There is simply nothing that says comfort food better than pasta. Even in these warm summer months I find myself craving a dish of pasta every now and then, and of course once September hits it’s game on!
We grew up having mushrooms in nearly every second dish. It’s funny how mushrooms can be so polarizing, either you love them or you hate them. I’m bound and determined to have a family of mushroom lovers…let the training begin!
Once upon a time we thought that mushrooms had zero nutrition, but were ‘we’ ever wrong! As a dietitian I preach of the importance of jamming your diet full of colourful fruits and vegetables, but this message diminishes the value of some of the less colourful ones such as mushrooms (cauliflower is another that comes to mind). Here’s the lowdown on how nutritious mushrooms really are!
- the only vegan non-fortified source of vitamin D
- a source of potassium, copper, iron, phosphorus and selenium
- provide antioxidants to help protect against the damaging effects of free radicals in the body
- rich in B vitamins to help us get energy from food and make red blood cells
- contain a fibre called beta-glucans that helps with insulin resistance and cholesterol levels
If that isn’t enough to turn haters into mushroom lovers I don’t know what is!
I paired this dish with kale to add more nutrition and colour, and made a rich creamy (but super healthy) vegan sauce using Almond Breeze unsweetened original beverage and nutritional yeast to give it a perfect parmesan-like flavour and add a hit of vitamin B12 that every vegan needs! Topped with crunchy pine nuts, this has turned into one of my favourite dishes! The Almond Breeze was the PERFECT base for my sauce, it is really neutral with a hint of almonds that compliments the earthiness of the dish (AND it’s fortified with important nutrients like calcium). Even Charlie (my 5 year old son) loved it…and judging from the picture below, Max (my 1 year old) was pretty keen too – love that chubby little hand!
- 250 g. dry pasta (gemelli, rotini or something similar)
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 c. sliced white or brown mushrooms (9 oz)
- 4 c. lightly packed chopped kale*
- 1 ½ c. + 1/3 c. Almond Breeze unsweetened original beverage
- 2 Tbps. flour
- ¼ c. nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
- toasted pine nuts or parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, add the pasta and stir. Cook until al dente and drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and transparent, about 1 minute.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the mushrooms: sauté until they have cooked down, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add the kale and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until the kale is wilted.
- Place the flour in a cup and slowly add the 1/3 cup of Almond Breeze, making a paste to begin with by stirring a small amount of the Almond Breeze with a spoon into the flour, adding the remainder of the 1/3 cup once the paste is formed.
- Add 1 ½ c. of the Almond Breeze, the nutritional yeast and the above flour mixture to the mushrooms and kale, stirring well, and continue cooking while stirring until the sauce has thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir. If the sauce is too thick once the pasta has been added (it can thicken as it sits), add some of the hot pasta water to the dish to get the consistency that you like.
- Serve with toasted pine nuts or parmesan cheese on top.
This post was sponsored by Almond Breeze, all opinions are my own