Wheat-based pasta is one of the ultimate comfort foods, but if you’re managing a food allergy or chronic condition that’s made worse by grains, it’s tough not getting to indulge in its savory splendor. Enter plant-based pastas.
With a little creativity, craft cooks can amend their favorite pasta recipes to replace carbs with more nutritious vegetables. Simply slice your favorite vegetable into strips, sheer off ribbons with a vegetable peeler, or invest in a kitchen tool called a “spiralizer” to transform just about any vegetable into long, thin pieces that resemble pasta – and that can be just as tasty. Zucchini, beets, and carrots all work well as plant-based pastas.
Here are five ideas to get you started with plant-based pastas.
- Raw Spiralized Pasta with Tahini Tomato Dressing: This recipe deploys zucchini for its pasta base. It’s dressed with a savory combination of tahini, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and apple cider vinegar, and also uses tomatoes and garlic for more flavor. The recipe suggests add-ins like avocado and red pepper flakes.
- Eggplant Pasta with Parmesan and Basil: In this recipe eggplant is baked and then tossed with ingredients like cream, garlic, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. It’s slightly indulgent on the dairy, but still a healthy choice for dinner, with plenty of fresh veggies and the addition of bright basil to tie it all together.
- Cucumber Noodle Salad with Avocado and a Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing: Cucumbers are often employed in plant-based pastas. They work great in the spiralizer, and don’t require any cooking to tame. This recipe dresses the vegetables in cashew butter, which is loaded with healthy fats that boost good cholesterol.
- Tomato Sweet Potato Noodles with Chicken and Artichoke: Tomatoes and sweet potatoes might seem an uncommon marriage, but give this one a shot. The sweet potato pasta wonderfully complements the artichokes and chicken breast, with the tomato adding freshness to this vibrant dish.
- Easy Carrot Spaghetti: This recipe is vegan and paleo, but you won’t feel like you’re giving up a single thing. It’s also insanely easy yet looks beautiful, so it’s a sure bet to impress at a potluck or dinner party. Carrots are the star, with a supporting cast of shallot, basil, marinara sauce, and parsley. Use your favorite jarred sauce, or make your own.