MEAT FREE. GLUTEN FREE. DAIRY FREE (if you want). NUT FREE.
And full of protein?!
As an occasional vegetarian and often vegan with a crap ton of food allergies, I’m always in search of quick and easy meals I can actually eat that don’t involve salad. I have refused red meat for as long as I can remember. I threw up on my teacher’s feet on Laura Ingalls Wilder Day when I found out the venison stew they were serving was in fact deer. (And yes, we celebrated Laura Ingalls Wilder day…there was butter churning, candle making and all sorts of old school fun.)
I was full vegetarian until I got pregnant with Avery and my only cravings were MEAT. I remember being at a pizza place and telling Micah I wanted to order wings (It is important to note that even as a child I had never actually eaten wings before, so I have no idea where that craving came from.) Micah looked at me like I was insane, then proceeded to videotape as I sat down and DEVOURED a dozen wings straight off the bone. That was officially the FIRST time in my life I have been able to eat meat that was actually attached to a bone. Needless to say, I have since retreated back to my semi-vegetarian state. I force myself to cook and eat poultry or fish at least 2-3 times a week so I don’t wither away from a protein deficiency.
I absolutely prefer cooking and eating meat-free, so I’m always on the hunt for protein-packed veggie options, especially since I am also deathly allergic to nuts. When I stumbled upon this pasta at Whole Foods I had to try it.
I was very skeptical and assumed that like most pretend “pastas” it would fall under the category of barely edible. But I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was in fact delicious! The pasta has a crap ton of protein in it (21 grams/serving), tastes delicious and is super quick and easy to make. Win. Win. Win. Win.
Here’s my (oh-so-gourmet) “recipe”:
1 box Tolerant Lentil Pasta
Crimini mushrooms (1 container)
Broccoli (1-2 heads)
1 can of pasta sauce
(My fave is Whole Foods 365 Organic Portobello Mushroom)
*option: crumbled goat cheese (or any cheese of choice) sprinkled on top
Sautée veggies. Cook pasta (takes about 8 minutes). Mix cooked veggies and pasta with sauce. Voila! Dinner is served. I know, I know – Master Chef here I come.
I’m obsessed…and I know you will be too.
P.S. if your grocery store doesn’t carry Tolerant – you can tell them to. I didn’t know that was a thing, but apparently it is. I actually first found this pasta at a different Whole Foods than I normally shop at and fell in love. So, I took a chance and asked “my” Whole Foods to carry it…and they did!
Tolerant makes a bunch of different types of ‘pasta’: red lentil, green lentil and black bean in pretty much every noodle variety. My personal favorites are the green lentil macaroni noodles and the red lentil penne. I am not a huge fan of the black bean ones as I think they taste super chalky and aren’t so gentle on the belly. But hey, some people like that sort of thing.
This is one of my favorite “go to” weeknight dinners. What are your easy, healthy go-to favorites?!