Hi my name is Kat and I’m a cook book-aholic. I admit it. Raise your hand if you fall into this group. Yes, I see you…there, and over there. The addiction is so strong, my heavy weighted bookshelves are begging for relief. Cook books even overflow to the laundry room, where they’re stacked high upon a bottom shelf. I cringe every time I hear or see of a new release. The urge it too powerful for me to resist, so off to Amazon I go. Pre-ordering and carefully scanning the “what’s hot list” to ensure my collection is current.
I once had an addiction to cowboy boots and well, you know how that story turned out. Fed up with a lack of vegan options, I created my own. Of course that’s not an issue with vegan cookbooks. Where once many moons ago they were far and few between, today they’re a dime a dozen (hoping that doesn’t happen with boots!). As vegans we know that deprivation is not the assumed issue with our food choice, and cook book authors galore have proven that. Who knew there could be so many spins on the classic kale salad!
To be original in the vegan cook book world is getting more difficult. If one vegan taco book wasn’t enough, we have four to choose from. Thanks to the internet, it has proven that you don’t even have to be a cook, or an author, to create a “cook book”. I get a little snippy on that issue since I have close friends that have actually gone through the painstaking process of writing a cook book. I’ll say it here: putting together a few unoriginal recipes into mouthwatering photos to create an e-Book, does not make you an author or a cook. Let’s give credit where credit is due please.
I will admit there’s something for everyone and since the intent is to get people eating vegan, then whatever vessel is used to get them there is best for the animals.
Personally, I’ve found that I seldom pull a dusty cook book from my shelf. More times than not, I get my inspiration from viewing a non-vegan cooking show or recipe. Because I’ve spent the time and resources studying how to be a vegan cook and instructor, I find it a fun challenge to re-create a non-vegan recipe. Sometimes it works out in my vegan favor and other times it fails.
The recipe I’m sharing today came from such inspiration. Simply created, but packed with flavor and a subtle kick.
I hope you enjoy it.
I'm in love with Trader Joe's Red Lentil Pasta and the extra punch of protein it provides. Most stores carry a form of bean pasta, but you can easily sub out your favorite noodles. This dish comes together quickly and makes enough for leftovers.
- 1 package Red Lentil Pasta Trader Joe's brand
- 1 jar Victoria Vegan Alfredo Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 bunch kale washed and chopped; I include the stems
- 1 package crimini sliced; buton mushrooms work well too
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes adjust according to taste
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan recipe below
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Make the pasta according to package directions. Tip: bean pasta is easy to overcook and gets mushy, so lean on the least amount of cook time. Once the pasta is done, remove from heat, drain, and return to the pan. While the pasta is cooking, begin warming up the red pepper sauce in a separate pan on medium low, stirring frequently. Meanwhile heat a saute' pan on medium high heat, once heated add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and the red pepper flakes and cook a few minutes. Add the kale to the mushrooms and gently stir until the kale is wilted. To speed up the process you can also lower the heat and place a lid on the pan for a few minutes. Once the kale is wilted, remove the pan from the heat. Add the heated red pepper sauce, half of the mushroom and kale mixture, and the black olives to the pasta noodles, combine gently. Plate each serving in your favorite bowl and top with Parmesan. Note: I stored the remainder of the mushroom kale mixture and warmed it up the next day in a tofu scramble. You're welcome.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.