An indulgent warm creamy bowl of flavorsome cheesy pasta, that’s completely vegan and dairy free. Are you salivating yet? I am! This Cheesy Vegan Pasta has steadily become a weeknight favourite of mine! This dishes simplicity and pure deliciousness makes it an easy option when I’m not feeling that energetic in the kitchen, but craving something warming and satisfying.
Now, pasta is a perfect dish to add to your diet if your looking for something fulling as well as fueling. The complex carbohydrates in pasta will boost your system into energy drive. Pasta provides beneficial carbohydrates and carbs serve as a primary source of fuel for your body.
Carbs are also important when you’r training or exercising. When you eat a carb rich meal, the carbs turn into glycogen once they’re in your body. Glycogen is a molecule that behaves as the secondary and long-term form of energy storage in your body’s cells. How much glycogen you have in your body has a direct relationship on how effective your stamina and endurance are. You can tell when your cells have run out of glycogen, you usually begin to feel fatigued.
Health Benefits of Pasta
- Sustained Energy: Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow release of energy. Unlike simple sugars that offer a quick, yet fleeting boost of energy, pasta helps sustain energy.
- Low Sodium & Cholesterol Free: Pasta is very low in sodium and cholesterol-free. Per cup, enriched varieties provide a good source of several essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins.
- Balanced Diet: Pasta is part of a well-balanced diet.
- Low GI: Pasta has a low Glycemic Index (GI) so it does not cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly.
Ensuring that you eat adequate amounts of carbs before any physical activity will make sure that your body does not use protein as the source of energy during the game. Without carbs in your system, your body will break down the available protein in your body. If your body depends on protein for energy instead of carbs, you run the risk of restricting the body’s ability to maintain and build tissue. The main role of protein in your body should be limited to building skin, muscle, hair, bone and other tissues. Another harmful effect of over-reliance on protein instead of carbs is an exertion of your kidneys, which have to work harder.
So, you see carbs are pretty vital in our overall well-being. It’s a pity they’ve gotten such a bad rap in the past! The great thing these days is that there are so many types of gluten free pasta’s to choose from. From rice to quinoa, there are quite an array of pasta’s that have been produced in gluten-free facilities. This is wonderful news for those who are on gluten-free diets. As carbohydrates can lead to weight gain if eaten in excess, be mindful of serving sizes – to be kept moderate. Be sure to add a huge salad to your meal for a fully loaded meal of epic nutritional proportions:-)
For this recipe I used the Ceres Organics Quinoa Rice Penne pasta, which was so scrumptious! Gave the dish a bit of edge, and something a bit different to the common ‘Mac ‘n Cheese’. Quinoa is a balanced amino acid source of high quality protein. It is naturally gluten-free, wheat-free, easy to digest and is among the least allergenic foods available. Source
I also used the famous Nutribullet, which works so damn well and has quickly become my favorite kitchen gadget!
- 1 Medium Onion (Peeled and finely sliced)
- 1/2 Cup Raw Cashew Nuts (Soaked for at least 2 hours)
- 1/2 Vegetable stock cube (organic and low sodium)(Dissolved in 3/4 Cup hot water)
- 2 Heaped TBS Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Clove Garlic (Finely diced)
- 1/2 Tsp Coconut Oil (For frying)
- 1/2 Tsp Mixed Herbs (Dried or fresh)
- 1 Cup Gluten Free Pasta (Uncooked)(I used Ceres Organics Quinoa Rice Penne)
- First things first, you want to make sure your raw cashews have been soaking for at least 2 hours.
- Next, peel and finely slice your onion. In a medium frying pan on a medium heat, add the coconut oil, and when hot, add the onions.
- While the onions are sauteeing, finely dice the garlic and add that and the mixed herbs to the sauteeing onions.
- Boil the kettle, and place the half veggie stock cube in a mug and add 3/4 cup boiling water, and allow to dissolve.
- Once the onions are nicely browned, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Next, drain and rinse the cashews, and add to your blender. I used my Nutribullet with the larget cup attachment.
- Add the dissolved veggie stock water, along with the onion mixture.
- Lastly add the nutritional yeast, and blend until a thick creamy sauce forms. If yours is a bit thick, gradually add a little warm water until you're happy with the consistency.
- Next, add the remaining hot water from the kettle to a medium pot and bring to the boil. Add the pasta with a pinch of salt and allow to cook for approx 13 mins, or as per instructions on the packet. Keep an eye on it as not to overflow.
- When soft, remove, drain and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking any further and turning to mush.
- Put it back into the pot and place back onto the warm plate you were just cooking on, add the cheese sauce and mix until each pasta piece is thoroughly coated in the deliciously creamy sauce. When the mixture is warm, serve with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and a little mixed herbs.
- I suggest a big green salad to accompany this dish, think rocket, baby spinach, green onion, cucumber and some fresh herbs.
- Use organic wherever possible
- For the creamiest sauce, make sure your cashews have soaked for at least 2 hours.