Plants-ARE-Protein Pasta

I have heard lots of people highly concerned about protein and nutritional content of vegan meals while a second thought is not given to the nutritional value or health impacts of non-vegan meals. The best advice I heard for following a plant-based diet is “just eat as many plants as you can or desire”. I did this for weeks while keeping a log of foods but without tracking macros and calories. I went back and calculated my macros and I met all my nutritional needs without feeling stuffed and like I was working to meet my goals – this never happened when I was not vegan even when I obsessively tracked my meals. This simple pasta that I made simply feeling lazy and not wanting to make anything elaborate but knowing I would be sated and nourished.

478 calories | 25g protein | 73g carbs | 10g fiber | 8-13g fat (depending on amount oil used)


  • Barilla Veggie Rotini
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Rao’s Marinara Sauce
  • Avocado or Olive Oil
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Garlic (minced or powder)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Optional: Fresh Baby Spinach


  1. Cook rotini per package instructions
  2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet. Add 1/2 c chopped mushrooms (about 5 medium to large mushrooms)
  3. Season the mushrooms with 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp minced garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  4. Add drained pasta to the mushrooms along with 1 tsp oil to coat the pasta and prevent sticking.
  5. Add 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast and 1/4 c of the pasta water — this helps creating a cheesy creamy mix.
  6. Add 1/3 c marinara sauce, 2 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix.
  7. Add more pasta water as needed about 1 Tbsp at a time to keep pasta from drying out and to help make the sauce creamier – more nutritional yeast can also be added to help with this.
  8. Bonus: 2c chopped fresh spinach can be added to this, allow to wilt, add 1/4 tsp salt, mix through and relish in the additional protein and Vitamin A!
  9. Enjoy!

Published by M

Physician. Yogi. Lover of all animals, especially my dog.

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