If you love pasta but are looking to amp up the nutrient level, then you need to try this iron rich, protein rich pasta that is also gluten free and vegan!
Pasta is such an easy meal, and is honestly one of my favorite foods and while I love the traditional pasta, we eat gluten free pasta on a more regular basis. Gluten can be such an irritant on the tummy and digestive system and may even prevent you from absorbing nutrients. When I started to experience tons of symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, low nutrient blood levels and infertility, I decided it was time to make a change! This lead me to find new ways to enjoy pasta without the gluten and without the dairy (I choose to cut that out too, to heal my gut). Hey, it doesn’t mean I don’t eat a REAL lasagna now and again, or have homemade fettucini with oil and parmesan, it just means that on a regular basis I choose chickpea pasta instead, and make an awesome creamy sauce like in this dish and load it up with healthy veggies! The best part? You wouldn’t even know it was vegan or gluten-free. For real!!!!
You wouldn’t believe how great this dish is for you as well. Loaded with protein from the chickpea pasta, iron from the spinach and asparagus is one of the best foods for Vit K and Folate!!! Yeeeeeessss. I talk alot about nutrition and encourage everyone to put good food into their bodies. But we have to remember that healthy living does not only come from the food we eat, but how we nourish our minds as well. If you are eating healthy food and putting nutritious stuff on your plate everyday, then have a negative inner dialogue with yourself or critical self talk, the effects can be just as damaging as eating unhealthy processed food. Negative self-talk can create a host of problems such as depression, anxiety, unhappiness, low self-esteem and even severe fatigue. Let’s take action on just loving ourselves!! Talk to yourself with kind words of encouragement and most of all love your body THE WAY IT LOOKS TODAY. Remember that eating healthy food is about being healthy and disease free, and to be strong and have energy and feel great! Take the focus from healthy eating away from the way you look and into the love your body and soul needs.
How to make this creamy pasta
Start by cleaning and chopping your asparagus into small pieces, and cooking them slightly (not until fully cooked) in a frying pan with a bit of water and salt until the water is gone- then we will fry it with some oil and salt, pepper and garlic. Remove from pan, and use the same pan (less dishes yay!) to make a roux for the creaminess. Wait, did you just ask me what a ROUX is??? Well, simple enough, it comes from french cooking and is a thickening agent we make at home by combining equal parts of flour and fat. To ensure I keep this pasta gluten-free and vegan, I used Bob’s red mill GF flour and vegan butter. what you do is melt the butter and add the flour to make a paste, and once the paste is formed you slowly add in the milk to create a cream sauce (I used almond milk). This way of making a cream sauce is also called Bechamel sauce.
I always start the pot of boiling water and cook the pasta while making the creamy sauce. This is so I am able to use the starchy water to add into it. Plus it cuts the cooking time in half, which is especially useful for those busy nights. Once the pasta is cooked, scoop it into the pan with the cream sauce, add back in your cooked asparagus with the baby spinach, and toss it all to coat. Could be more simply right?
This recipe is an easy go to meal that is full of nutrients but actually tastes really good. I hope you have the chance to try it!!! If you want other vegan and gluten-free dinner ideas, try this Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Creamy Asparagus and Spinach Pasta
A fantastic vegan pasta recipe jam packed with iron and protein! Creamy without the cream, and an easy dinner to make everyone will enjoy.
- 1 1/2 cup chopped asparagus
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp GF white flour
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 3-4 cups dried Chickpea pasta noodles
Boil a large pot of salted water and add pasta- cook according to package directions ensuring to save 1/2 cup of the water before straining
Add the 1/2 cup water in a frying pan along with the chopped asparagus and bring to boil. Cook for about 5 mins until the water is evaporated
Add the olive oil and chopped garlic with generous amount of salt and pepper and cook on high heat until the asparagus is well browned. Remove from pan
Making the roux: on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of vegan butter to the same pan and allow it to melt. Remove from heat temporarily and add the flour mix together until a paste is formed.
Add pan back to heat and add your almond milk, basil and salt and pepper. Mix well until your cream sauce is formed. Add in the 1/2 cup of pasta water to thin it out
To the cream sauce add your cooked pasta, cooked asparagus and spinach leaves. Toss to coat
Serve immediately and enjoy!
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