Oh dear, is anyone else stressing out about the holidays like I am? Even though I have almost all of Christmas shopping done, I feel like there’s always more to do! Such as, coming up with what to eat for Christmas dinner; maybe I’ll say, “Screw it!” and make a pizza. For some reason I’m not feeling totally inspired food-wise, and it could be that I just have a lot on my plate right now. (HA!) Or, maybe I’ll just make this quinoa pasta dish again.
I experimented a bit with a base recipe for this a couple of weeks ago, mostly because I wasn’t entirely sure how good a tofu-based sauce would work. After feeding it to my non-vegan cousin, it was clear that this recipe was a hit. What’s great about this dish is that it can be eaten as an entrée or served as a side at a holiday dinner. Plus, there’s no added oil and it’s gluten-free! Sounds pretty solid to me.
If you would like to make this recipe even healthier, serve the creamy garlic sauce over baked spaghetti squash, which is a favorite of mine. Don’t like spinach? Use bite-size kale pieces instead. Also, one tip for reheating leftovers, add a little vegetable broth or non-dairy milk to get the sauce creamy again.
Quinoa Pasta with Creamy Garlic Sauce & Toasted Hazelnuts
A creamy, low-fat garlic sauce over quinoa pasta, dotted with toasted hazelnuts.
1/2 C. Raw Hazelnuts
8 oz. Dried Quinoa Pasta Noodles
14 oz. Soft or Silken Tofu
1 C. Vegetable broth
3- 4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 Tbsp. Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. onion Powder
1/4 tsp. White pepper
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
Salt to taste (if needed)
2 Firmly Packed Cups of Fresh Baby spinach
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Place the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet, and once your oven is to temperature, roast them for 10-15 minutes or until they are darker brown on the outside.
- Prepare your noodles as said on the package, mine involved boiling them for 6-9 minutes; then drain and set aside in a large pot.
- Take your tofu out of the package and rinse it, but do not press the liquid out of it. Break it apart into a food processor or blender.
- Add the vegetable broth, garlic, liquid aminos, onion powder, white pepper and ground nutmeg to the tofu. Puree the mixture until completely smooth.
- Pour the sauce into a large pan and heat to a simmer. Stir in the spinach until it has wilted.
- When the hazelnuts are done roasting, let them cool for 10 minutes, then rub them between your palms (or in a clean towel) to remove a majority of the skins.
- Chop the hazelnuts and add half of them to the garlic sauce, save the other half for garnish.
- Simmer the sauce for 5 more minutes, then pour over the pasta noodles and stir together until it is evenly distributed. Serve warm.
- As said above, use spaghetti squash instead of pasta to lower the calorie count.
This pasta dish is high in protein, very filling, and is warm and comforting without being junk food. I highly recommend it for a weeknight dinner because it really doesn’t take much time to make it, although once others ate it, you may have a hard time convincing them otherwise.
The month of December is going to be filled with delightful nut recipes, and I really can’t wait. Please join in on the #nutlove fun by linking up any nut recipe from the month of December 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #nutlove event! The twitter hashtag is #nutlove .
Badger Girl Learns to Cook ~ Kimberly
Cheap Ethnic Eatz ~ Evelyne
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ T.R.
Rico sin Azúcar ~ Helena
Teaspoon of Spice ~ Serena
The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen ~ Susan Palmer
The Spicy RD ~ EA Stewart
Vegan Yack Attack ~ Jackie S.