All tagged Pasta

Anti-Inflammatory Pasta Salad | Plant-Based Vegan |

I love a good pasta salad, and this recipe for Anti-inflammatory Pasta Salad is GREAT!  It’s one of those super simple meals that feels incredibly satisfying and nourishing.  Packed with antioxidants from the colorful array of veggies, along with the fiber and plant-based protein, this Anti-inflammatory Pasta Salad is designed to keep you both satisfied and feeling healthy.  It’s the perfect meal prep recipe for lunches and dinners, since it lasts all week in the fridge.  Bring to any picnic or outdoor event, too!

Serves: 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 box spinach fusilli

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Freshly cracked black pepper (~1/4 teaspoon)

1 zucchini

1 pint cherry tomatoes

12 sweet peppers

How (your directions):

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt (enough that the water tastes like the ocean) and add your pasta.  Boil according to package instructions, about 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, add olive oil, vinegar, salt, Italian seasoning, and black pepper to a large bowl.  Whisk to combine.

Slice zucchini into small pieces, cherry tomatoes in half, and dice the sweet peppers.  Add to the vinaigrette and stir to combine.

When pasta is finished cooking, strain and add pasta to the vegetables.  Stir until evenly combine.

Enjoy immediately, room temperature, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for 5 days.

Why (the science):  There’s a reason I often remind you to eat the rainbow!  Each veggie color represents different antioxidants and phytochemicals that keep your immune system strong and you feeling your best 😊

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is a smart dish to encourage more vegetable intake, without feeling like you’re eating a bunch of vegetables😉 It’s a scrumptious sauce with lots and lots of fresh veggies, and I encourage you to use whatever you may have on hand.  Lentil pasta and cannellini beans up the protein significantly.  I serve this Pasta Primavera over fresh zucchini noodles to add even more vegetables and bulk to my pasta portion.

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 head broccolette, diced

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of paprika

Pinch of salt

2 handfuls kale, chopped

1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 jar marinara sauce (I used a rich tomato sauce with Barolo wine)

12 oz. lentil Sedanini pasta (or any short pasta shape)

3 zucchini, spiralized

How (your directions):

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add red onion, bell pepper, broccolette, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt.  Stir and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add chopped kale and sauté for 2 minutes.

Stir in cannellini beans and marinara sauce.  Heat through while pasta cooks, about 5-6 minutes.

Drain pasta and add to primavera sauce.

In each pasta bowl, place several curls of spiralized zucchini.  Ladle pasta and primavera sauce over fresh zucchini noodles.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Lentil pasta is high in protein (13 grams protein per serving!) which makes it a nutritious way to enjoy pasta and reach satiety sooner than you would with a white pasta.

 

Cauliflower Alfredo with Peas

I served this “alfredo” to my husband without revealing the true ingredients of the sauce and he believed it was real (parmesan and cream laden) alfredo!  No sir, just a humble cauliflower cooked until tender and blended with garlic and onion powder 😊  Husbands and kids will be tricked alike with this wonderfully easy alfredo pasta!  A drizzle of good olive oil gilds the lily.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

What (your ingredients):

I head cauliflower, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 oz. capellini pasta

¾ cup frozen peas

How (your directions):

Place cauliflower pieces into a large saucepan or pot and cover with water.  Bring to boil and cook for about 12 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork tender.  Tip: the cauliflower must be fork tender instead of al dente, so that it turns into a creamy sauce.

Meanwhile, boil salted water for pasta.

Ladle tender cauliflower into a high-speed mixer with about ¾ cup- 1 cup of cooking water.  Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Add cauliflower alfredo to dried pan and heat on low.

Cook capellini in boiling salted water for 3 minutes.  Strain cooked pasta and add to cauliflower alfredo.  Mix to evenly distribute sauce.

Add frozen peas to pasta, cover with lid, and heat on low for 10-12 minutes.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

Why (the science):  Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it provides powerful anticarcinogenic nutrients for our bodies.  What an incredibly versatile veggie, that it can pass as rice, pizza crust, and now alfredo sauce 😊

 

Pasta with Easy Mushroom Wine Sauce

Pasta with Easy Mushroom Wine Sauce is a dish that takes no more than 15-20 minutes to make!  The sauce is simple, but hearty and comforting.  The hardest part of this weeknight dinner is waiting for the water to boil 😊

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What (your ingredients):

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 8-oz. package mushrooms, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch

1/3 cup white wine or cava

1/3 cup water

Juice from ½ lemon

4 oz. pasta

Parsley, for garnishing

How (your directions):

Bring large pot of water to a boil with a spoonful of salt.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes.

When water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package instructions.

Once mushrooms begin to brown, add garlic and a pinch of salt.  Sauté for 2 minutes.

Add flour or cornstarch to mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.  Then slowly deglaze pan with wine or cava.  Add water and lemon juice and allow to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Drain pasta and serve with a ladle of mushroom wine sauce.  Garnish with parsley.

Enjoy immediately!

Why (the science):  Mushrooms are a great source of phosphorus, a critical nutrient for bone health and strength!

Easy Tomato and Bell Pepper Pasta Sauce

This Easy Tomato and Bell Pepper Pasta Sauce is seriously the easiest and quickest pasta sauce ever.  Chop some tomatoes and bell peppers, simmer, add a punch of flavor with pesto and-BOOM!-dinner is ready!  Yep, that’s all it takes to make a dinner that doubles as a hot or cold pasta salad to take to work/school for lunch during the rest of the week 😊

Serves: 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 lb. short pasta

2 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used yellow/red/orange cherry tomatoes and orange heirloom tomatoes)

1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped

1 orange pepper, roughly chopped

½ cup water

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon pesto

How (your directions):

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt to the salinity of the ocean (this ensures flavorful cooked pasta).  Cook pasta according to pasta directions, then drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, add tomatoes, peppers, a pinch of salt, and the ½ cup of water. 

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove lid and reduce liquid slightly for 5 minutes.

Transfer sauce to blender and add pesto.  Blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pour sauce back into the saucepan and mix pasta into sauce over low heat, to finish heating through.

Serve immediately!  Also delicious cold for lunch 😊

Why (the science):  Bell peppers are full of vitamin C, A, and folate!  Not to mention, this Easy Tomato and Bell Pepper Pasta Sauce has ZERO sugar, a characteristic hard to find in most store-bought pasta sauces.

 

Eggplant and Mushroom Bolognese

This bolognese recipe is my new favorite pasta creation, because it really has the flavor and texture of a classic Italian meat sauce.  Mushrooms and eggplant are often used to replace meat, so when they are diced finely and sautéed with Italian seasoning, the result is a phenomenal sauce that you’ll love more than the meat version!  Don’t leave out the tomato paste, as it creates a richness in flavor that can’t be missed!

Serving Size: 4 portions

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ large yellow onion, finely diced

Dash of salt

1 eggplant

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 8.oz package baby bella mushrooms

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Cracked black pepper to taste

1 jar favorite tomato sauce

4 oz. spaghetti

How (your directions):

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously (pasta water should taste like the saltiness of the ocean).

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat and sauté onions with a pinch of salt until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Cut eggplant into a small dice and add to onions.  Push onions and eggplant to one side of the fry pan.  Add the tomato paste directly to the heat and allow to cook for one minute.  Then, stir all ingredients together and continue to sauté.

Add spaghetti to boiling, salted water and cook to al dente or 1 minute shorter than package instructions (about 7 minutes).

Finely dice the mushrooms and add to vegetable mixture.  Add Italian seasoning, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using.

When mushrooms have browned, add jar of your favorite tomato sauce and reduce heat to low.

Add 1 ladle of pasta water to sauce before draining water (the starch of pasta water thickens the sauce).

Serve the eggplant and mushroom Bolognese over spaghetti with a drizzle of olive oil and a few basil leaves.

Bon appétit!

Why (the science):  Did you know that eggplant can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol!?

Lemon Orzo with Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus

Bright and fresh, this pasta salad can be enjoyed hot, cold, or room temperature!  This recipe makes enough to serve 8, but I love to packservings in mason jars to take with me to work throughout the week.  Dinner plus meal prep for the week?  Check and check 😊

Why (the science):  Herbs are often used only as a garnish, but they have so much nutritional power!  Parsley plays the lead with artichoke hearts and asparagus to provide an abundance of vitamin C and folic acid, which play critical roles in our immune system and heart health.

 

Vegan Mac and Cheese

I grew up eating my Mom’s homemade mac and cheese, which had all the flavors and fat that comfort food typically has and is one of my favorite recipes (hello butter and cheddar!).  On a whim, I decided to make vegan mac and cheese inspired by fellow healthy food bloggers, and it knocked my socks off!  I tweaked a few recipes to make this stellar version-all the flavor of traditional mac and cheese, but without the saturated fat and dairy.  The “cheese” is gooey, creamy, and honestly tastes like cheddar cheese.  Skeptical?  Try it and taste for yourself

Why (the science):  Nutritional yeast is the key component to making vegan food brilliantly taste cheesy and is packed with vitamin B12, a vitamin found mostly in animal food.  B12 is required for metabolism and DNA synthesis, so nutritional yeast is a powerful food that all vegans should have in their back pocket 

Fettuccine with Saffron Cauliflower

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite meals, served for dinner at an olive plantation I stayed at in Sicily- it was so good, I make a variation of it frequently, and my family always requests it when I visit (so you know this one’s a winner)! The cauliflower becomes nutty when sautéed, the pine nuts add crunch, the raisins add chewy sweetness, and the saffron makes it an incredible golden color! 

Noodles with Sesame Peanut Sauce

This sesame peanut sauce is not lacking for flavor-it’s rich and complex flavors of sesame, soy, ginger, and vinegar compliment the creamy peanut butter for a fantastic Asian-inspired dish. Pair with your favorite noodles, and you have a fantastic dinner ready in 15 minutes!