5-6 lettuce leaves separated from core
1 pound of quinoa pasta of choice (optional semolina) Note: Brown Rice pasta is heavy and too heating for summer. You can use couscous as well.
1 cup of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
3-4 large tbs. of pesto (you can buy it or make it (see below))
2 cups of packed fresh basil
6 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of almonds (traditionally pine nuts are used but this can get expensive)
1/2 - 2/3 cup of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (optional but note that cheese and tomatoes tend to be incompatible and can add to pre-existing inflammation)
Add salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, boil a pound of pasta. Cut the cherry/grape tomatoes int small piece and set them aside. Whatever the form of protein you have chosen, grill it and cut into cubes, then set aside. On a dish, place the lettuce leaves in such a way that when the pasta has been mixed you will be adding it to the center, creating a masterpiece of a meal. Once the pasta is cooked, al dente preferred, add the pesto and mix thoroughly. Then add the protein and tomatoes. Mix it all thoroughly and then add to the dish as previously mentioned. Serves 4. This dish is cooling and light for summer.
Optional: To add more bulk to this dish, you can add a protein source to this dish. I've used grilled chicken. You can substitute chicken for fish or tofu but note that if you use tofu, this can add to the heaviness of the dish and possibly increase gas since tofu is from soy and soy is a sort of legume that can produce gas, especially when overly processed.