I didn’t want to put this whole thing in the title of this blog post but we shall call this dish:
Vegan Quinoa Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms, Shallots and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
(Did I mention this takes about 20 minutes?)
Whenever I post a recipe, I don’t imagine that you will follow it to a T but I do hope that you can use it for some inspiration in your kitchen. I came up with this recipe as I went along and it turned into something that I will likely put into my starting rotation of staple dinner options. (You know when you make a large serving and imagine you will only eat part of it and then suddenly your plate is empty? That happened).
Notes: I used quinoa pasta due to a gluten intolerance. I prefer it over other gluten-free pasta options (brown rice pasta, etc.) for both the taste and the nutritional benefits. It should be noted that I always cook quinoa pasta at least one minute past the recommended maximum time and that I have successfully tricked my husband into eating it on multiple occasions. If you cook it even a minute less than it needs, I highly doubt you will like it so if you have never cooked it before, I recommend that you taste a noodle every minute or so past the recommended minimum cook time to gain an understanding of the cooking process. Once it is fully cooked, you should not be able to taste much of a difference between quinoa pasta and the good old starchy pasta most of us have grown to love.
I am not going to specify many exact measurements in this recipe because it’s really all about personal taste preferences and how many you are serving. Feel free to substitute the vegetables I chose for some of your own favorites.
Ingredients for two servings:
Olive Oil (just keep it on hand)
4 oz Sun-dried tomato pesto sauce
1-2 cups of vegetable broth
1 Shallot (finely chopped)
2 Handfuls of halved brussel sprouts
1-2 Handfuls of chopped mushrooms
2 Servings worth of angel hair pasta (your preference of pasta type)
Salt and pepper to your tastes (I prefer Himalayan sea salt for health reasons)
Seasoning of your choice
My choice: I used dried parsley and the Garlic Lover’s seasoning made by Flavor God which can be purchased here: http://www.flavorgod.com/
I really enjoy using Flavor God Seasonings in my kitchen because they are made fresh weekly, gluten-free, paleo, low salt and delicious. Basically a win-win-win. (check out the ingredients in some of the things in your spice cabinet and see if you can find anything in there that you don’t recognize… you probably can… creepy)
If you don’t conveniently have any Flavor God Garlic Lover’s seasoning, I think either fresh garlic or garlic powder with the parsley or some of your other favorite Italian seasonings would be delicious.
Cooking tip: Chop all of your veggies before you get started. Not only does it make for a seamless, stress-free cooking experience but you can pretend like you are a fancy chef with a cooking show if you’re into that sort of thing. (The second part of that tip was entirely useless but it’s the truth.)
Check the time on the package of the pasta you have chosen to use and decide when to start cooking it so that it will be done around the same time as your veggies. Your veggies will take 10 minutes, tops.
Cook your veggies:
-Heat olive oil in a skillet.
-Add chopped shallots and sauté for about a minute.
-Add brussel sprouts, cut side down and sauté for another 2 minutes or so.
-Add chopped mushrooms, continue to sauté for about a minute.
-Season your veggies with garlic, salt and pepper to your taste.
-Add vegetable broth until the brussel sprouts are about 1/3 of the way covered, cover your skillet with a lid and let them steam for about 1-2 minutes.
-Remove brussel sprouts and mushrooms from the liquid and set aside.
Put it all together:
-Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your skillet and heat it up on low to medium heat. (We aren’t cooking at this point, we are just warming and seasoning) (Add olive oil as you see fit if this isn’t enough)
-Add sun-dried tomato pesto sauce to the skillet and heat. (If you are making 2 servings, use about 4 oz)
-Add noodles and vegetables to the skillet and season again with salt, pepper, parsley and Garlic Lover’s seasoning (or your choice of seasonings) and sort of toss the noodles around in the pan to mix with the veggies and pesto.
(I use tongs and a sort of pick up and mix method… you don’t want to use a spoon or anything that is going to compromise the texture of the dish)
A few things…
Because I cook mostly plant-based meals, I tend to have a heavy hand when it comes to sea salt and seasonings. When your diet doesn’t consist of a lot of processed foods, sea salt is not the worst thing in the world (these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA but I read too much about nutrition so there’s that).
I can usually find sun-dried tomato pesto sauce (check the label to make sure it’s gluten-free but it should be) in the produce section of my local Kroger but if you don’t find it there, check the pasta sauce isle. If you don’t like tomatoes, use regular pesto. Also, you’re crazy.
If you like cheese, serve with some mozzarella or fresh parmesan cheese on top because what isn’t better with cheese?! (nothing. the answer is nothing.)
If you are a paleo eater, skip the noodles and increase your veggie quantities. You can either serve the sun-dried tomato pesto veggies as side dish or top a chicken breast or white fish with them. OMGoodness now I’m hungry again.