protein-packed power pasta + fighting childhood hunger
I'm a strong believer in cooking dinner, even at the end of a long day. For me, it's not only therapeutic to make dinner, but it's also comforting to sit down and eat a cozy, home-cooked meal.
That being said, I am also a huge fan of quick, nutrient-dense meals. As of late, my schedule has shifted so that the bulk of my workouts and work are in the evening, and all I want when I come home is food. now. Preferably hearty food with lots of protein.
These quick meals don't have to be boring, though. They are largely made possible by frozen veggies, which take all the prep time out. And when you have fun add-ins like sausage and pasta, magic is created.
Let me tell you, sausage and pasta are both things that I haven't eaten in a long time. Mostly because it's hard to find a grain free pasta and because most sausages freak me out.
As my mother used to say, "You have no idea what they're putting into your meat since it's all ground together."
Cue in Man Cave Craft Eats. This particular sausage has the ingredients listed — no sugar and no weird chemicals. More than that, I believe it's important to buy from companies you trust — the large players in the meat industry are not ones that I would trust (for a reason why, check out my article on Yahoo News).
So go to farmers' markets. Support your local farms. Buy from companies that source their meat ethically, that make their product in small batches.
One more cool thing about Man Cave? Part of their mission is to fight childhood hunger. Their Bite Back program is a one-for-one program, meaning that for each package you buy, one meal is donated to a child in need.
For those of you who are strictly Paleo, chickpeas are legumes and you might want to avoid that. I personally haven't eaten beans in so long and was a little hesitant to try this out, but after hearing good things from just about everyone, even people with legume sensitivities, I decided to take the plunge.
And guys, I'm in love. It's perfectly chewy, which makes it better than rice pasta or any wheat pasta IMO. Plus, one serving has 14g of protein, making any dish you make a truly protein-packed powerhouse. Now on to the good stuff — the actual recipe.
Protein-Packed Power Pasta
serves: 1 | gluten free, dairy free | time: 20 minutes
- 1/5 Man Cave Craft Eats Italian Sausage with Proscuitto, or any other sausage of choice (omit to make this a vegetarian meal)
- 1 cage free egg (omit and the sausage to make this a vegan meal)
- 1/4 cup Banza grain free rotini, or any other pasta of choice
- 1/2 cup frozen organic broccoli
- 1/2 cup frozen grilled mixed peppers and onions (you can also use fresh ones; I got these at Trader Joe's for added convenience)
- 1/4 cup frozen organic mixed mushrooms (again, you can use fresh ones; I got these at Whole Foods for added convenience)
- 1 handful organic mixed greens (I used an arugula, mesclun, and spinach mix)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, for frying
- 1 serving "cheesy" golden sauce
- Red pepper flakes, sea salt, and black pepper, to taste
- In a medium pot, bring water and a pinch of salt to a boil. When it's boiling, add in the pasta and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until al dente.
- In the meantime, defrost the sausage and vegetables in the microwave.
- In a medium pan, heat up 1 tbsp of coconut oil and sauté the vegetables and sausage.
- When the pasta is ready, add in the pasta, the mixed greens, and the sauce. Combine it all and then transfer to a bowl.
- In the same pan, heat up another tbsp of coconut oil. When the oil is hot, crack the egg in and fry. Add to the dish and enjoy!
"Cheesy" Golden Sauce
- 1 cup steamed broccoli + carrot slaw (I got this from Trader Joe's, but you can also just spiralize/slice up broccoli and carrots)
- 3 florets steamed cauliflower or 5 cubes butternut squash (it's easiest to buy frozen and just defrost)
- 2.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a high-power blender and blend on high until smooth. If you want a thinner consistency, add more EVOO or ACV, or even leftover pasta water.
One more thing — let's break gender boundaries. Obviously I'm not a man, but that doesn't mean girls can't eat meat, or buy from companies that are called "Man Cave."
We're all food-lovers here — don't let packaging or marketing deter you from a good product!