This is a traditional pasta meal with various enhancements to make it a healthier version for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, or anyone interested in a high energy plant-based meal. It provides healthy carbohydrates, fats and protein, as well as many different micronutrients. It is naturally low in sodium, and high in fiber.
TYPE: Lunch, Dinner
PREP TIME: < 15 mins (+time if making your own pasta and/or pesto)
SERVINGS: not set, make according to personal needs
- Vegan or Vegetarian (depending on ingredient choice)
- Wheat and Gluten-free (if using brown rice pasta)
- Nut-free (depending on topping choice)
- Refined Sugar-free
- Whole Wheat Pasta (organic - store bought or home made) OR Brown Rice Pasta (for a wheat/gluten free option)
- Basil Pesto (store bought or home made vegan recipe)
- Tomatoes (organic)
- Green Beans (organic)
- Garlic (organic)
- Green Leaf Lettuce (organic)
- Topping: Almond Meal (organic) OR Nutritional Yeast (organic)
- Black Pepper (organic)
- Sea Salt (unrefined)
- Pot, medium or large
- Skillet/pan or Wok
- Salad Spinner (optional)
- Cutting Board
- If making your own pasta and/or pesto begin with those steps.
- If using store-bought pasta, cook the pasta as per package instructions (takes 5-10 minutes in boiling water depending on pasta type).
- Wash a desired amount of green beans, trim the ends, cut in half if desired or keep whole, and set aside.
- Heat a thin layer of water in your pan, on low-medium heat with cover on.
- Peel 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, mince and add to the pan.
- Add your beans to the pan and cook covered for up to 10 minutes, until beans reach desired tenderness.
- Wash tomato(es), cut into wedges and place on meal plate(s).
- Wash lettuce, remove excess water with salad spinner, and add a few leaves to each meal plate.
- Once pasta is done, drain the water, rinse well, and place back in the pot. Stir into it your pesto.
- Place desired amounts of pasta and green beans onto meal plate(s).
- Optionally sprinkle the meal with your choice of topping (almond meal or nutritional yeast). Enjoy!
Meal Nutritional Benefits
Whole Wheat Pasta:
- offers healthy source of complex carbohydrates, which help to regulate healthy blood-sugar levels
- good source of (in descending order): manganese, fiber, tryptophan and magnesium
- helps to maintain a healthy weight, reduces risk of metabolic syndrome, lowers risk of diabetes type 2, helps prevent gallstones
- enhances intestinal health by keeping you regular, protects against breast cancer, helps prevent childhood asthma, enhances cardiovascular health and contains an excellent dose of phytochemicals to promote overall health
- for more information, visit the whole wheat detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods
- acts as a great substitute for the traditional tomato sauce
- good source of (in descending order): vitamin K, iron, calcium, vitamin A, fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium
- offers DNA protection, antibacterial properties, linked to anti-inflammatory properties and helps promote cardiovascular health
- for more information, visit the basil detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods
- Excellent source of lycopene – an antioxidant found to decrease many cancers as well as heart disease
- good source of (in descending order): vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, molybdenum, potassium, manganese, fiber, chromium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and folate
- aside from preventing a list of cancers, especially of the prostate, they also enhance prostate health, colon health and pancreatic health
- for more information, visit the tomatoes detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods
- Low in calories but abundant in nutrients including antioxidants
- good source of (in descending order): vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, folate, tryptophan, iron, magnesium, vitamin B2, copper, vitamin B1, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B3
- help build strong bones, offer cardiovascular protection, promotes colon health, have anti-inflammatory properties, increase energy production and enhance the immune system
- for more information, visit the green beans detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods
- has a nutty, slightly sweet, cheese-like flavor
- is rich in protein (a complete protein), fiber, B vitamins, especially B2 (riboflavin), folate and B12 (but it depends on the brand)
- Approx. 2 tablespoons contains: 50 calories, 8 grams of protein, 5 mg of sodium, 5 carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and less than 1 gram of fat
- For more information on nutritional yeast see the Herbal Pharmacist
- adds a great taste to the soup
- good source of: manganese, vitamin K, iron and fiber
- helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas, increases the absorption of nutrients from foods, and enhances overall good digestive health
- contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties
- for more information, visit the black pepper detailed overview from World’s Healthiest Foods
Unrefined Sea Salt:
- Naturally occurring complex of sodium chloride, which includes major minerals such as calcium and magnesium and a complete complement of essential trace minerals
- Alkalizing to maintain proper acid/alkaline body balance
- Has helped to promote optimal health in civilizations for centuries