Inside Scoop: This Vegan Penne Pasta is loaded with flavour.
This recipe was submitted by Tanya Schultz, Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
It might not show on this platform, but did you know that I am totally grain-free?
I’m also all about not giving up gluten or grains unless completely necessary. I think whole grains have a special place in a healthy diet, but I’m going to be frank with you guys, my gut needs some serious TLC, and until I am ready to put myself on a gut-healing protocol I will have to remain grain-free.
Because, I get the serious case of grain pains.
Those grain pains are not fun! With them comes extreme bloat, extreme cramping, and some days even couch ridden in the fetal position until the cramps pass. Who would’ve thought that such a tiny little bugger could cause such a dramatic bodily reaction.
I have been testing this for months now because I feared it was true, but didn’t want to believe it. I tried corn on its own, rice, quinoa, millet. I said to myself WHYYYYYYYY?!? And then I went into a state of denial. Nevertheless, I prove myself right every time I sit down and have a bite of oats, or a little corn tortilla.
But I’m not here to tell you about why I went grain-free. I’m just here to tell you that I decided I did not want to give up the food that grains so gracefully accompany – pasta, bread, cookies, cake.
And until I start my gut healing protocol (more about this to come, because even as a nutritionist, you need to find the right time to heal, a time that works best for you), I will be eating all of the above – but in a carefully managed, grain-free kinda way.
Collard & Sun-dried Tomato Vegan Penne Pasta
It’s been a while since I’ve had a pasta dish that really tickled my fancy in such a way that I literally crave it every day!
This Collard & Sun-dried Tomato Vegan Penne Pasta has got it going on. It is loaded with healthy ingredients, such as collard greens (which are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and totally liver friendly), sun-dried tomatoes (which add so much flavour and depth to a pasta dish), and fresh herbs, peppers and tomatoes, and yet it’s a dish that is so wildly simple to put together.
Like, chop, sauté, done, kinda simple. You don’t even need to simmer or anything, you just need to get those greens cooked down and you’re good to go. This vegan penne pasta sauce is anything but boring, and it even blows other meat sauces out of the water. I’d much rather have an herb and flavour loaded vegan pasta sauce any day of the week.
So, it’s all about the sauce with this one. I chose to grab a pack of Tolerant red lentil penne, because I find that they taste just like regular noodles, and don’t have a starchy and weird consistency like some grain-free noodles do. They’re also loaded with protein and fiber and don’t irritate my gut.
But, this vegan penne pasta sauce goes with any noodle of choice really. If you are okay with grains (ie. don’t get keeled over pain when you eat them), then go for a spelt or kamut penne, or a quinoa and brown rice fusilli. It’s really not about the type of noodle with this recipe, it’s about the SAUCE BABAY!
Why plant based?
We like to kick it meatless around here when we can (which is not easy to do with a meat and potato loving kinda hubby), so a sauce like this that has a lot of depth of flavour really stands out on our meatless nights.
It’s also loaded with plants, so if you or your significant/ family don’t make the BEST of friends with baked veggies or salads, this is a great way to get more veggies into your life, without feeling like you’re eating a bowl of veggies. You know what I’m saying?
This Collard & Sun-dried Tomato Vegan Penne Pasta lets you have that, without making you feel like you’re being overly healthy (wink wink).
Food That Fits Your Life
What I love most about this vegan penne pasta is the fact that it fits my busy lifestyle. Constantly being on the go with a busy toddler means that I need meal ideas that are quick and simple, but also incredibly healthy.
That’s why we designed an eating plan that tackles this, and contains meals just like this one. Although this vegan penne pasta isn’t part of our signature N5Diet, it’s definitely simple like the recipes in it. If you are looking to learn more about our 5 week nutrition plan, make sure you jump on our N5Diet email list here:
What do you think about kicking it plant-based with pasta? Let us know in the comments below. And, if you happen to whip up this delicious recipe, make sure you #naughtynutrition us 😉
Collard & Sun-dried Tomato Vegan Penne Pasta
- 2 cups penne we use red lentil
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch collard greens de-stemmed and shredded
- 1/2 onion peeled and diced
- 1 pepper chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes oil-packed and julienned
- 2 large tomatoes chopped, beefsteak
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional for heat
- 1/4 cup basil fresh loosely packed
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- *1 cup passata if you want a tomato base instead of an oil based pasta.
- Cook the penne according to the package directions for al dente (drain and rinse with cold water if it finishes cooking before the sauce is ready).
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
- In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium. Add the collard greens and saute for 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute for another 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sundried tomatoes and saute for another 2 minutes, ensuring that the garlic does not burn.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Cook gently for 10 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently. Taste for salt, add if necessary.
- Add in basil last mintute before turning off heat. Fold in the drained pasta and warm noodles.
- Serve with nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.
*1 cup passata if you want a tomato base instead of an oil based pasta.
Tanya Schultz is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She specializes in children’s and family nutrition. After graduating from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Toronto, she worked with clients at Source Centre for Health and Wellness in downtown Toronto. Tanya recently relocated to Niagara Falls where she provides nutritional consultations in person or over Skype for those not in the area.
She also offers plant-based cooking demos, grocery tours and corporate/workplace healthy living seminars. Tanya is a strong advocate of a whole foods, plant-based diet and incorporating home cooking into one's healthy lifestyle.
Learn more about Tanya by visiting her website here: http://tanyaschultznutrition.com/