Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta {Vegan}

Last summer I really had the craving for pumpkin...pumpkin everything! The problem was that I couldn't find canned pumpkin anywhere! I'm not talking about pumpkin pie filling, or pumpkin with tons of sugar and other gunk, just pumpkin in a can! I literally called Trader Joe's every week asking if they had got their canned pumpkin in yet. FINALLY one week, I walked in, and there it was! Lots and lots of canned pumpkin. I was so excited. I bought about 5 or 6 cans. I really wanted to buy more, but it was $2.99 a can, so I hesitated. Sadly, it's only March, and I've used up the last can of pumpkin on this recipe. Waaaaahhhh! I told Adrian that this year I would be buying at least 15 cans! He looked at me like I was nuts.

The last time I made something with pumpkin, was when I made these (non-vegan) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. I think I could easily make those vegan by subbing the eggs for another leaven-er.

(Recipe slightly adapted from here)

1 pound of cooked pasts (your choice)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, roughly chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, choppped
1 (14 oz) can organic pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups soy, almond, or rice milk
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)
3 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a large pan, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft. 

Once the onions and garlic are cooked, add all of the ingredients to the blender. Puree until smooth.

Pout the pureed sauce back into the pan that the onions and garlic were cooked in. Simmer on medium-low until hot.

Toss with pasta! I used the pasta that I had on hand. I didn't make a full pound of pasta, so I had a lot of leftover sauce, and decided to freeze it.

I've heard a lot of comments from people saying, "I can't eat vegan, it's too hard." What I have to say about that is NO! It's not hard at all. All of the ingredients that I have used have been purchased from a regular grocery store (like Vons, Costco, Sprouts, Target). Not from a crazy expensive place that is totally out of the way (like Whole Foods). Preparing a vegan meal isn't any harder or more expensive than preparing a non-vegan one. And, it tastes just as good! Take charge of your health! 

Here's a quick example of what I ate yesterday, and today:
Avocado Rolls
Meatless Spaghetti with extra veggies (mushrooms, bell peppers etc)
1 cup of beets
Seaweed Snack
Calcium enriched OJ
Graham crackers
Oatmeal with almond milk, flax seed and strawberries
Toast with coconut spread and raspberry jelly
Pumpkin Pasta leftovers

On another note, I called the Dr's office today, and scheduled physicals for Adrian and I. I'm really curious to see what our cholesterol (etc.) levels are. If you are interested in reading more about being vegan, check out this post from Truth and the Life. 

One of my favorite parts:
Spiritually, I have realized God has provided us, from the beginning, a perfect diet from The Garden of Eden. Before sin, Adam and Eve were given this amazing and beautiful garden that would perfectly nourish their bodies without having to consume animal products. He has re-assured me through verses in Genesis that clean eating is the best way to respect my body, as the temple it is. 

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