Linguini with lentils and vegetables in a lemon-garlic dressing (the nut-free version)

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I promised you a nut-free version of the creamy lemon-garlic dressing for pasta in my last post.

If green had a flavour, this would be it. Because you add the vegetables raw, this pasta dish is crunchy, flavourful and satisfying. It’s equally delicious hot or cold though, since I usually make it in the summer when all the garden veggies are at their best, I tend to eat this dish cold.

Try some other veggies too: zucchini, kale or spinach, red or yellow peppers.

I don’t have nut allergies so you’ll see in the photo that I have added toasted walnuts to my bowl. You can do the same by adding nuts at the time you’re serving the pasta. That way everyone can enjoy the dish the way that suits them best.

Ingredients

9 ounces uncooked linguini

1 big head broccoli – cut into bite size pieces

2 cups snow peas – cleaned and with stems cut off. ½ cup beluga lentils (uncooked)

Dressing

Juice from one lemon (about a scant ¼ cup)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp chili paste (like sambal oelek) – optional

3 cloves garlic minced

3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

Cook the linguine according to package directions and place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.

Cook the lentils by adding 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Let the lentils cool. You can even make them the day before and leave them in the fridge.

Add the broccoli, snow peas and lentils to the pasta. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid or a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies and toss to combine. Chow down!

Linguini with lentils and fresh vegetables in a creamy lemon-garlic sauce

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Ahhhh… I’ve been on a bit of vacation and it was so nice to get back into the kitchen and creating. This recipe for linguini with a creamy lemon-garlic sauce is fast, easy, fresh and tangy. Use whatever blend of veggies you like. I used what arrived in my weekly organic farm box, but broccoli, zucchini, chard, corn kernels, even water chestnuts, would all make excellent additions or substitutions.

Next post, I’ll include a variation of this recipe that leaves out the almond butter. It’s ideal for people who have nut allergies but still want the zing of lemon-garlic dressing.

Ingredients

10 oz uncooked linguini

½ cup uncooked black (a/k/a beluga) lentils

1 red pepper diced

2 cups snow peas cleaned and cut in half

½ cup slivered almonds toasted (optional)

For the sauce

Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)

2 Tbsp almond butter

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 Tbsp olive oil or other light-tasting oil

1 Tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

1 tsp hot chili paste (I use sambal oelek)

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Place the lentils in a small pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed. When cooked, add to the bowl with the pasta. Add the snow peas and red pepper and any other vegetables you’re using.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small glass or bowl and mix well. Pour over the pasta, lentils and vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds if using.

Serve up and enjoy. This dish makes 3-4 large servings and is equally delicious hot, cold or at room temperatures. Do store it in the fridge though!

Avocado pasta – creamy, garlicky, lemony and delicious

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This pasta surprised me with its simplicity and deliciousness. It’s easy to make, no fail and will be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Make this. That’s all I can say. Just make this.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 avocado

The juice and zest of ½ a lemon

1-2 cloves garlic

A handful fresh basil leaves –about ½ cup

1 cup of fresh kale or spinach leaves

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup pistachios (optional)

10 ounces of uncooked pasta – any shape or kind

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Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a food processor and whiz until you have a creamy sauce. You might need to add up to 2 tablespoons water to get a creamy consistency. The more you whiz the sauce, the smoother it will be. Spinach also makes a smoother sauce than kale.

Place the hot, cooked pasta in a large bowl and spoon the sauce over it. Toss to blend and serve. This recipe makes 2-3 servings.

If you have leftovers, this dish is great at room temperature as a cold pasta salad.

 

Creamy mac and cheese – finally!

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It finally happened. After testing quite a few vegan mac and cheese recipes, I have found one that I like. Hooray! This recipe is straightforward (like Grade 8 Home Ec straightforward), uses only inexpensive pantry/fridge staples, and can be ready in the time it takes to cook pasta.

The result is a creamy, satisfying and filling meal that will keep you revved for hours.

My coworker refers to this as mac and yeast and you’ll soon see why.

Ingredients

12 oz of macaroni, fusilli or other firm, short pasta

½ onion minced finely (or even whizzed in the blender)

4 Tbsp vegan margarine

4 Tbsp flour

3 cups unflavoured plant-based milk

1½ cups nutritional yeast

1-2 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

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Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the margarine on medium heat in a 1 quart pot. Sauté the onion in the margarine until the onion is softened. Add the flour and stir until you have a roux (a thick paste of flour and margarine/onion). Add half the milk and whisk constantly until the roux is incorporated into the milk and you have a smooth sauce. Add the rest of the milk, the mustard and all the seasonings. Stir to incorporate everything together and simmer stirring regularly. This will make the sauce thickens slightly. Add the nutritional yeast and stir in to combine.

Once you have a sauce that’s the consistency of a thin pancake batter you are good to go since the sauce will thicken slightly as it cools. Pour over your pasta and enjoy.

This dish is great with hot sauce or chili sauce and a side of green peas and broccoli.

I want to add that I have heavily based this recipe on an existing Internet recipe that I printed off months ago with no attribution showing. So…. if you come across a similar recipe elsewhere on the ‘net, they, not me, are the originator!

Fettuccini Alfredo – the best vegan recipe of all time

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Okay. Ready? This is it. The best vegan recipe ever. Ever.

It’s easy, simple, fast, no-fail and delicious. Luckily for me it was also one of the first vegan recipes I ever tried and still my favourite.

Make this dish and thank me later for spreading the joy.

The recipe comes from Deborah Gleason, Esther the Wonder Pig’s first chef.

Ingredients

12 to 16 oz pasta – I use spaghettini because it cooks in six minutes. If you use less pasta, you have a saucier dish, which suits me just fine.

2-3 cloves garlic

½ cup raw cashew pieces

3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 ½ to 2 tsp sea salt (I use 2 teaspoons because I don’t salt my pasta water)

A few grinds pepper

387ml can coconut milk

Directions

This recipe takes as long to make as it takes to cook your pasta. Seriously. That’s what? 10 minutes max., right?

Cook your pasta according to the package directions. Drain and put in a large serving bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, put all your other ingredients in a blender. Blend until you have a creamy sauce. Pour over the hot pasta, toss to combine and serve. That’s it.

Taste and swoon.

I love this dish served with broccoli and green peas on the side or stirred right in.

Beans and greens – northern soul food

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Leafy greens – think kale, spinach, lettuces, chard, dandelion and collard greens – are touted as a superfood. They’re something I consciously have to remember to work into my diet, and when I’m do I always wonder why I don’t eat more. They’re delicious!

Here is an easy, fast, tasty and comforting cold weather dish I refer to simply as beans and greens.

Ingredients

10 oz of a sturdy pasta like farfalle, penne or rotini

2 cups vegetable broth

15 oz can white beans (or any kind of bean you like). That’s about 1 ½ cups of cooked beans. Drain and rinse if you’re using canned beans.

3-4 cloves garlic minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

A pinch of red pepper flakes

¼ cup almond butter

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 cups of raw greens chopped into bite-sized pieces. In this photo, I’ve used collard greens.

Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper)

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and place in a large bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute the garlic and pepper flakes until the garlic is golden. Add the broth, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and almond butter and heat through stirring until the almond butter melts into the broth. Add the beans and greens and stir together until the greens wilt a bit. Pour the beans and greens mixture into the bowl with the pasta and toss together to incorporate. This makes 4 large servings.

This dish is great served with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and tastes even better the next day.

Creamy, sundried tomato and almond pasta

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I was definitely built for long-term survival! While other people have a sweet tooth, I have a fat tooth. This pasta dish satisfies my love for creamy, rich sauces and yet is completely plant based and healthy. Oh, it’s delicious, fast and easy too. Does it get any better??

Ingredients

12 oz uncooked pasta (I used farfalle pasta)

½ cup sundried tomatoes (mine are not oil packed)

¼ cup raw almonds

¼ cup almond butter

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tsp sea salt

A few grinds black pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil (omit if you’re using oil-packed sundried tomatoes)

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

¼ cup fresh basil torn in pieces

Directions

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil (or microwave it) and put the sundried tomatoes in the broth to soak for about 10 minutes.

Cook your pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, put all the other ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Yes. It’s that easy.

Drain the cooked pasta and put in a large bowl. Toss with the sauce.

Additions: If I have cherry tomatoes, I sometimes throw a few in the blender for an even tomato-i-er flavour.

I think this dish would be great with a couple handfuls of chopped fresh spinach or kale added to the pasta pot right before draining the noodles (just enough to blanch the greens).

I love this dish with broccoli and peas.

This recipe is my mildly modified version of the recipe from Laura Machell.