According to some researchers, we should be eating several bushels a day of vegetables in order to get the adequate amount of nutrients our bodies need.
Don't get me wrong: I love vegetables - I do! - but the prospect of eating that kind of volume is a little much.
Instead, I love finding more reasonable ways of working more vegetables into meals throughout the day. Consistent variety helps us to ensure we are taking care of our cells from all angles and that we have our nutritional bases covered.
This recipe is a little remix of an old favourite - all the flavor of traditional pasta primavera and all great-for-you carbohydrates, without the sluggishness-inducing refined starch from pasta.
The great thing about this quick-and-easy recipe is that you can throw in whatever veggies you have around: as long as they're a little hearty and can stand up to a little heat, you're good to go. The cashew marinara sauce is another variation on a theme. Because it's just a few simple ingredients, you can feel good knowing exactly what's in it (no hidden preservatives here!).
Soak your cashews overnight to activate their powerful enzymes: this is a bit of twist on how you'd usually make cashew cheese, so all the benefits of that seriously excellent raw food are present here, too.
Grab your blender, your steamer basket, and get cooking! This dish takes less than 20 minutes to throw together and is great as an entree or a side.
Toss together a selection of veggies and steam in a steamer basket to desired texture. I used kale, sweet potatoes, and broccoli and steamed for about 5 minutes to get them nice and 'al dente'.
Once your cashews have soaked overnight, drain and combine in the blender with nutritional yeast and tomato puree. (Look for a brand that is sugar-free... ie. just a can of pureed tomatoes. You can also make this from scratch if you prefer by peeling tomatoes, stewing them (cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes), and blending.)
Blend the cashews, nutritional yeast, and tomato puree until smooth. Add a little sea salt to taste, if you like.
When your veggies are done, transfer them to a mixing bowl. Toss in the chickpeas, cilantro, and tomato sauce and combine. (Bonus: the heat from the veggies warms the sauce, so you can skip a step of heating the sauce separately.)
Top with vegan parmesan cheese and grape tomatoes. This is incredibly filling (thanks, fiber!) and packed with a variety of micronutrients (thanks, plants!). It can also be a fun way to get picky eaters (boyfriends, kids, hesitant parents...) to get on board with new or different vegetables. Enjoy!
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup chopped sweet potatoes
- 2 cups kale
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup cooked (canned) chickpeas
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 6 grape tomatoes, for garnish
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1. Steam broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes to desired texture. (5 minutes will be about al dente).
- 2. Combine cashews, tomato puree, nutritional yeast, and salt in blender. Blend until smooth.
- 3. Combine cooked veggies, tomato sauce, chickpeas, and cilantro in large mixing bowl and combine until coated.
- 4. Combine vegan parmesan ingredients in blender until they reach an even consistency (like that of traditional parmesan cheese).
- 5. Divide into two bowls and top with grape tomatoes and vegan parmesan.
- Sub in whatever veggies you have on hand: anything hearty like cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, or turnip would work well here!
How do you find balance with your meals throughout the day? Do you swap in other options when you've had a carb-heavy day?