Hearty Pasta Dishes

Pasta alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma recipe

Pasta alla Norma is one of those great classic Italian recipes that’s simple and healthy. Its basic embellishments are eggplant, onion, garlic, and basil. It’s quick, too — in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta, the sauce is started and finished. Be generous with the red pepper flakes if you like a little spice to your pasta dishes— they really give the flavor a boost. Serve with a colorful salad to which chickpeas are added for extra protein. more→

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Pasta with Hearty Lentil and Spinach Sauce

Pasta with hearty spinach and lentil sauce

This recipe, satisfying combination of pasta, lentils, and spinach (or other greens) is a longtime family favorite. Easy and substantial, this can easily become your go-to plant-powered pasta dish. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.   more→

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Mom’s Meatless Meatballs

Mum Mums Vegan Meatballs by Christina Cavanaugh from Begin Within Nutrition

My mom created the most delicious vegan meatballs! I almost spit out the first bite I took because I thought she was playing a horribly mean joke on me, they tasted so meaty! The original recipe uses eggs and parmesan cheese. To veganize the recipe we used a “chia egg” instead and omitted the cheese. To make them gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free pasta.  You can use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own. This recipe is a bit involved, as you need to prepare the ingredients and let them sit over night.  It’s worth the wait…trust meRecipe and photos contributed by Cristina Cavanaugh, from Begin Within Nutrition. 

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Roasted Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Sweet potato vegan mac n cheese1

This mac and cheese is 100% vegan and so healthy! The ‘cheese’ in this recipe is a combination of roasted sweet potato, mustard, and nutritional yeast. The result is a nostalgic mac and cheese with a grown up edge and a rich, creamy, and satisfying dish! This recipe utilizes gluten-free pasta, but if that’s not a concern for you, any whole-grain short chunky shaped pasta will work. Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils. more→

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Vegan Beanballs (for serving on pasta with marinara sauce)

Vegan beanballs and spaghetti

Made of beans, oatmeal (or quinoa flakes) and walnuts, there’s nothing “fake meat” about these beanballs. They’re super easy to make, too — basically you just throw everything into the food processor. While they’re baking, cook up your favorite kind of pasta. Once it’s done, add the kind of marinara sauce you like best — homemade Classic Marinara Sauce, or or your favorite natural purchased brand. Serve with a colorful salad, and, if you’d like, roast some broccoli and/or cauliflower in the oven at the same time that the beanballs are baking. Tip: set aside some of the marinara to spoon over the beanballs, once you arrange them atop the pasta. more→

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Savory Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff

Yum, yum. Thanks to meaty-tasting portobello mushrooms, this satisfying stroganoff has the rich flavor of the traditional version without all of the extra fat and calories. Recipe contributed by Laura Theodore, from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites* © 2013 BenBella Books, reprinted by permission. more→

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Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

This basic vegan macaroni and cheese is rich and comforting. Using pureed silken tofu as a base makes it super easy. For an even healthier sauce, try our Almost-Raw Cheez Sauce, based on baby carrots, raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and other nutrient-dense ingredients. Boost the nutrition of this comfort food meal by serving with plenty of fresh veggies — this goes well with simply prepared broccoli or kale — and a colorful salad or platter of fresh cut vegetables with dip. more→

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Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans

Pesto pasta with potatoes and green beans

Pasta with pesto, potatoes, and green beans is a classic rustic Italian combination. It may seem odd to combine pasta and potatoes, but it does work well, and is extra hearty. It’s carb heaven, maybe, but still healthy, especially if you use whole-grain pasta. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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