Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful start to 2019. I know many of you are taking this time to set some goals for the new year, and perhaps one of them is to eat more plants. While I would never expect or pressure anyone to become vegan or vegetarian, I think finding fun ways to get in more plants and veggies is always a good idea!
A common concern with plant-based meals is that you can’t get enough protein; however, this is simply untrue! One of my favorite sources of plant-based protein is tempeh. Have you guys tried tempeh before? It has a slightly meaty texture and taste, and crumbling it up into this vegetarian tomato sauce (in place of ground meat) tasted delicious and totally up-ed the protein content of the meal. I hope you guys enjoy it!
High Protein Vegetarian Pasta With Tempeh Tomato Sauce
- Pasta of choice (enough for 4 people)
- 2 zucchinis, spiralized
- 1 package tempeh, crumbled
- 8-10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Approx. 2 cups whole canned tomatoes, or fresh cherry tomatoes (if in season)
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
- Olive oil (for cooking and finishing)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Slice mushrooms and mince garlic. Make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler. Set aside.
- Using your hands, crumble one package of tempeh into a large bowl. The goal is to achieve a similar texture to ground meat.
- Once water has boiled, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Heat 2 large pans over medium heat. Add olive oil and minced garlic to pans, cooking for 1-2 mins until slightly browned. In one pan, add crumbled tempeh and cook for 3 mins. In the other pan, add mushrooms and cook until browned and tender, approx. 10 mins.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and salt to pan with tempeh. If using fresh tomatoes, you will need to add water to the tomato paste (start with 1/4 cup and go from there until the correct texture is achieved). Cook until sauce thickens, approx. 5 mins.
- When mushrooms are cooked, drain and add to tomato mixture. Continue cooking for a few mins, adding chopped basil at the end. Adjust seasonings as needed.
- In the used mushroom pan, lightly sauté the zucchini noodles for 1-2 minutes. The goal is to get them heated but not soggy! Add zucchini noodles to drained pasta, and toss with olive oil.
- Pour sauce over pasta and zucchini noodles, mixing well. Top with freshly grated parmesan or nutritional yeast as desired. Enjoy hot!