Creamy Red Pepper Protein Pasta (V)
One of the most innovative food trends of 2018-ish. A legume pasta recipe has been on my radar for a few months because these noodles have incredible nutrition. Every type of legume pasta I’ve come across has at least 20g protein and up to 15g fiber; HELLO: beautiful macronutrients. Legume noodles are becoming easier to find in the grocery store, too. I’ve seen varieties almost everywhere nowadays, from Costco to Smiths to Walmart.
But there’s certainly an adjustment. Look: Black bean pasta tastes like black beans. Lentil pasta tastes like lentils. Chickpea pasta tastes like chickpeas. There’s an adjustment.
And that’s been a bit of a challenge: Figuring out flavors that will complement the taste of legumes or maybe trick the brain into thinking it’s getting the gooey gluten stuff.
I think we did it, thanks to roasted red pepper sauce.
If you’ve never tried red pepper sauce, now is the time. It’s a great alternative to tomato sauce because it’s mellow, smooth and subtly sweet with smoky notes. I decided to vegan-ize this red pepper sauce using unsweetened almond milk creamer. I’ve been testing Califia Farms creamer in a couple recipes lately with beautiful results. Same velvety glory without dairy!
If you can’t find unsweetened almond milk creamer, I’ve included instructions on making your own substitute or you can easily substitute half-and-half in this sauce if you eat dairy.
Another reason I went vegan with this sauce is because I have many plant-based readers and I reeeally wanted to share a protein-packed vegan recipe. I’m frequently asked about vegan protein sources and/or getting enough protein on a vegan diet. This one fits the bill (with at least half your daily fiber to boot!)
Red Pepper Pasta Add-ins
Think of it similarly to tomato sauce and throw in some of your faves, like:
Fresh or dried basil
Blistered cherry tomatoes
Shrimp or chicken if you aren’t plant-based
…or enjoy it solo with a big heap of legume noodles!
In my opinion, pasta dishes only get better with time. It’s gonna taste great tossed together immediately after preparing, but it won’t lose any of that flavor or hearty texture during the week. If you try this one, let me know how it goes on Instagram, would ya?
Servings: 3 | Calories: 398 per serving
Carbs: 55g (14g from Fiber) | Protein: 24g | Fat: 9g
CREAMY RED PEPPER
WITH CHICKPEA NOODLES
Yield: 3 servings
3 roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1/2 small onion
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened almond creamer (see note 1 for alternatives)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 box chickpea noodles (see note 2 for brands)
Preferred add-ins like fresh basil, mushrooms, or spinach
Start by cutting onion into strands and mincing garlic. In a pan over low heat, add 1 tsp oil, onions, and garlic. Saute low and slow for about 15 minutes until onions are soft and translucent.
Transfer onions and garlic into a blender or food processor, along with all of the other ingredients except creamer and chickpea noodles.
Transfer sauce back into the pan and heat on low. When the sauce warms up, stir in the cream until combined.
Prepare chickpea noodles according to the box directions. RINSE AFTER STRAINING. This will help prevent sticking.
Fold red pepper sauce and preferred add-ins into your chickpea noodles. Separate pasta into 3 meal prep containers and allow them to cool slightly before adding a lid.
Pasta keeps great in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Note 1 - Almond Creamer: Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Creamer works wonders in here. It’s the best option if you can find it (try Natural Grocer, Whole Foods, or Smiths.)
If you can’t find unsweetened nut-based creamer, try this instead:
Boil 1 1/2 cups of water and add 1/2 cup unsalted cashews. Boil for 10 minutes until cashews are very soft. Drain water. In a high speed blender, combine soft cashews with 1 cup of unsweetened nut milk.
Or if you eat dairy, you can substitute half-and-half in this recipe instead.
Note 2 - Chickpea Noodles: I’m Using Banza Cavatappi noodles but there are many varieties out there. You can also try red or yellow lentil noodles; I’ll link a few varieties below.
Pro tip: Always rinse legume noodles after boiling. They stick together v easily!
(and a couple other legume pasta options)