Happy Monday, everyone! This weekend wasn’t too exciting, and I’m afraid I’m going to have many more just like it. But wait, don’t leave just yet! Instead of sharing about how I spent my weekend working on my research papers and studying, I shall share with you a MARVELOUS recipe!
As always, thanks, Katie, for bringing us all together. 😉
So let’s get right to it! The hubby tried his first vegan, gluten-free meal! Now this may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but it was definitely a moment worthy of celebration around here. You see, Tim doesn’t consider it a meal if no animal was sacrificed, so this was quite the life-changing experience for him.
My goal is to make him realize that meatless meals can be equally if not more satisfying and delicious than his usual. I, myself, eat a lot of vegetarian meals. My favorite is a popular Korean dish called “bibimbap.” Just dump all the wonderful vegetable side dishes, mix them with rice, add red chili paste,
pour drizzle with a copious amount of sesame oil and BAM! I have myself a delightful meal I don’t mind eating any time of the day.
Now, the traditional recipe calls for some sort of meat..and I must admit a fried egg on top is quite an excellent touch. I guess this makes me a flexitarian ;). And yes, I just googled “do vegetarians eat eggs?” And yes, I’m still confused.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time gawking and drooling over Angela’s blog. Her butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheeze sounded like a wonderful recipe to entice Tim with. The man loves his mac ‘n’ cheese so perhaps I can fool him into thinking it’s the real deal? Stay tuned for his response.
It was mind-blowing to think that you can achieve a cheese-like consistency sauce without actually using any, well…cheese! I had to check it out. Although I wanted to follow her recipe exactly, the hubby prefers sweet potatoes over butternut squash so that’s what I went with. I didn’t want to overwhelm him. I also added chickpeas (I tend to do this to a lot of recipes) for some extra nuttiness and protein. I’m trying to help his muscles grow ;).
“Cheesy” Sweet Potato Pasta
- 1-2 med. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tbs. almond oil
- 1 Tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbs. Earth Balance
- 3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
- 1 Tbs. almond flour
- 6 Tbs. nutritional yeast, or more to taste
- 2 Tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 Tsp. garlic, minced
- 1/2-3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta water *
- 8 oz. pasta of choice (I used quinoa rotini pasta)
- Mix-in of choice (I added spinach and pumpkin seeds)
* While Angela’s recipe didn’t include it, I had to add about 3/4 cup of water to thin out the sauce. I think the addition of chickpeas really thickened it up.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with foil. Mix chopped sweet potatoes with almond oil and cinnamon. Roast for about 30 minutes. Flip halfway through.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce. Add Earth Balance in a medium pot over low-med heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and almond flour until smooth. Add into the pot and whisk. Stir in nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, s+p, garlic. Whisk together until thickened (about 5-7 min).
- Cook pasta following package directions.
- In a blender, blend the sauce with 1 cup of roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Add pasta water to thin out the sauce. Pour back into the pot. *
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pot. Add the mix-ins. Stir to combine.
* For me, I used a little over 1 sweet potato to make 1 cup of the pureed form. Leftover slices made for an awesome snack later on in the day.
Oh, I apologize for not taking a picture of the final sauce with the sweet potatoes and chickpeas! I just went straight into stirring up everything…I was very eager to try it.
So what did the hubby think? Who am I kidding? At first bite he knew there was absolutely no cheese involved. However, he said that it was really good for “what it is.” I’ll take it! He finished his plate and actually told me that he was full. The only thing he did not like was the addition of pumpkin seeds. He’s never liked them (unless they’re salted or drenched in honey) – Note to self. I learn something new everyday. Oh and he also made a great suggestion to add steamed broccoli rather than spinach next time. Ooh! I think that would be fantastic! In the end, I marvel at the fact that I fed Tim a gluten-free, vegan meal! I’m super pumped and eager to try more recipes!
– Do you guys have any recommendations of other blogs with great vegetarian recipes?
My favorites are:
- Angela @ ohsheglows
- Leanne @ healthfulpursuit
- Kari @ bite-sized thoughts
- Laura @ sprint2thetable
- Ellie @ fitforthesoul
- Brittany @ delightsanddelectables
- Lauren @ oatmealwithafork
- Liz @ iheartvegetables