“Cheesy” Sweet Potato Pasta

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.

Just mix it all up and marvel at the most beautiful red-orangish hue you’ve ever seen!

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

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Cook pasta following package directions.
  4. 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. *
  5. 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.

Don’t mind the black creeper in the background. Kona’s always lurking around the kitchen while I’m cooking. My personal vacuum cleaner as I call him.

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!

Question:

– Do you guys have any recommendations of other blogs with great vegetarian recipes? 

My favorites are:

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33 Responses to “Cheesy” Sweet Potato Pasta

  1. Yum this looks amazing! I love that you added chickpeas for some extra protein too. Great idea! 🙂

    Also, about the vegetarian thing, yes they eat eggs. This chart might clear it up for you: http://www.vegetarian-nation.com/resources/common-questions/types-levels-vegetarian

    Have a great Monday girl!

  2. The vegetarian/eggs debate always confuses me too! In Hinduism, vegetarian means no eggs but I know that belief differs in the west. As a result, I’m always hesitant to call my egg recipes vegetarian, so as to avoid offending anyone. I haven’t had mac & cheese in so long but this looks divine! I especially love that you added chickpeas to the recipe- who am I to argue with keeping fuller for longer! I bet tofu blended into the sauce would be a great addition too- more protein without altering the taste yet also thickening the sauce!

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi Min!! I hope you are having a great Monday so far – you are probably commuting right now 🙂
    In the past, I wasn’t able to consider something a “real” meal if it didn’t include meat, save for maybe spaghetti. But even then, we often had it with meatballs. In the past few years though, I finally branched out and discovered that there are so many ways to make a meal satisfying without it! I need to try your chickpea trick though – that is something I haven’t done and I’ve really only had them in salads (and in store bought hummus… that needs to change!).

    I think I’ll include the pumpkin seeds in this. Sorry Tim, but I have to disagree – they are yummy! I’m hoping to make some granola soon with pumpkin seeds included.

    How is your research paper going, or did you already finish? I think I might find out what I got on my orgo test today… eeek!

    • Min says:

      Yes yes! I love chickpeas and I add it to just about everything! Makes for a great snack too!
      And I agree with you! I LOVE pumpkin seeds! Ooh I like to add various seeds and dried fruit to my granola too! Do share the recipe! There can never be enough granola recipes 😉
      My paper is going well! A lil intimidated about presenting though. I bet you did great! I know how hard you studied!!

  4. Linz says:

    haha Tim and Jonny sound a lot alike! Although I must say, Jonny has come a long way. The key is to trick him! Sometimes, no many times, I don’t tell Jonny what is in our meals, OR I’ll tell him something is in it when itz really not (ie: cheese, meat). Seriously, usually itz a mental thing and if they THINK there is something in it then they’ll think itz better. Then at the end you can point your finger and laugh and tell them the truth. Only after they give a rave review hehe

    • Min says:

      Yup! That’s what I do a lot of times too! Last month, I made this casserole and I snuck in some greek yogurt (which he absolutely hates) and he had NO idea! Muhahaha! Mission accomplished!

  5. Are you kidding me with this recipe??? this sounds so amazing, please come cook for me! I just got groceries and got sweet potatoes for another dish, but I may not have a choice anymore 🙂

  6. That looks so yummy! I have been wanting to try that butternut squash mac & “cheese” since she posted it last year… So glad to know it works with sweet potatoes too
    One of my favorite vegetarian/vegan blogs is Peas and Thank You {peasandthankyou.com}. She’s hilarious and always has amazing looking recipes. Plus she gets her whole family to eat them!

    • Min says:

      I bet hers was a lot tastier, but I think sweet potatoes worked beautifully!
      And thank you for the recommendation! Def going to check out her recipes!!

  7. Courtney says:

    This recipe looks yummy! Does it taste cheesy at all?

    • Min says:

      It’s not as savory as a normal cheese would be. I think I might try adding more nutritional yeast next time. This dish is more on the sweeter side with the sweet potatoes and everything. Hope you give this recipe a try!

  8. This recipe sounds amazing! I love Mac n Cheese and I like you have the problem of getting Darin to eat anything that doesn’t have meat in it. Thus why I had to add salmon to my recent recipe although I would have eaten it without! I hope you got some time to relax in the midst of school stuff this weekend! 🙂 I also agree with Meme above, I love Sara at Peas & Thank You.

    • Min says:

      Why are our men so high maintenance? hehe. I’m determined to change that! School’s been keeping me very busy, but I get to relax at the end of the day by reading my fav blogs, like yours! Thank you for the recommendation!

  9. i always assume vegetarians eat eggs but vegan (of course) do not. i believe there’s a special designation of “lacto-ovo” vegetarian, but i don’t see that commonly used.

    this recipe looks fantastic! your photography is really fantastic, too. i feel like i could dive right into that plate. 🙂

    thank you so much for the shout out!

    • Min says:

      Ahhh…yea I just learned that there are so many types of vegetarian! And thank you for the compliment! Food photography is so much fun! a lot of learning and practicing involved, but I’m loving it!

  10. oh my gosh Min this meal looks delicious! I love sweet potatoes! I need to start throwing in some vegetarian gluten free meals around this household. Eric would never go for it if I told him it was that way but if I make it… have him love it… then tell him maybe i’ll get somewhere! (: haha its all about trickery right? haha misssssssss youuuuuuu!

    • Min says:

      Hi, Danielle! Yes that’s the trick! No need to tell him! Just make him eat it first and see what he says! Bet he would love whatever you cook for him! Miss you too!!

  11. Thanks for the love girl!! I def need to try that!! It looks amazing. You think I could sub winter squash for the sweet potato?? I have a HUGE one that needs to be used. lol!

  12. You’ve succeeded in making my mouth water! The “cheesy” sauce sounds amazing; I love that the creaminess is derived from pureed sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Talk about a nutritional all-star meal! And that touch of cinnamon? Yum! I’m more than happy to polish off any leftovers that Tim doesn’t want. 😉 Although, it sounds like he’s warming up to vegan/vegetarian cooking! With dinners like this, he’ll be a convert in no time.

    Regarding vegetarianism…I’ve always understood only “vegan” to mean no eggs and dairy. I think most vegetarians usually eat both, unless they label themselves “lacto” (meaning just dairy) or “ovo” (meaning just egg). It’s so confusing though!

    Oh, and I LOVE bibimbap! It’s definitely my favorite Korean dish, and I always order it when I go to my favorite place in DC (Mandu). The runny yolk mixed in with the rice and vegetables is truly amazing, and with a touch of kimchi and sriracha, it’s out-of-this-world good! Do you make it at home? If so, I know have 4372842 reasons to come visit you!

    Hope you had a marvelous Monday, Min! xoxoxo

    • Min says:

      Hi, Sara! Tim actually ate it twice..then I didn’t offer to him bc I wanted all the leftovers to myself ;). Ok..I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s confused. I will just think of it this way – if one’s not a strict vegetarian, eggs are allowed in the diet!

      Haha! How cute is the name of the restaurant..Mandu…that means dumplings in Korean. And I LOVE dumplings! YEs yes, the runny yolk is key! Whoa, you add both kimchi AND sriracha? you’re hardcore and I like it!
      And yes, I make them at home. Not difficult to make at all! Just takes a long time to prep everything.
      HOpe your week’s going well!

  13. Lauren says:

    Hi Min! Thanks for the mention! This pasta looks fantastic! I love that you were able to eliminate the cashews, as I am allergic to them… :-/ I hope you’re having a great week and that everything is going well! P.s. Your pics are looking great!!

  14. Ellie says:

    Oh wow, thank you for the love Min unnie! And omgness your photos are getting amaaaaazing….:D And yes, Angela has tons of tasty and beautiful dishes! She was the first blog read and got me hooked instantly, haha. Unnie, heem nae! aja aja fighting!

    • Min says:

      THanks, Ellie! Your endless encouragement really keeps me going! aja aja aja!!! 😉
      I still have a lot to learn in terms of food photography, but I’m def having a lot of fun experimenting! Although I haven’t been lately….sad…Your photos are so clean and beautiful!

  15. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says:

    Well done on trying things out with Tim! I laughed at the pumpkin seed mention though because Mr B does not like them either – or any seeds or nuts for that matter 😛 He actually eats quite a lot of vegetarian meals and doesn’t eat much red meat, but I have found that he likes vegetarian dishes that are *similar* to meat dishes, rather than the more vegan or ‘hippie’ like (!) ones – so no quinoa, for instance! He likes Mexican burritos with veggie filling, and pastas, and stir fries and things like that, but not lots of tofu or grains or too many beans. Trial and error I guess 🙂 Have fun with the process!

  16. Oh my gosh thank you so much for the shout out!! That totally made my day 🙂 Min, you are too sweet!!!

    I LOVE using nutritional yeast as a “cheesy” sauce 🙂 It’s so delicious on popcorn!!! hehe

  17. Looks delicious and definitely cheesy!! 🙂 One of my favorite foods is sweet potato, there’s something wonderful about how creamy they get when simply baked. I saw you used quinoa pasta…one of my best friends was just telling me to try that out, does it taste like regular pasta?

    Good for Tim on being adventurous and trying these foods out! I know Patrick cringes a little bit inside every time I make quinoa – he’s not a big fan 😉

  18. Pingback: Sweet Potato Pasta | Gluten Free Vegan Living

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