Monday, January 2, 2012

Pasta with Kale, White Beans and "Cheese" Sauce

I had a bunch of random things in my pantry and fridge to use up, so I decided to do an easy pasta dinner tonight.

For the pasta, I used the remaining Quinoa pasta shells I bought awhile ago.  You can use any type of pasta for this dish, but I would recommend something on the smaller side - small shells, orichette, macaroni or orzo, mini fuslili, etc. - as I think it will hold the sauce better.

While I was bringing the water up for the pasta, I sauteed some red onion, kale and garlic in olive oil.  When the veg started to stick to the bottom of the pan, I added some vegetable stock.  I also stirred in the last of the navy beans from earlier this week and seasoned the mix with black pepper.

Meanwhile, I made the "cheese" sauce, which I got from Happy Healthy Life's Spinach Alfredo recipe.  Since I was only making enough for my own lunch and dinner, I scaled the recipe down a bit.  I used the nutritional yeast that I picked up from the bulk aisle, soy-free veganaise, dijon mustard, some of the pasta water and the seasonings the blog recipe recommended - garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

After I drained the pasta, I put it in the pan with the veg and then stirred in the "cheese" sauce.  The creamy texture was spot on, but I think I'd cut back on the mustard next time, as it dominated the other flavors in the dish.  I also wish I had had more beans leftover, as the small amount I had got lost in the dish.

This also might be a good time to mention that I am going to be posting my on 2012 Vegan Kickstart Page in conjunction with PCRM's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart.  The page will include both meals I prepare and meals I eat out.  At the end of the 21 Days, I'll have a customized vegan meal plan that hopefully anyone can follow!  PCRM also provides a sample menu you can use to follow along as well.  While the kickstart technically started today, I encourage you to try going vegan for any 21 day period and see how the experience goes for you.

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