It’s challenging at my house. I live with men and they take their consumption of meat fairly seriously. Trying to find new ways to bring protein to the dinner table without the use of livestock is an ongoing quest. Add to this my quirky relationship with ONE bowl meals (I will do almost anything to serve dinner that way) and you get these types of recipes.
If you are facing somewhat of the same predicament, I encourage you to try this recipe. It was received very well by the carnivores in my house.
Lentil pasta is one of my favorite ways to get protein in a meal. Since it has to be ‘quite the exception’ to pass muster at dinner time, I’ve tried many. This lentil pasta, Tolerant is my favorite.
Made solely from organic red lentils, this rose-colored, gluten-free pasta is a healthy choice. If you are trying to stay away from highly processed, white flour laden, foods this is a great alternative.
It provides about 30 percent of the day’s folate and 20 percent of the day’s thiamine. Both of these nutrients can aid weight loss efforts – if the expanding midlife middle is a concern. Plus, and it’s no small plus, it has 12 times more fiber and seven times more protein than a typical bowl of pasta. Pssst… you make it the same way too. So, no learning curve. I cook it the minimum time; we like ours with a bit more texture (al dente, if you will)
Shitake Mushrooms and Squash Lentil Pasta
- 8 ounces of shitake mushrooms stemmed and sliced
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut the ends off and dice thinly
- 1 TB chopped garlic
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2 TBs butter
- 1 box of red lentil pasta (Tolerant Penne is my choice)
- 2 heaping fist fulls of pea shoots (uncooked)
- 1/2 ripe avocado, diced into little cubes
- 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes cut into pieces
- freshly ground black pepper
- pink Himalayan salt
- shredded pecorino or romano cheese
- drizzle of high-end, extra virgin olive oil (not all olive oils are created equal)
Make the Veggies:
- Melt butter and the TB of olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft and aromatic. Cook at medium-high heat until they are at desired degree of doneness. Typically, my squash is a bit ‘golden’ in color on the edges when I’m through. There is no ‘right’ amount of cooking time.
Make the Pasta:
- Boil water with a bit of salt and oil (this helps pasta not stick together).
- Don’t watch it or you’ll never get dinner ready.
- Follow directions on the box.
- When you are ready to bowl your meal, place a cup of the penne at the bottom of the bowl. Scoop the veggie mix on top.
- Take a handful of fresh pea shoots, 1/2 the sliced avocado, and 1/2 the cherry tomatoes and sprinkle on top.
- Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle the pecorino or romano cheese over it and adjust the flavors with the salt and pepper to your palette.
CONVERT a CARNIVORE…. at least for the moment.