Vegan, Weight Loss Friendly, Gluten Free Optional
Pasta- Is it good for weight loss? Or is it a big NO-NO?
Well, that's all highly dependent on 3 things:
The sauce you are using
The pasta you are using
The vegetables you are adding
Most people assume that carbohydrates are the problematic element of a big bowl of pasta.
The reality is that oil, cheese, and meat add calories, salt, and irresistibility to pasta.
To test this, just think about how no one enjoys plain cooked noodles. We also don't love pasta salad as much as cooked noodles either.
So the #1 way to improve your pasta dish to be weight loss friendly is to change the sauce!
In this recipe, the sauce is made with onions, tomatoes, cashews, beans, and cauliflower, and
Pasta can be a great source of fiber- if you use whole-wheat noodles. Also, noodles cooked al-dente are less digestible than really soft noodles, which can cut down on calories.
So the #2 way to improve your pasta is to change the noodles to be whole wheat, legume-based, or cook regular pasta al-dente.
The last and most important factor to improving a bowl of pasta to be weight loss friendly is to ADD lots of calorically dilute vegetables.
Featured in my dish is cauliflower, which I boiled at the same time as my pasta!
Other options could be zucchini, broccoli, or frozen mixed vegetables.
When we add vegetables to our bowl, we increase the bulk of the meal and dilute the calories, so you end up feeling fuller on this bowl of pasta with fewer calories, than you would on a bowl of pasta alone.
Remember, our bodies want to eat 3-4 lbs of food a day! So you need a lot of bulk in order to be satisfied.
This meal is easy, and comes together in less than 30 minutes. It's super filling, nutritious, and a great weight-loss meal.
Vegan Rosé Sauce (with Pasta Recipe)
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp olive oil or water
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrate prior if needed)*
1 14.5 oz (400ml) can of tomatoes (any variety, but fire roasted if possible)
1 cup rinsed white beans OR defrosted green peas
1 cup of boiled cauliflower
1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
1 heaping tsp miso sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
Optional: 1/4 cup of vodka for vodka sauce
4 cups of whole wheat, legume-based, gluten-free, or regular penne or rigatoni
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into bit size florets
1 cup of white beans OR green peas
*try to avoid using oil-packed sundried tomatoes
1. Boil a large stockpot of water, and add in 4 cups of uncooked pasta and the chopped cauliflower (again, may use zucchini, broccoli). Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the pasta is cooked to your liking and the cauliflower is pretty soft. If using the green peas, then add these to the boiling pasta/veg for the last minute or so before draining.
At the same time, once the water is boiling, add 1 cup of the water to a bowl with the raw cashews and let these soak for 10 minutes.
2. Add some water or a small amount of olive oil to a medium-sized frying pan. Add the diced onion, garlic, and sundried tomatoes and saute for 10-15 minutes until the onions are very carmelized and the sundried tomatoes are soft and cooked.
3. In a high-powered blender Add crushed tomato, beans, miso, nutritional yeast, salt, and optional vodka. Once the onions/ sun-dried tomatoes and the cauliflower are cooked through, then add these to the blender. Lastly, drain the cashews and add these to the blender.
4. Blend the sauce on medium/high for 2 minutes or until very creamy.
5. IF you've added vodka to the sauce, then add the sauce to a small saucepan and heat for 5-10 minutes to boil off the alcohol.
6. Drain the pasta and cauliflower and add them back to the stock pot. Add in the white beans if using, omit this step if using peas. Add the sauce to the pasta/cauliflower and mix well to incorporate.
This recipe was developed by Lucille Luong
Do you need help transitioning to a plant-forward or plant-based diet? I do just that! Don't stay stuck, reach out today to learn more about my program here.