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


  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 Maditative Vegan

Physician. Yogi. Lover of all animals, especially my dog (who also loves fruits and vegetables as much as I do)

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