Creamy Vegan Pasta – ONE POT!!!
It feels so good to get back to writing. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but as a writer, it comes much easier when you take sometime off. It’s like if you give your “writing muscle” time to relax. Just like any other muscle, after work, your brain needs to rest. Writing, is very much “work” for the brain. So after a lot of said “work” you brain can be tired, overworked, stretched and sore. The time off seems to give clarity and an ease to extended your thoughts out to the page.
Along with a “writing muscle”, my brain comes equipped with a cooking muscle as well! This muscle, like the writing one, surely get’s over worked. I took a break from that one as well. Of course I kept cooking food for my family’s meals, but I kind of shut down in the category of recipe creation and testing. There were a few new dishes in the last month or so, some of which I snapped pictures of while cooking to have for writing in the future. None of these with intent of posting them.
I haven’t really jumped in to the reasons why I took a break. What triggered this need to take 6 weeks off from my blog? Well it wasn’t the best circumstances, they still aren’t, but here goes nothing.
Here we go…
My grandmother, whom I lovingly refer to as “Meemaw” in my other posts, was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer. I can’t stress enough how much this woman means to me. I lived in her house from the time I was born up until I was 16. Somewhere around the age of 10-12, my mom built a house right by my grandparents, but I refused to move. I stayed with Meemaw and Daddy Joe.
Essentially, she’s a mother to me. And news of her cancer hit hard. Meemaw is a very tough lady. She never talked about any pain and you’d never see any tears coming from her. The VERY first symptom that started everything was a fall. The fall lead her to admit to having weakness on her left side. An emergency ambulance ride to the hospital and a CAT scan later, we discover she has masses on her brain. Then, another emergency rush to another hospital with the more capable ability to diagnose and treat this.
After more scans and test, the cancer was found in her brain, lymph, liver, lungs and kidney. The cancer started in her kidney and spread to all of the other places. Thus far, she has had “gamma knife radiation” on her brain and has started a course of chemo pills and is about a month into it. She’s hanging in there, but were starting to see the side effects of the treatment. Regardless, she’s still the mouthy, tough grandmother that I’ve come to know and love.
Sorry to unload! The post just took me there, so that’s where we went. But like I said, I’m back and I couldn’t be happier. I’m using this situation as even more of a reason to be the healthiest version of myself possible. I also have more incentive to spread knowledge of being healthy to as many people as possible.
For my first recipe post back, I’m doing my rendition of…
Vegan One Pot Creamy Pasta!
This dish was an exploration for me to say the least. Why? Because it contains a crucial ingredient in a most vegans arsenal of secret food goodness and that is…..
This seemingly magic powder (or flakes) pack quite the punch of flavor. It’s very difficult to name the flavor that it brings. I like to say cheesy, but depending on what you pair it with, that’s not always the case. It’s almost something that you have to try for yourself before trying to understand it’s flavor. Go into with the mindset of cheesiness.
If you’ve never tried it before, I recommend starting off with a smaller container like this one: Braggs Nutritional Yeast – 4.5 oz
Then, work your way up to investing in the larger amounts, because, let’s face it, you’ll want to. It’s cheaper and you’ll need A LOT of it.
Alongside the nutritional yeast, you’ll find canned whole tomatoes, almond milk and veggie broth. All of these liquidy ingredients along with the nutritional yeast give the wilted spinach and pasty and delectable coating. It’s not like a normal sauce. It’s creamy, but not heavy. It has a light acidity from the tomatoes that’s quieted down slightly by the cheesiness brought by the nutritional yeast and almond milk.
I used egg noodles in my rendition. We always have bags and bags of these things on hand in our pantry at all times. They’re too cost-friendly and universal not to keep them around. They seem to pair well with any kind of sauce. They were perfect for this one-pot-dish. I definitely plan to try other forms of pasta with this, as I can’t imagine there are too many that wouldn’t go with this dish.
Vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or foody, you have to give this one a try. It’s ridiculously simple and amazingly delicious.
- 16 oz uncooked pasta of choice (I used egg noodles, which ARE NOT VEGAN)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes or 1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 1/2 cups veggie broth
- 2 1/2 cups non dairy milk (I used almond)
- 5 oz spinach, washed and dried
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat 1-2 tbsp in the bottom of your pot over medium high heat until smoking. Add the onion and a couple pinches of salt. Saute for 5-8 minutes or until onions just start to show some browning. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds more.
- Add in the can of tomatoes with their juices. Using a spatula, meat crumbler, or potatoe masher, chop up the tomatoes until they are all in bite size pieces and stir well to combine. If using grape tomatoes, just toss them in and stir.
- Stir in the almond milk and veggie broth. Stir well and then add the pasta and stir again to combine. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked to desired doneness.
- Toss in the spinach and stir to combine. Add in the nutritional yeast and stir well until it’s dissolved into the sauce and everything is coated evenly. The sauce will thicken as it sits, so if desired, allow it to sit 5 minutes before serving.