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
- Garlic (minced or powder)
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Optional: Fresh Baby Spinach
- Cook rotini per package instructions
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet. Add 1/2 c chopped mushrooms (about 5 medium to large mushrooms)
- Season the mushrooms with 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp minced garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Add drained pasta to the mushrooms along with 1 tsp oil to coat the pasta and prevent sticking.
- Add 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast and 1/4 c of the pasta water — this helps creating a cheesy creamy mix.
- Add 1/3 c marinara sauce, 2 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix.
- 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.
- 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!