with the zucchinis (cut them as you would fries).

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Add the bell peppers, zucchinis and the coconut oil. Place the tray in the oven for a minute or two for the oil to melt. Take it out, toss to coat everything and season with sea salt and pepper. Put back into the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until soft. When they’re done, keep them in the turned-off oven so they stay warm.

Cook the pasta according to package instruction (it should be10-15 minutes).

Drain the pasta and put it into a pan along with the sauce, toss to coat well and heat up over medium heat so that it’s nice and hot. Add more sea salt or pepper if desired.
Serve with the roasted bell peppers and zucchinis on top.