September 2, 2011

Beginning Vegan- Cream Sauce Spaghetti

One of the most common (and annoying) things you will get asked when you become a vegan is the following sentence (or variation thereof):

"But... if you don't eat meat, where do you get your protein?"

It will get old REAL fast, trust me. However, the best way to deal with it is have a recipe on hand that has an overload of yummy plant based proteins to have a visual and nommable response to the question. 

This is such a dish. 

As a note, this does have 2 ingredients which may not be common to a new vegan, but should definitely be bought/ordered: Nutritional Yeast and Tempeh. I buy both of mine at the health food store, and I know that nutritional yeast can be ordered online. (Nutritional yeast looks like yellow flakes, and has a lot of Vitamin B12 in it, which is good for you!) 

Tempeh is fermented soy beans pressed into a patty, and is found in the frozen section. Don't fret if you can't find it, you can use Tofu as well, which is much easier to find! (Though Tempeh is so tasty!)

In addition, this recipe has a lot of ingredients, but is very very simple to make! Be not daunted!

Cream Sauce Spaghetti with "bacon" chunks
Serves 2
1/4 cup tempeh (or tofu) chopped into little chunks. (if you aren't GF, you can use storebought vegan bacon, and not have to make the marinade with the following ingredients!)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp Tamari or Soy Sauce

2 servings of spaghetti noodles (I tend to use either corn or brown rice noodles)

1 box silken tofu
1/2 tbsp corn starch
Soy Milk (a few tbsps)
Nutritional Yeast (to taste)
Freshly Ground Salt and Pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
All the different parts cooking at once!

In a small bowl, mix together the tempeh, 1 tbsp olive oil, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and Tamari. 
Add the tempeh/Tofu, and toss to coat. Set aside for a few minutes. 

Place a pot of salted water on the stove, and bring to a boil. Add in your spaghetti to cook while you prepare the sauce. 

In a blender, blend the tofu and cornstarch, adding in a bit of soy milk to get a nice creamy smooth texture. 
Add in nutritional yeast,  tasting every tbsp until it has a flavor you like. 
Season with salt and pepper. 

In a small frying pan, dump the tempeh mixture (even the marinade!) and turn the heat to medium. Fry, stirring every few minutes, until they're nice and crispy and brown. (Do this while making the sauce, which is the next instruction down!)  (same goes if you use Tofu. If you're using storebought vegan bacon, nuke a few strips, and then cut into chunks!) 

In a wok or high-sided frying pan, sautee the olive oil, garlic, and mushrooms, until garlic is fragrant, and mushrooms have turned brown and it looks quite yummy. 
Dump in the tofu blended mixture, and the cup of peas. Bring to a bubble, and simmer until the pasta is cooked. 

Drain the pasta, and add it to the sauce mixture, stirring to combine. 
Divide between 2 bowls/plates, and top with some more freshly ground salt and pepper, as well as the tempeh. 
Then eat and enjoy the proteiny goodness!

It's much easier to make than it sounds! Trust me!

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