Creamy Protein Packed Pasta
Protein is the key building block to everything in the human body, including your tissues, organs and hormones. Getting adequate protein is so important to ensure your body can function at its best, particularly if you exercise. Protein helps to keep you satiated by stabilising your blood sugar levels, improve your ability to learn and concentrate, boost your energy levels, as well as supporting your muscles and bones.
However, many of us struggle to get enough into our daily diet and can be a bit more of a challenge for those following a vegan lifestyle. Beans and legumes provide an ideal source of protein for vegans – they provide high levels of protein and fibre, as well as many essential nutrients including, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins, just to name a few. Bean-based pasta are a great way to get a balanced, protein rich meal that is easy and quick to prepare. This creamy cauliflower sauce feels indulgent, but is jam-packed with goodness. Nutritional yeast gives this sauce a lovely "cheesy" flavour to take it to the next level.
Cauliflower “cream” sauce – makes enough for 4 serves generously
- ½ head of cauliflower
- ½ can of cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 3 tbs of lemon juice
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- ¼ unsweetened almond milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbs of minced garlic
- Mushrooms, 350-400g
- 2 cups spinach
- Bunch of fresh basil
- 250g good quality bean pasta (try Explore Cuisine – they have a great range, Edamame and mung bean works well here)
1. Make the sauce: Add cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 3-7 minutes until fork tender. Drain. In a blender, combine cauliflower with the white beans, almond milk, lemon juice, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and pepper, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, add the oil into a skillet and saute the minced garlic over low heat for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant, but not browned. Sautee the mushroom until brown
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your pasta and boil for the time instructed on the package. Drain pasta.
4. Add cauliflower sauce into the pot (you can use the same pot!) and add the drained pasta. Heat over low-medium until heated enough to your liking. Add the mushrooms and spinach. Salt again to taste (the pasta dilutes the flavour).
5. Serve with fresh basil and top with some pine nuts
Conscious Contributor: Louise Organ
Dr. Louise Organ has a PhD in Respiratory Biology. She is passionate about exploring and understanding ways we can make our lives richer and more fulfilling through conscious living, as well as creating a positive impact on our environment. She is originally from Australia, but now lives in the United Kingdom. She loves travelling, being outdoors, and being active - she is an avid runner and cyclist, as well as a budding yogi! She has a keen interest in nutrition and understanding how we can nourish and thrive through food. Her dream is to create a simple yet meaningful life focused on health and happiness.