Here are some alternative options that will satisfy your desires and allow you to indulge without guilt!
Choosing some of these healthy alternatives to create your holiday meals will not only provide you with variety, but it will also give you unique flavours to create comforting meals that are sure to please your whole family!
Here are some comforting veg recipes to get you going for the holidays:
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Veggin’ Comfortably e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
I certainly don’t, and neither do you! For more reasons than one. First of all Alfredo sauce is loaded with loads of butter, cream, milk and cheese. Yup, all in one recipe. That is a heck of a lot of work for your body to digest and for your heart to work. But the good news is that you don’t need Alfredo or a cream based sauce to have a delicious bowl of “creamy” noodles.
Once you make this recipe – you will never look a bowl of Alfredo or creamy pasta the same way. This recipe was created for my sea vegetables class – as a pseudo take on one of my favourite childhood meals “tuna casserole”. I used to love the stuff. Big white noodles loaded with tuna and cheesy sauce (kind of like an Alfredo). It was my absolute all time favourite. In fact anything with noodles and cheese made me very happy.
Being able to simulate that experience with amazing wholesome ingredients brings a smile to my face – gluten free brown rice noodles, a creamy sauce made from tahini along with some soaked, fresh torn wakame to give it that “salty” sea taste. The wakame is also adding a whole bunch of other nutrients and minerals into this dish as sea vegetables are super nutritious!
My cravings for this dish come every so often, and when they do– I can’t stop eating it. I can almost eat half of the amount I make each time because it just melts in your mouth.
It’s also that time of year when I actually feel really good about sitting down to a whole bowl full of noodles!
Okay, I will stop the teasing and get to the recipe – which doesn’t look all that exciting. But you just wait; you will not need Alfredo or cream based sauces ever again.
Enjoy this dish along side a bowl of steamed kale, a dark leafy green salad or some miso soup.
Baked “Tuna” Casserole
What’s in it?
1 small onion, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup wakame, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, removed and chopped
2 tablespoons tamari
1 package of brown rice noodles or quinoa spiral noodles (Tinkyada Brand)
¾ cup water
½ cup tahini
5 tablespoons tamari
1/2 cup wheat free/gluten free/brown rice bread crumbs
How it’s made!
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Sauté onion in sesame oil until transparent. Place wakame on top of onions. Add tamari, and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- In the meantime, cook noodles until done. Drain and set aside.
- Mix together tahini, tamari and ¾ cup water until smooth. If the sauce should curdle, continue mixing.
- Mix onion, wakame mixture, noodles and tahini sauce together. Cover with breadcrumbs.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
I think brown rice pasta is totally underestimated. I gets the push over because when whole wheat pasta made it’s way to the market years ago, it wasn’t such an easy transition. Whole wheat pasta is gritty, brown and hard to get down. Where as brown rice pasta is light, soft and much closer to white pasta than anything else. However unlike white pasta, brown rice pasta is loaded with fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates and it is also gluten free. It does need a watchful eye while cooking it as these noodles like to stick together! But all in all -you can actually sit down to a whole bowl of it and actually feel energized and great as opposed to sluggish and tired. You will never feel guilty eating pasta again!
I was not much of a pasta eater growing up as I never liked how I felt and yes, I did feel guilty eating a whole bowl of carbs without any substance. But since I have discovered brown rice pasta have a new found love and appreciation for pasta. Now I can happily enjoy it alongside my Italian blooded Fiance!
I have now been using brown rice pasta for years, my cupboards are always stocked with Tinkyada pasta. Whether spirals, penne, fusili – what ever I am feeling, I’ve got it. I then top it with anything from a good homemade tomato sauce or a store bought organic local variety, a green pesto sauce (see recipe below) or just with some olive oil and sea salt. You actually wouldn’t believe how good pasta tastes with just these two other ingredients!
But when I feel like making a full meal out of it, that is colourful and fun, my absolute favourite is making pesto. I am overly spoiled now because I have loads of fresh basil growing in my backyard, which makes this sauce extremely fresh. However you can pretty much always get your hands on a bunch or organic basil. Basil can also be subbed in this recipe for kale, parsley, spinach or arugula. Don’t just get stuck on basil because that is what is traditional (and not to mention delicious) but you can also try some other green herbs every once in a while. Then I like to toss in some white beans or chickpeas, or crumbled goat cheese once in a while to bulk it up and give it extra substance.
I guess the secret is out, brown rice pasta is amazing. If you haven’t tried it already – you will be hooked when you do. there isn’t any family member, friend, class participant or client that hasn’t enjoyed their transition to brown rice pasta. Until you try it yourself you will never know.
Pesto Pasta with Wilted Greens
1 bunch or 2 cups of fresh Basil (or other green)
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white miso paste (optional) but makes it really “cheesy”
1 tbsp honey
¼ cup pinenuts or walnuts, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
What it goes on!
1 package of Brown Rice or kamut pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of spinach or swiss chard, lightly steamed or sautéed
1 can of white beans or cooked navy beans (optional)
For the Pesto:
- Grind the nuts in food processor; add remaining ingredients and process for a few minutes until well combined.
For the Pasta:
- Boil a pot of water, add sea salt and cook pasta until tender or al dente about 7-10 minutes.
Putting it together:
- In a large pot, on a medium or low heat combine the pesto with the cooked pasta, add in the beans, chard or spinach.
- Stir a few minutes until well combined.
Have you tried Brown Rice Pasta?
What do you like to put on it?