Raw Zucchini Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

Pasta is delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it often leaves me feeling stuffed to the brim and on a carb overload. That’s why when my friend Brooke, author of Naturally Wholesome Life, mentioned that she recently made zucchini pasta, I didn’t wait another day to give it a try.

In the past I’ve oohed and aahed over raw pasta recipes, but I thought since I didn’t have a spiralizer, I couldn’t make those dishes. Quickly I found that a spiralizer isn’t necessary because the same thin, yet textured, effect can be created with a peeler.

I chose zucchini and heirloom carrots to make the pasta and whipped up a sun-dried tomato sauce with cashews which added a whole new level of flavor. Enjoy!

Raw Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients:

> 2 medium-sized zucchini
> 1 heirloom carrot
> 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, in olive oil
> 2 tablespoons raw cashews
> 1 clove of garlic
> salt and pepper
> 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
> 1/2 cup chickpeas

Instructions: 

Peel zucchini and carrot into thin, pasta-like strands, and mix together.

To make sun-dried tomato sauce, add sun-dried tomatoes, cashews and garlic to food processor and season with salt and pepper. Process until pureed and smooth.

Assemble veggie pasta, sun-dried tomato sauce, tomatoes and chickpeas on plate, and season with salt and pepper.

Makes 1 serving.

Original recipe.

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Vegan Tacos with Chickpea-Bean Mix

Tacos are typically a meat-dominant food, but they can just as easily make a delicious vegetarian meal. Plus with corn tortillas, they can be vegan and gluten-free, satisfying many dietary needs. Grilling or sautéing the vegetables of your choice is also a good go-to, but why not jazz it up with a flavorful chickpea-bean mix.

Veggie Tacos with Chickpea-Bean Mix

Ingredients:

> 1 can chickpeas, drained
> 1 can black beans, drained
> pinch of cumin
> pinch of paprika
> pinch of chili powder
> pinch of cinnamon
> 2 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
> 1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
> 8 corn tortillas
> 1 yellow onion, diced
> cilantro, chopped
> salsa

Instructions:

To make the chickpea-bean mix, spray medium pan with cooking spray and add chickpeas and black beans to the pan. Season with a pinch of cumin, paprika, chili powder and cinnamon. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the mixture is thoroughly cooked into a molded mix.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place zucchini and bell pepper on baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and season with a pinch of cumin and salt. Cook for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Warm tortillas over gas stove. Assemble tacos with chickpea-bean mix and vegetables, and top with salsa, onion and cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

Original recipe.

Sweet Potato-Cauliflower Gratin

Roasted vegetables are one of the easiest and most satisfying meals. Regardless of the veggie, roasting in the oven retains the genuine flavor and nutrients while having filly yet healthy qualities. A go-to meal for me is roasted veggies (typically carrots, zucchini and/or kale) and chickpeas. A little salt and pepper with these bad boys goes a long way.

Sometimes it’s fun to stray from the norm, so this time I tried different veggies and seasoned them in a new way. While the recipe is a variation of a gratin since I replaced the flour-whole milk sauce with a soy creamer sauce, the revised sauce still penetrated into the sweet potato and cauliflower.

Sweet Potato-Cauliflower Gratin

Ingredients:

1 cup soy creamer
> 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
> 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
> 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
> 1 head cauliflower, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350°F. Heat soy creamer and 1 cup water in small pot over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup mozzarella and chopped rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray a 9-by-13 inch baking pan with nonstick spray and pour a third of the sauce in the bottom of pan. Arrange the sweet potato and cauliflower slices along the bottom, making sure to distribute evenly. Pour the remaining sauce on top. Cover dish with parchment-lined foil and bake until vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.

Raise over temperature to 425°F and remove foil. Sprinkle a little mozzarella on top and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Whole Living.