We so rarely have pasta at home. I tend to associate it with feeling quite icky, so it just doesn't occur to me to buy it. (Plus, I prefer whole grains in general. A bowl of quinoa usually fills the gap where pasta and white rice used to be.) That being said, I'm a fan of variety and of adventurous eating.
So when Michael and I discovered a brand of gluten-free pasta at the market recently, we thought we'd give it a try. The brand is Explore Asian (shown here on Amazon): their pastas are largely gluten-free and made of beans instead of grains. The one we picked up was made from mung beans, which are a tiny green, yellow, or black bean indigenous to India, China, and Indonesia. They are frequently used in sprouting and, as far as beans go, relatively easy to digest. They're high in plant-protein and fiber, as well as iron... which is more than most refined pastas can boast. I also love that the package listed two ingredients: organic green mung beans and water.
We were thrilled with how they turned out! They absorbed water really quickly, so the cook-time was under 10 minutes, including waiting for the water to boil. Not bad for a weeknight dinner!
Over the weekend, I'd picked up some local tomatoes, onions, and garlic at the NYC Greenmarket (we love the one in Morningside Park - it's also less expensive than many of the others in the city -- just so you know! It's worth the trip to 110th Street!). Because I'd had 'make homemade tomato sauce' on my to-do list since last winter, and I decided to roast these for a short bit and combine them with some Italian spices we had hanging around the kitchen.
After roasting the veggies in the oven for about 25 minutes, I tossed them into the blender with the spices and processed until smooth. I wanted it a little chunkier, so I opted to move it back to a saucepan and add celery, kale, and chickpeas. (Extra greens are always a bonus!)
Topped with a little vegan parmesan, the mung bean noodles and homemade sauce made for an uber-filling, uber-wintery dinner. No gluten needed whatsoever.
Have you made homemade sauce before? Do you prefer yours chunky or smooth? (Check out this awesome TED Talk from Malcolm Gladwell on happiness and spaghetti sauce.)
- 1 package mung bean pasta
- 4 medium tomatoes, cubed
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 handful kale, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 4 tbsp vegan parmesan (see below)
- 1. Preheat oven to 325F.
- 2. Spread tomatoes, onions, and garlic on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for ~25 minutes until softened. The tomato skins should shrivel a little.
- 3. In the meantime, cook mung bean pasta according to package directions, about 8-10minutes.
- 4. Remove tomatoes, etc. from oven. Transfer to food processor and add spices. Blend until smooth.
- 5. Transfer sauce back to a saucepan and add in kale, celery, and chickpeas. Stir to combine and keep over low heat until pasta is cooked.
- 6. Divide pasta into four bowls, drizzling 1/2 tbsp of avocado oil on each.
- 7. Top with sauce and vegan parmesan. Serve!
- Vegan Parmesan: 1 part walnuts, .75 part nutritional yeast, 1 tsp sea salt. Blend in blender until crumbly. https://twitter.com/GrndUpWellness/status/348561735478804480/photo/1