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Creamy Vegan Baked Pumpkin Pasta

creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta

It’s pumpkin season! I know everyone gets so excited to go out and grab their pumpkin lattes, but not me. Don’t get me wrong — I love all things pumpkin too, but give me pumpkin comfort foods and I am the happiest ever. And this creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta blows your favorite pumpkin latte out of the water.

I never met a pasta I didn’t like. Especially a creamy pasta. Add in the fact that this is a hot and comfy baked pasta dish with a great crumb-topping, and you’ve got me drooling. So, when I saw a recipe for a baked pumpkin pasta by the amazing and inspiring Candice Kumai, I had to go for it.

What’s better than eating a delicious dinner with pumpkin in it while looking outside at the beautiful fall foliage? Nothing! Come on, look outside. Watch the leaves blowing around, smell the smells of fireplaces, open the windows and feel the slight chill in the air. Come on, do it. I live in the middle of the city, and I still open my windows and experience the wonder that is fall. Now, if I could figure out what kind of music to play while I’m cooking up all of this pumpkiny goodness… You know, winter is Christmas music in my kitchen. Summer is beachy music. But what’s fall? Hmmm… I’m open to suggestions…

I’ve made many pumpkin pasta dishes. Some of them end up looking like macaroni and cheese. Nothing wrong with that look… But, I’ve made the mistake of calling them something like pumpkin mac & cheese. This is a mistake, because it almost always disappoints the person I’m feeding, because while pumpkin pasta may look like mac and cheese, it doesn’t taste like it. But, pumpkin pasta is awesome. Especially this one… it’s creamy and pumpkiny and decadent tasting. I make mine with grain-free pasta and it is spectacular. I guess you get the point. I really think you should make this creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta.

For another delicious creamy vegan pasta dish, try my recipe for Creamy Mint Avocado Pasta.

creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta

creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta

Look at some of the healing ingredients in this awesome creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta dish:

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

n Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for this pasta.

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. Make sure you clean the kale leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric. I only used a little bit of turmeric in this pasta, so you don’t really taste it… but feel free to use as much as you like!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta

Creamy Vegan Baked Pumpkin Pasta
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is comfort food at it's most delicious. This healing vegan baked pasta is warming, delicious, simple, gooey, and just plain awesome.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pasta of your choice (I used a grain free pasta)
  • 1-1/4 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin (I buy them by the case)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • leaves of 3 thyme sprigs
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil (for greasing the pan)
  • For crumb topping:
  • 1 cup crumbs of choice (I used chickpea crumbs)
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup chopped lacinto/dinosaur kale
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease a large square or rectangle baking pan with oil.
  3. Cook your pasta al dente, drain well, and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Place the coconut milk, pumpkin, turmeric, thyme, garlic, and salt and pepper into the blender. I used my Vitamix. You can make this in a regular blender, but it make take a little time -- make sure you blend until very creamy and smooth.
  5. Stir the sauce into the pasta, and pour the mixture into the greased baking dish.
  6. Bake 30 minutes, then remove the pasta and switch the oven to the Broil setting.
  7. Make the crumb topping: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  8. After 30 minutes in the oven, spread the crumb mixture all over the top of the pasta and broil for a few minutes, until the crumbs start to turn brown. Watch it carefully -- no burning allowed!
  9. Enjoy!

creamy vegan baked pumpkin pasta

Creamy Mint Avocado Pasta

Avocados are good for hot flashes!
creamy mint avocado pasta

I’m going to be honest: most of my life I was not a big mint fan. I could never understand how people liked mint chocolate chip ice cream so much — to me, the mint ruined the deliciousness of the chocolate chip. Mint tea?… ewww…. And, I would always choose any other candy over the pretty red and white candy canes of winter. Funny how things change. And boy have they ever! Mint is awesome! And it’s recipes like this creamy mint avocado pasta that make me wonder what was wrong with me all of those years ago…

When I first started studying Chinese medicine and I fell so in love with all of the herbs, Mint (Bo He) quickly became a go-to healing herb for me. It is amazing in it’s abilities to fight colds, boost the immune system, and settle your stomach. But, it wasn’t until I started experimenting by adding mint to my recipes, that a true love affair bloomed.

A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors asked me if I wanted some fresh mint from her garden. Well, duh… of course I did. So I gratefully took a whole bag-full, and made tea and chocolate mint shakes, and this awesome pasta sauce. I probably should have shared the big bowl of it that I made but we ate it all before that ever happened. I guess there’s always next time…

So, when I tell you that this creamy mint avocado pasta sauce is amazing, I really mean it. The avocado makes it creamy. The flavor of the mint can be as strong as you like, or it can just peak through. And, if you make this dish with grain-free pasta, it’s one of the healthiest comfort foods around. It’s like happiness in a bowl — ugh, did I really just say that…?

If you are looking for another great pasta sauce, try my recipe for: Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto.

creamy mint avocado pasta

creamy mint avocado pasta

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this creamy mint avocado pasta:

Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever. It’s also good for some abdominal issues too, like bloating, nausea, and some stomach pains. Mint also helps cool of the body in cases of heatstroke, so stock up in summer!

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations, constipation, and hot flashes due to menopause.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc…. In this recipe, the garlic is left raw, so it’s effect and taste is magnified… so don’t use as much as you would if you are making a recipe with cooked garlic.

Limes help to regenerate fluids, so they are great to combat any dehydration symptoms that sometimes can accompany alcohol consumption. They also contain a lot of vitamin C and they can actually help energize you.

creamy mint avocado pasta

Creamy Mint Avocado Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, simple, sauce, vegan, vegetarian, paleo
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Always Order Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This pasta sauce is amazing! It's so healthy, and it's raw -- just put the ingredients in your food processor or blender, cook your pasta, and you're ready to go!
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds (you can buy these)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 lge garlic clove, chopped
  • juice of 1-1/2 limes
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 12-oz pasta of your choice (here's a grain-free one)
  • Vegan parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta according to the package directions, making sure it's al dente.
  2. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by putting all of the remaining ingredients (except Parmesan) into your food processor.
  4. Whiz it up until it's creamy.
  5. Toss the sauce with the pasta.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan if you like.
  7. Enjoy!

creamy mint avocado pasta

Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto

Arugula can help cool your body down while giving you a good dose of calcium!
chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of pasta? Nope. There’s not. At least not in my book. And this chickpea penne with arugula pesto doesn’t disappoint.

This recipe is great on 2 different fronts. First, there’s the pesto. OMG — this is sooooooooo good! And, it takes only 5 minutes to make. Next, there’s the beauty and deliciousness of the grain-free pasta made from chickpeas. Well, this is nothing short of genius!

I would serve this to a crowd of eve the pickiest eaters. But, truth be told, the last time I made this, it was all for me. Yes, it’s a really big bowl, I know, but I was home all by myself and I felt like I deserved the queen’s treatment. And this did the trick. And no, I didn’t eat the whole bowl. Well, at least not in one sitting… This was a totally decadent treat for me. A night home alone. A hot bath. A big bowl of this chickpea penne with arugula pesto. A nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Yup, certainly queen-like!

Basil pesto has always been a go-to for me. But recently, I started experimenting with pestos made from different herbs and greens and other interesting veggies. I can honestly say that this arugula pesto is amazing. I have started to like it even better than my traditional beloved basil pesto.

As soon as I admitted my love for all things pesto, I started seeing recipes all over the place. I just want to give a shout-out to Emily at A Nutritionist Eats for opening my eyes to arugula pesto.

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this chickpea penne with arugula pesto:

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels. This recipe uses zested lemon peel and lemon juice.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice.

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Chickpea Penne With Arugula Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: simple, pasta, comfort food, pesto
Cuisine: pasta, American, Italian, grain-free, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Arugula pesto is even better than basil pesto! This is awesome. And it takes only 5 minutes to make it. Use grain-free pasta like I did, or substitute your own favorite pasta!
Ingredients
  • ½ lb grain-free chickpea pasta (or use your favorite pasta), cooked al dente, and drained (SAVE ABOUT ⅓ CUP OF THE PASTA COOKING WATER FOR THE PESTO!!!)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest from one lemon
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs vegan Parmesan (or whatever Parmesan makes you smile)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • pinch of dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl. (Be sure to reserve about ⅓ cup of the pasta cooking water, and set that on the side in case you need it for the pesto.)
  2. Put all remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until finely minced. Add as much of the reserved pasta cooking water as you need to make it a creamy pesto-y consistency.
  3. Toss the pesto with the pasta.
  4. Enjoy!

chickpea penne with arugula pesto

Szechuan Zoodles

This recipe will actually make you feel cooler and calmer…

szechuan zoodles

It’s holiday season, but in my book that doesn’t mean everything we eat has to be heavy and traditional. This dish is neither, but it’s awesome. When I brought a big bowl of these Szechuan Zoodles to my family’s Hanukkah party, they certainly looked non-traditional next to the latkes but they made everyone happy. I’m all for healthy and happy, so if I were you, I’d give this dish a shot at your holiday party!

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Half Baked Harvest and the beautiful pics kind of called to me, so I knew I was going to have to make some version of them!

I’ve made zoodle dishes before and some have them have been great, while some have been only so-so. While I do love these vegetable noodles, I am a true pasta fanatic, so sometimes I end up a little disappointed. This dish is especially great because the zucchini noodles are mixed with buckwheat noodles, so in the end, this slurpy and spicy pasta dish tastes like real pasta. That’s always a really good thing…

And the dressing… OMG… it’s spicy and sweet and peanut buttery and it’s made in the blender… so it’s easy.

A real pasta dish that’s paleo, healing, spicy, slightly sweet, vibrant, and fresh… who could ask for anything more?

For another awesome paleo pasta dish try my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine.

szechuan zoodles

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these Szechuan Zoodles:

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better when you are feeling hot. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use black or white seeds, or a combination of both.

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

szechuan zoodles

Szechwan Zoodles
Author: 
Recipe type: zoodles, pasta, spaghetti, spicy, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, Asian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This dish is made with zucchini noodles and buckwheat spaghetti. The sauce is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet! It's paleo, healthy, and comforting!
Ingredients
  • 20 oz zucchini noodles (I bought mine pre-zoodled, but I would guess 2 large zucchini would do the trick if you are spiralizing them yourself)
  • 1 lb buckwheat spaghetti, cooked al dente (I used these buckwheat/sweet potato ones)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (here's an organic one)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos (you can buy it here)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 2 Tbs hot chili oil
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds (buy organic ones here)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 10 baby bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 hot pepper, sliced
Instructions
  1. Boil the buckwheat noodles, just until they are cooked al dente.
  2. Drain them and run cold water over them while you toss them around with your hands to make sure they don't stick together.
  3. Place the buckwheat noodles and the zucchini noodles in a large bowl.
  4. Make the dressing: Put the peanut butter, tahini, aminos, lime juice, coconut sugar, chili oil, sesame oil, coconut milk, and ¼ cup hot water into your blender. Whiz it up until very creamy.
  5. Put the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the noodles.
  6. Add in as much dressing as you like and toss with your hands (you will probably have some extra dressing).
  7. Enjoy!

szechuan zoodles

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl

Pasta rules! And this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is awesome!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Yay! Another great, fantastic, awesome, deliciously healing, yet paleo AND vegan pasta dish that tastes like real, classic, homemade Italian pasta. Wow, that was a mouthful! But I honestly don’t know how to accurately describe the awesomeness of this dish without using so many adjectives…

If you know me at all, you know that I will try any and every pasta that I see if it’s paleo. Some are truly awesome. Some… not so much. This lentil pasta is one of my favorites. (See the recipe below for where you can buy it.) It really has the texture and taste of traditional whole wheat pasta. For real — no one will know.

I made this dish a few days ago and I got to do one of my favorite things — feed an unsuspecting guest… My daughter’s boyfriend was here and I was in the kitchen experimenting and I made these pasta bowls. You know young men — they are always hungry… So, he gladly accepted a pasta bowl and ate it. Now, he knows my bent toward all things healthy, so after he ate half of it, he looked up and asked: “Is it real pasta?” I just smiled. He knew the answer, but continued to eat with gusto. Success! After that my daughter ate it and also loved it. The list continued from there. So, to Sam, my willing taste-tester, you are welcome in my kitchen any time!

This pasta is made so amazing by the delicious (and oh-so-easy) creamy roasted red pepper sauce. And then, a few drizzles of pesto and a dollop of cheese (I used a great vegan creamy cheese) and some crisp fresh arugula and fragrant basil. Really, this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is the complete package! I have to send an shoutout now to one of my favorite blogs: Half Baked Harvest, because she came up with the original recipe that inspired me to create this version — ingenious!

If you are looking to try another paleo pasta recipe, try my Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese.

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Here are some of the amazing ingredients in this roasted red pepper pasta bowl:

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use bell pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. The cashews give this sauce a velvety, creamy texture.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, vegan, Italialn
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This pasta is paleo, vegan, creamy, and healing! Oh, and did I mention it is awesomely delicious and so easy to make...
Ingredients
  • 16-oz jarred roasted red peppers
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (you can buy them here)
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus more for serving)
  • 12 oz pasta -- I used a paleo, lentil pasta (you can buy the lentil pasta here)
  • a few handfuls of fresh arugula
  • small jar of vegan pesto (whatever kind of pesto you like will be great)
  • 4 dollops of a creamy cheese (I used Kite Hill's vegan cream cheese with chives and it was perfect)
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta al dente.
  2. Put the red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, cashews, and ½ cup basil into a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was really quick). Whiz it up until smooth and creamy.
  3. Drain the pasta.
  4. Toss the pasta with as much sauce as you like.
  5. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls.
  6. Top with pesto, arugula, cheese, and extra basil leaves.
  7. Enjoy!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese

This vegan fettuccine bolognese is a great alternative to a meaty pasta sauce!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Whenever I make a pasta dish, it’s almost always a paleo-friendly pasta recipe because I feel better when I don’t eat grains. But, I do feel better when I eat pasta (for me, it’s the most comforting food around… and, I mean, really, who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta…?). I’m never sure whether to call the recipe “Paleo Pasta” or just call it “Pasta”.  I know this sounds trivial, but really, I get stuck with this each and every time.

Now, this recipe (which by the way is sooooo delicious), is vegan and it’s paleo. When I first typed in the title, it was “Vegan Paleo Fettuccine Bolognese”, but that’s just too long and complicated for a recipe that’s easy to make. So, for this recipe I decided to use vegan, and omit paleo. I’m still not sure that’s the best title, but I guess this dilemma falls under the category of champagne problems…

Anyway, I used one of my favorite grain-free pastas (Cappello’s fettuccine), and I made an awesome vegan bolognese sauce by using my favorite recipe for simple marinara sauce and adding tons of finely chopped mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini.

I’ve learned that often when I make a vegan recipe, my guests love it, but sometimes I see wary expressions on the faces of the meat eaters if I call it something with a traditional meaty name (like bolognese). But this time, the meat eaters enjoyed this vegan fettuccine bolognese so much, the meaty name was just perfect. Try this out the next time you want to cook something to both vegans and non-vegans… it’s just perfect!

If this recipe is your cup of tea, you must also try my Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Along with all of this deliciousness, you also get great healing benefits from this recipe:

In Eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used both baby bellas and shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitakes are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, paleo, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Here's a great dish for all types of dietary habits: vegan, paleo, meat eaters, comfort-food lovers... this is really easy and satisfying!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small eggplants, finely diced
  • 3.5 oz shittake mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, caps finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (I used Cappellos, grain-free fettuccine -- see above in post for link)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the eggplant, zucchini, and shrooms out on the sheets in a single layer. Drizzle oil over and toss a bit. Season with salt and pepper. (Try to keep each veggie in a separate area, so if one is done before the others it's easier to remove it from the sheet.)
  4. Roast the veggies in the oven until they start to brown and caramelize a bit. (Every oven is different, but my eggplant took 35 mins, the shrooms took 25 mins, and my zucchini took 20 mins.)
  5. Meanwhile, start the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then cook an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes, then using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it's smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the sauce to a blender and whiz it up -- just make sure you hold a dish towel tightly over the top of the blender instead of using the canister top, so that steam can escape and you don't burn yourself.)
  7. Cook the pasta al dente, and drain it well.
  8. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and top with mounds of the veggies. Toss it all together if you like before serving.
  9. Enjoy!

vegan fettuccine bolognese

Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo

This paleo fettuccine alfredo is so creamy and decadent tasting — shhhhh… it’s dairy-free…

paleo fettuccine alfredo

Okay, so I think I really am obsessed with all of the grain-free pasta’s on the market now. I just can’t seem to get enough of them. Here’s another post of a recipe that is so awesome and so satisfying even for the biggest pasta lovers out there (and I’m one of them)! I think I’m officially a Cappello’s junkie — it’s the best grain-free fettuccine out there!

I was in a yoga class early this morning. I know I’m supposed to “be present” in the class, but my mind kept going to what I was going to cook for dinner. This delicious paleo fettuccine alfredo was born during a downward dog.

I make faux cream sauces every chance I get. Sometimes I use cashews, sometimes coconut, sometimes some scary ingredients that never get posted here because they taste scary too. This cream sauce is made with cauliflower and it is totally blog-worthy!

So, now we have a grain-free pasta with a dairy-free cream sauce. My kids would run out of the room screaming if they heard I was serving this for dinner. But, don’t judge me or this recipe until you try it… it is awesome! And honestly, I would serve it to any guest in my house. Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t be up front about the ingredients until after they licked their plates clean…

paleo fettuccine alfredopaleo fettuccine alfredo

There are great thing in this paleo fettuccine alfredo:

In Chinese medicine we use cauliflower to aid in digestion and help with constipation. It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. So, if you use a grain-free pasta made from almonds, like I did, you get these amazing nutritional benefits too! This fettuccine is made from almonds and the cream sauce has almond milk in it.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

paleo fettuccine alfredo

Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, vegan, pasta
Cuisine: recipe adapted from:Simple Vegan Blog
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
This will satisfy you pasta craving... the sauce is creamy and the pasta tastes like delicious traditional fresh pasta... but nothing's as it seems here... so healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 lb cauliflower florets, sliced or chopped
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • sea salt
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes (I use this kind)
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 9 oz fettuccine (I used Cappello's grain-free fettuccine)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and stir until starting to brown.
  3. Pour in the almond milk and add the cauliflower.
  4. Season with salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the cauliflower is soft, about 15 mins.
  6. Let the pot cool a little bit, then pour the contents into a blender. (Note: when blending hot items, hold a clean dish towel tightly over the top of the blender instead of using the blender's cover -- this will allow the steam to escape so you don't burn yourself.)
  7. Add the nutritional yeast and the lemon juice to the blender and blend the mixture until it is silky and smooth.
  8. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.
  9. Put the pasta back into the cooking pot and pour in some sauce. Toss, adding as much sauce as you like.
  10. Enjoy!

 

paleo fettuccine alfredo

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine

If you are looking for a comforting bowl of pasta, this roasted red pepper fettuccine will really hit the spot!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

I would eat pasta every day if I could.  There’s just something about it that’s so comforting to me. The bite and texture of perfectly cooked home made fettuccine just takes me to an awesome place.  My favorite thing about visiting Italy is all of the amazing and simple pasta dishes… each time I go I dream about them for weeks to come. (And yes, I’m well aware that if this is what’s filling my dreams, I have a bit of a problem.)

For years, since I stopped eating most grains, I felt deprived (cue the sad-face emoji here). But now that I’ve found so many great grain-free pastas, I am doing the happy dance!

The fettuccine I used in this recipe is grain-free. It’s made from almonds (by Cappello’s) and it has the same texture and taste of homemade traditional fettuccine.

I’m a little out of control though. I’m making so many different sauces and condiments to put on my pasta dishes, that my freezer is overflowing and I’ve become a bit of a food pusher to anyone who comes near my kitchen. The sauce for this roasted red pepper fettuccine is so good that the leftover container didn’t even make it to the freezer; I ate it several days in a row. My intention was to use it as a sauce for vegetables during the week, but I ate it on pasta, again. And again.

I am not a big fan of jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe, but it’s so easy to roast your own that you really should do it this way. You can roast them in the oven, or if you have a gas stove, you can just plop the pepper right on the flame like I do.

roasted red pepper fettuccineroasted red pepper fettuccine

This pasta and sauce combination is amazing:

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe contains sun dried tomatoes, which have the same great capabilities and also taste amazing!

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. So, if you use a grain-free pasta made from almonds, like I did, you get these amazing nutritional benefits too!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, grain-free, sauce, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: Italian, vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
I used grain-free pasta and tossed it with the most amazing vegan sauce! This is easy, it's delicious, it's healthy... and it makes for awesome leftovers!
Ingredients
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted (you can do this in the oven or on top of a gas flame) and peeled
  • 10 sun dried tomatoes, not packed in oil (soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes and then drained)
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint multi-colored small tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • about ½ lb of your favorite pasta (try a grain-free one) (I used Cappello's fettuccine)
  • * Note: this recipe makes enough sauce for at least twice as much pasta as indicated, so if you have extra, be sure to store it in the fridge or freezer for another meal!
Instructions
  1. Put the roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, oil, and hot red pepper flakes into a blender. Whiz it up until smooth.
  2. Pour the sauce into a pot and place it over medium heat just until very warm.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta and toss it with sauce.
  5. Gently mix in fresh tomatoes and cilantro.
  6. Enjoy!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

Sweet Potato Spaghetti Marinara

Sweet potato spaghetti marinara is a great alternative to traditional pasta!

sweet potato spaghetti marinara

A few years ago I bought a spiralizer and I started spiralizing everything. I became one of those annoying people who forced new creations on anyone who came into my house. While some of them were excellent, some were… well… really, really bad. Just because you can make pasta ribbons and spaghetti out of lots of things, doesn’t mean you should.

So, I took a break from my spiralizer.

Now, let me tell you about this amazing marinara sauce.  Because it is truly is amazing. A few weeks ago I spent 5 glorious days on vacation in Anguilla.  I had the honor of being able to cook with a great chef from Italy and we made his favorite simple pasta sauce.  This is my version of his recipe (I used parsley instead of basil because I wanted to try it and I had some great looking parsley in my fridge) — it’s simple and it’s delicious!

I walked into Whole Foods the other day, and in the produce department, there they were — containers of pre-cut sweet potato spaghetti. They called my name. So, I’m back at it again… and I’m excited to make these sweet potato noodles so many different ways. But for now, I wanted a vehicle for this great sauce.

This sweet potato spaghetti marinara is awesome. It was a great experiment (I’m sure there will be some more losers along the way, but this recipe is great) and it was even good cold out of the refrigerator during the week.

And here’s another vegetable spaghetti that’s a winner: Raw Spaghetti Zucchini Antipasto Salad.

sweet potato spaghetti marinarasweet potato spaghetti marinara

Here are some of the reasons you should make this sweet potato spaghetti marinara recipe:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

sweet potato spaghetti marinara

Sweet Potato Spaghetti Marinara
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, grain-free, paleo
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Who doesn't like spaghetti marinara? Well, here's a great one, but the spaghetti here is made from sweet potatoes... awesome!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb sweet potato spaghetti noodles (I was able to buy them pre-spiralized, but you can spiralize a few large peeled sweet potatoes yourself)
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 very large shallot, peeled and quartered (feel free to use an onion instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup packed parsley (leaves and stems)
  • 1 28-oz can tomatoes with basil (use whatever canned tomatoes you have on hand)
  • For topping:
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup parsley
Instructions
  1. Blanch the sweet potato spaghetti in a pot of salted hot water for 20 seconds, then drain it and set it aside.
  2. Make the sauce: In a large saucepan, heat the oil.
  3. Add the shallot, garlic, and parsley.
  4. Cook, over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Carefully pour the tomatoes into the pot, season generously with salt and pepper, and let the sauce cook for 45-minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Let the sauce cook a little bit, and then blend it in a standard blender or use an immersion blender, until it's very smooth.
  7. Pour the sauce back into the pot, add the sweet potato noodles, and cook over low heat about 5 minutes or until the noodles are cooked, but still al dente.
  8. Meanwhile, sauce the scallions and ¼ cup parsley in 2 Tbs oil for about 1-min.
  9. Top the spaghetti with the sautéed scallions and parsley,
  10. Enjoy!

sweet potato spaghetti marinara

Vegan Macaroni And Cheese

Yes, you can have creamy mac and cheese and stay healthy… try this vegan macaroni and cheese… it’s so good!

vegan macaroni and cheese

I have been pretty much dairy-free for too many years to count. And, for the last several years I eat mostly grain-free too.
And, honestly, there’s not too much that I feel I’m missing. That is, except creamy pasta dishes.

When I serve something that looks like this vegan macaroni and cheese, anyone who knows me backs up and asks what it’s made of. I can’t say I blame them because I’ve tried to replicate dishes like this with some pretty strange ingredients.

I experiment with lots of creamy pasta recipes. I mean, I do this a lot. Because pasta is awesome. It’s always been my favorite food. It’s the food that I find to be the most comforting food around.

I don’t post most of my experiments because truthfully, a lot of grain-free, dairy-free pasta dishes that are supposed to taste creamy and pasta-like really aren’t that good. But when I find a good one, I get really excited. And this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is really, really good.

The sauce is made with potatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast, and coconut milk. I know it sounds a little odd, but the texture and look are just perfect. It’s so creamy and the nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste. My non-vegan husband ate big bowls of this.

The pasta is made from lentils. Just lentils. This is a great find (see the recipe below for details on this awesome grain-free pasta). The texture really is like traditional pasta… it’s my new favorite pasta.

If you like the feel of this dish, take a look at this recipe for another type of vegan cheesy pasta!

vegan macaroni and cheese

Here are some of the great ingredients in this dish:

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

Turmeric is a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, so it’s perfect here.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes.

vegan macaroni and cheese

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Macaroni And Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, casserole, comfort food
Cuisine: recipe adapted from:Vegan Yumminess
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This mac and cheese really is reminiscent of the creamy cheesy pasta I remember from my childhood. But this one is grain-free and dairy-free.
Ingredients
  • 12 oz cooked pasta (I used this brand of grain-free lentil pasta)
  • 1 med baking potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 large carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast (I like this kind)
  • ¼ cup coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (I buy these in bulk)
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onion.
  3. Boil until the veggies are soft; mine took 13 minutes.
  4. Dip a measuring cup into the veggie cooking water, and save ½ of a cup of it, then drain the veggies.
  5. Place the cooked veggies in a blender with all of the remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Add the reserved cooking water.
  6. Blend until smooth and creamy (I used my Vitamix for this).
  7. Pour the sauce of the pasta and stir until well-combined.
  8. Enjoy!

vegan macaroni and cheese