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2-way spaghetti

22 Sep

Everyone loves spaghetti. Luckily there are so many amazing substitutes to the white starchy noodles that are just turned into sugar in your body that causes inflammation, that most people eat. There are so many different types of substitutes for pasta. Beyond the grain noodles like  spelt, whole wheat, kamut, buckwheat, and quinoa (vegan macaroni with quinoa post is soon to come) -are all excellent substitutes for white pasta, but there is a whole other world of “noodles” out there. There are kelp noodles (from seaweed), black bean noodles, zucchini, yellow squash, or spaghetti squash! Plus a ton more I cant think of right now. There are so many options out there that so many people never experiment with, because they don’t know it exists! you almost always cover your pasta in some sauce or spread, so why not just use something that is very very close to that white pasta consistency or look and still have that “italian” dish.  You save the empty white carbohydrates, and pack in more protein, fiber, B-vitamins, and so much more nutrients.


First I made spaghetti with zuchini noodles and a homemade raw tomatoe sauce.









Spiralize zucchini, squash, or other veggies in the spiralizer from Amazon.










For the raw tomato sauce I threw in a very large ripe tomato, 3 small garlic cloves, and fresh basil from the farmers market. I added nutritional yeast, ground pepper and a little salt, some sun dried tomatoes, 1 large carrot, and some water to thin! I didn’t measure anything and just used what I had, it turned out great!










I sprinkled some dried oregano, basil, and ground pepper on top










…Topped with some shredded slices of soy vegan cheese!


Spaghetti Noodles # 2 …topped with fresh pesto!










This basil is from the FM, but my parents just brought me a potted basil plant to keep in my backyard! Although I am a little worried that someone may knock it over on accident..For the pesto I used about 3 large handfuls of basil, 4 garlic cloves (I like it really garlicy), some parsley I had leftover from the farmers market, ground salt + pepper, 2 scoops of nutritional yeast, around 12 soaked almonds, and about 1/3 cup of EV olive oil. Then some water to thin if necessary. I just vitamix it, then taste to see what needs to be added.

This time I used spaghetti squash that I got from the student garden at Smithfield!

-Sidenote: almost every time I go to the Sustainable Food Corps meeting, someone brings a box of produce from the garden that they insist we take. I never refuse (: This tomato was like 3 pounds, and the eggplant was tiny. So cute.
















Spaghetti squash is so so awesome because it is very mild and a tiny bit sweet, so it is good topped with anything.









Save the seeds for roasting, they have an amazing nutty flavor.









I’ve made pesto so much since being back at school. It is super easy and convenient with all the fresh basil, and I keep it in the fridge for several days to use with other types of “noodles” or just a bunch of random veggies I have, or even over a spinach salad.


Spaghetti squash nutritional benefits: It should be said that compared to butternut and acorn, spaghetti squash is not as dense in vitamins and minerals, especially beta carotene. It is however still smart to substitute for pasta, besides the obvious of eating a vegetable over a white flour. The carb count for these are low, especially compared to other “starchy” veggies. (Not the same type of starch in white flour)  There is however significant amount of vitamin A, C, B3, and B6. These B vitamins help convert the carbs in the squash to energy in your body!


Quick & Easy

17 Jul

Since I have been so much more busy lately I haven’t had time to experiment with a lot of new raw dishes. My typical routine is to make something really fast for dinner when I get back from work at 7:45, and work on anatomy while I eat. That said, I have not been eating as raw as I would like, but still vegan.

Something I loved pre-vegan was fresh tomato, basil & mozzarella. Well, a couple of weeks ago I discovered this soy mozzarella cheese-thanks to Colleen for telling me it exists! (You can find shredded most places–like Daiya, but its hard to find a big cube of it). A friend from work was nice enough to bring me 2 huge organic dark green heirloom tomatoes (I think they are called black krim tomatoes) fresh from her garden at home. They were ripe and perfect for topping with “mozzarella” and fresh basil from my yard. I sprinkled a little olive oil and cracked black pepper and broiled on high!
















It tasted JUST like real mozzarella, and melted beautifully! I bet if you served this to someone they would never guess it was soy cheese.


A quick snack I whipped up to take to work to munch on were roasted chickpeas! So many people need a snack that is hard and crunchy (like chips or crackers) so these are prefect. You can put whichever kind of spices you like. I used a combo of curry, turmeric, red pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and a little salt. It was supposed to be a garam masala blend-but I just used whatever I had here. I was very pleased how these turned out. Next time I would’ve used more spices though-especially more cinnamon because it’s my favorite.









I used organic canned chickpeas, because I didn’t plan ahead of time. But I would use dry and soak them. Dry them off and toss with olive oil then spices & spread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until they are hard all the way through. Stir every 10 minutes.























Chickpeas/garbanzo beans are inexpensive, full of protein, fiber, folate & manganese and have a pretty neutral flavor so you can do so much with them. I have a couple of different chickpea brownie/blondie recipes I want to try actually!


16 Jun

These freshly picked flowers were waiting for me by the door when I got home from work the other day. My neighbor Mary left them for me, right from her yard (: They are so so pretty and I love being able to look at fresh flowers everyday.

Fresh flowers come close to the joy of fresh cut vegetables, fruit, & herbs. Basil is probably my favorite herb. We grow it fresh every year, and my favorite thing to use it for is pesto! Raw pesto is just as good/better than “normal” pesto. The only difference is there is no cheese and it is not heated up. Raw pine nuts can be hard to find, so I used walnuts. I do love pine nuts, but in pesto walnuts are just as good. I like to use a lot of garlic and a lot of basil. I added some spinach to make it go further and also add that vitamin K.

* Nutritional yeast is a yeast fortified with B vitamins (especially b12) which is crucial for a vegan/raw diet. It has a cheesy flavor that many use over popcorn or other sauces. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the flavor, but it is an unbeatable source of all the B vitamin, so I rally try to incorporate it everyday. It’s great in pesto because the strength of the basil covers the flavor just enough so that is adds the slightest cheesy hint to the pesto without over powering.
















Fresh Basil Pesto

15-20 medium-large  fresh basil leaves

10 organic spinach leaves

1 cup raw walnuts (soaked for just 15 minutes)

3-4 garlic cloves (you may want to use 2-3)

*2 Tbs nutritional yeast

1/3 cup EVO oil

1-2 Tbs lemon juice

a little water to thin

Tbs flax oil

Combine all ingredients (except flax oil) in food processor/vitamix (no need to chop or grate anything, just throw it in whole). Add some extra water or more olive oil to get the right consistency. Once well combined, add flax oil and pulse just for a few second. Flax oil can NOT be heated hardly at all, because it oxidized easily, losing it’s high concentration of it’s Omega 3 fatty acids. The vitamix is so powerful it will heat food, and although it will not above 118 degrees- Just to be safe and conserve all the nutrients, I add it last.









I just piled on all the fresh vegetables I had over a bed of spinach, and enjoyed a vegetable platter with pesto! I had red and green peppers, carrot, cucumber, radishes, tomato & onion over spinach.
















The last fresh ingredient I enjoyed earlier that day was mango! I threw together a tropical chia pudding!









Tropical Chia

2 Tbs chia

4 Tbs almond milk

2 Tbs 100% mango juice (no sugar added)

couple drops of vanilla

fresh chopped mango

raw sunflower seeds

grated unsweetened coconut

squeeze of fresh lime

Combine chia with almond&mango juice & vanilla. Let sit for 20 minutes. (May want to add a little more liquid) top with the rest of the ingredients and anything else! It is a delicious tropical treat. Fresh mango is hard to beat.