Sometimes when I tell people I'm vegan, the first thing I'm asked is "where do you get your protein?". I'm not alone, most of the vegans I know have been asked this question at some point. I actually love answering this question because there are so many sources of vegan protein! Beans, tempeh, tofu, seitan, whole grains, veggies, brown rice, vegan protein powder, and the list goes on. In the recipe I'm sharing today, I used a pasta made with lentil beans, and for even more protein, I added veggie "meat" crumbles (which have a similar consistency to ground meat minus the cruelty, and cholesterol).
I discovered the lentil bean pasta at Trader Joe's, but feel free to explore other pasta brands and types if you don't love lentils. Banza brand has a line of chickpea-flour based pastas which are so good and rich in protein. If bean-pastas aren't your thing, you can use a whole grain pasta. The veggie "meat" crumbles can be found at most grocery stores. I typically see it being sold next to the tofu/veggie burgers at conventional supermarkets.
I love making this pasta because it goes well with any veggies and I usually make a big batch of it and eat the leftovers as my lunch at work for the next few days. I hope you enjoy this deliciously plant-based, protein-packed pasta!
Protein-packed pasta with veggies (makes 4 servings)
- 2 cups (dry) Trader Joe's organic red lentil sedanini (or your favorite pasta type)
- ⅓ of a package of Lightlife smart ground original veggie crumbles (or 1 cup)
- 1.5 cups Trader Joe's organic spaghetti sauce or use your own homemade tomato sauce (I sometimes like taking the easy route and using jarred sauce)
- 1 medium bell pepper- orange, yellow, and red go best with this recipe
- 1 cup baby portobella mushrooms
- ¼ cup diced onion
- other veggies of your choice
- pinch of garlic powder
- pinch of oregano
- pinch of basil
- Place water in a medium-size pot and heat on high-medium, bringing to a rolling boil
- While waiting for the water to boil, chop veggies
- Place veggies in a large non-stick saucepan and heat on medium until lightly browned/softened
- When the water in the pot has boiled, add the pasta and boil for ~8 minutes
- Lower the heat on the saucepan to low and add veggie crumbles and continue to heat for about 2 minutes (the veggie crumbles are already cooked, so no need to overcook)
- Add tomato sauce and spices
- Drain the pasta and let sit for a minute or two
- Add the cooked pasta and turn off the heat
- Mix and allow to sit for a minute or two
- Serve warm, share, and enjoy!
Nutrition facts: (per serving)- 316 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g cholesterol, 650 g sodium, 335 g potassium, 53 g carbs, 8.6 g fiber, 7.6 g sugar, 24 g protein. 12.5% DV vitamin A, 79% DV vitamin C, 5% DV calcium, 22% DV iron.