A creamy pasta is one of those foods that hits high on my "comfort food" list. I'm guessing certain foods do the same for you.
There is a real connection between eating something you love and how it makes you feel. Sometimes it is a meal from our childhood that makes us feel safe and loved or it might be a dessert we eat on special occasions that makes us feel happy.
If we were rewarded with sugar or chocolate as kids that will stay with us as a form of reward in adulthood.
Yes, this is a bit deep for Meatless Monday - but its real.
Instead of denying yourself these foods - which can be close to impossible and can lead to binging or drowning in your own personal pool of food guilt (I'm a current subscriber to the latter), you can make a healthier version as I have done here with this pasta primavera dish.
If its chocolate you crave - go with dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao) and have one square.
If its dessert, make it yourself - at least you can control what is actually in it unlike packaged foods full of preservatives.
If its chips or french fries (aka my personal food guilt menu item) make kale chips, sweet potato chips or baked homemade french fries in the oven. If you want to reward yourself with something - try a bath, a workout, a warm cup of tea, a new pair of shoes (my personal fav), a facial, a massage, a good book...
For today's recipe, instead of using cream and cheese, I've swapped them out with starchy pasta water and nutritional yeast (which is a natural, low calorie food that is bursting with B vitamins - helping convert carbs efficiently to energy).
The veggie used are all loaded with vitamin C - a healthy antioxidant for every system of your body.
I've also chosen brown rice pasta which is a great gluten free option that is easier to digest and is lower in sugars for your body to deal with.
The navy beans have a creamy texture and are full of protein and fibre (which helps naturally remove toxins).
Spring Veggie Pasta Primavera
1 lb brown rice spaghetti noodles
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow zucchini, cut into thin rounds
1 handful of green beans, trimmed
3 large pieces of broccolini, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 cup canned navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 small handful of parsley, lightly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
sprinkle of crushed red pepper
fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste
Cook the brown rice pasta al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then rinse and drain. Set the cooked pasta and the pasta water aside.
In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper on low for 5 minutes. Add in the red pepper, zucchini, green beans, and broccolini and sauté for 7-10 min on medium low.
Add in the cooked pasta, 1/2 a cup of the reserved pasta water and the nutritional yeast and continue to cook on low heat for about 5 minutes stirring the pasta and the veggies. The pasta may become difficult to "stir" - I used a pasta "claw" type of spoon to lift and move the pasta around so it didn't clump up. The pasta water the the nutritional yeast will begin to make a light creamy sauce. If the sauce gets too thick add more pasta water until you are happy with the consistency.
Mix in the beans and parsley and cook for a remaining 5 minutes on low.
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