Substitute any and all veggies for what is available on hand. It is best to “eat the rainbow” and have as much variety in veggies, color, and texture, to offer a more enjoyable and nutritious dish. Vegetables add so much of their own flavor that the seasoning can be kept to a minimum. These recipes are meant to simply give you some inspiration for great vegan meal options. Adjust as desired! Enjoy!
- Zucchini squash
- Yellow squash
- Red bell peppers
- Black Olives
- Whole wheat penne pasta
- Olive oil
- seasoning: crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, oregano
- optional add-ons: marinara sauce, plant-based bolognese sauce (available at Trader Joe’s), veggie burger, veggie meatballs or sausage, side of bruschetta, the options are endless!
- Cook penne pasta (bring salted water to boil, add 2 1/2c dry penne, cook until al dente)
- Cut vegetables. I cut vegetables into varying shapes so that there is added texture to the dish – e.g. strips of zucchini, quartered yellow squash, broccoli florets, thin strips bell pepper, minced garlic, sliced olives (sliced jalapeños can also be added) – should yield about 2 1/2c sqashes combined, 1 1/2c broccoli, 1/2c bell pepper + 1/4c olives (I purchase them pre-sliced) — adjust portions as desired; I add more of my favorite veggies or more of whatever I have available
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add the zucchini and yellow squash first. Cook for 4 minutes. Add bell peppers. Cook another 3 minutes. Add broccoli (Optional: you can blanch the broccoli prior to adding it — simply place broccoli in a colander, rinse with cool water, pour boiling water over the broccoli, rinse again with cool water — this brings out flavor and color, and it essentially cooks the broccoli immediately). Add 1 Tbsp minced garlic and 1/4c sliced olives. Mix together. Turn down to med-low heat.
- Season with 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp crushed red pepper, 1/4 tsp salt
- Add cooked pasta and 1/4c pasta water. Mix. Allow pasta water to boil off – it will mix with some of the spices an thicken it. Optional step is to add 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast which adds some flavor and cheesy thickness to the mix.
EXTRASOptional sauce addition: This pasta is great and light with just olive oil but you can add a sauce. Trader Joe’s vegan bolognese sauce is a great option. Regular marinara is also an option (add 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp chili powder, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder to add flavor to plain bottled marinara sauce).
Optional toppings: This pasta is packed with veggies and protein. For a heavier meal, add a veggie burger (Dr. Praeger’s has great plant-based burgers, or a homemade veggie burger is even better) or serve with side of bruschetta or some potatoes (baked potato, seasoned potato, fries, etc)