• 2

    Servings

  • Vegan

  • Prep Time 20'

  • Total Time 25'

Ramsons and Broccoli Pasta w/ Nut Parmesan

  • 2

    Servings

  • Vegan

  • Prep Time 20'

  • Total Time 25'

When I committed to living a healthy lifestyle, by no means was I agreeing to give up the things I love. For me, optimal well being goes beyond diet fads and the food on my plate. The most important aspect of being healthy is the way I think about myself and its implications to my body image and my relationship to food. I eat to nourish my body, I choose foods that I enjoy because I have a healthy mindset that allows me to do so.

With today’s crazy health industry, many people steer clear of pastas and breads because they are led into thinking that carbs are bad for the body. On the contrary, carbs give your body energy and are essential for a balanced diet. It is the added sugar and highly processed grains that are not good for you. There is nothing wrong with an indulging, high-quality pasta meal once in a while. Plus, there are so many ways to fortify your pasta dish and make it worth eating.

When I was a kid, pasta was one of my favorite dinners. In addition to the classic macaroni and cheese, my mother would prepare all sorts of varieties. As funny as it sounds, I learned to like vegetables because of the way they tasted with my pasta. A lot of people associate pasta with loads of butter and heaps of cheese. My connotation of pasta is something entirely different, I think of something wholesome and delicious.

For tonight’s dinner, I used one of my favorite types of noodles, fusilli. I love the corkscrew shape and the chewy consistency when cooked correctly. I wanted something refreshing but still flavorfully dense. I love steamed broccoli in my pasta dishes and decided to pair it with garlic, mint and onion. The zest of lemon brings out the vegetable flavors and unifies the dish.

Pasta and cheese have an undeniable chemistry. There are plenty of ways to incorporate this dynamic without actually adding cheese! I usually either add a creamy sauce or a plant-based cheese to bing it all together. The nut parmesan boasts all the goodness of the cheese flavor but is lighter on the taste buds and digestion. It is so easy to make a nut cheese, many won’t even be able to recognize that there is no dairy. The Erbology Organic Milk Thistle Powder is a great addition here. If you are not familiar with nutritional yeast, I recommend you try it out. If you follow a vegan diet, nutritional yeast may just become your new best friend.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is commonly used in vegan cooking. It is the ingredient that you are likely to pinpoint when you experience a cheesy flavour in your vegan dish. The name kind of gives it away, but nutritional yeast contains protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nutritional yeast comes in many forms; flakes, granules or powder (1). It is likely to be found in either the bulk section or spice department of your favourite health food stores.

Nutritional yeast is an easy way for plant-based eaters to add high-quality protein to their meals. A one tablespoon serving boasts 2 grams of complete protein (2).

B vitamins are a key player in keeping you energized and helping you to maintain optimal health. The B vitamin family is made up of eight unique, water-soluble B vitamins that we must continually replenish (3). One tablespoon of nutritional yeast can contain from 30% to 180% of the recommended daily value for B Vitamins (4). One of the B vitamins that can be found in nutrition yeast is B-12. Vitamin B-12 is necessary for a healthy nervous system, DNA production, energy metabolism and the creation of red blood cells (5). B-12 is made by microorganisms; and although it does not need to come from animal products, plants are generally speaking, not a reliable source of this vitamin. So, those participating in a vegan diet may become deficient in vitamin B-12. Having said that, studies have shown that nutritional yeast may help to restore the levels of B-12 in the body.

Why is it healthy to add lemon to vegetables?

Lemons have an innate ability to enhance the flavour of just about anything. In addition to bringing out the best in a dish, lemons add an impressive nutritional element.

Lemons are an incredible source of vitamin C. With one cup of lemon juice, you nearly achieve two times your recommended daily value (6)Apart from being great for the immune system, iron absorption and collagen formation (7), vitamin C has been shown to lead to younger looking skin. In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 4025 women between the ages of 40-74 were monitored for visible signs of skin aging such as wrinkles, dryness and thinning. The study concluded that vitamin C and linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) are associated with better skin-aging (8).

Due to its acidic structure, lemon juice helps cleanse the liver and keep our organs functioning. The citric acid in lemons help us break down the foods we eat and ease digestion. Lemons are an “anionic food”, which means they contain a higher number of negative ions than positive ions. This property makes lemon juice similar to the type of acids in our stomachs, further enhancing the work of digestive enzymes. For example, the acidic properties of lemons stimulate bile. It is one of the mechanisms by which our liver is cleansed. In other words, adding lemon juice helps with proper bile flow and the elimination of toxins from our body (9).

Written by: Danielle Bear

(1) LeMoine, Norm. “Nutritional Yeast.” The Weston A. Price Foundation, 23 Feb. 2017, www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/nutritional-yeast/.

(2) Food Composition Databases Show Foods — PREMIUM NUTRITIONAL YEAST SEASONING, UPC: 074305066054, ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/53973.

(3) Nunes, Laura. “Do You Really Need All 8 B Vitamins?” BrainMD Health Blog, 21 Aug. 2017, www.brainmdhealth.com/blog/how-to-get-all-8-b-vitamins/.

(4) The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 77, Issue 5, 1 May 2003, Pages 1241–1247, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/77.5.1241.

(5) Donaldson, M S. “Metabolic Vitamin B12 Status on a Mostly Raw Vegan Diet with Follow-up Using Tablets, Nutritional Yeast, or Probiotic Supplements.” Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11146329.

(6) “Lemon Juice, Raw Nutrition Facts & Calories.” Nutrition Data Know What You Eat., nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1938/2.

(7) “Newly Discovered Health Benefits of Vitamin C.” LifeExtension.com, www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/4/Newly-Discovered-Benefits-Of-Vitamin-C/Page-01.

(8) Cosgrove, et al. “Dietary Nutrient Intakes and Skin-Aging Appearance among Middle-Aged American Women | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Oct. 2007, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/86/4/1225/4649573.

(9) Dabfm, et al. “How Does Lemon Juice Assist Detoxification?” Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles, Global Healing Center, Inc, 12 June 2014,www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/how-does-lemon-juice-assist-detoxification/.

 

Ingredients

For pasta
  • 1 ½  cup whole grain fusilli (for the gluten-free option, use gluten-free fusilli)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cup steamed broccoli
  • 10 fresh ramsons / wild garlic leaves
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 5-10 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Dash of black pepper
For the Nut Parmesan

Here's how you do it

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water as per packaging instructions.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, start chopping the broccoli and ramsons. I like to chop them into small to medium sizes so they can stick to the pasta. Put aside in a bowl.
  3. In a food processor, add the cashews, salt, Erbology Organic Milk Thistle Powder and nutritional yeast. Pulse until finely crumbled, this should yield around 1 cup of nut parmesan. Scoop everything out and place in an airtight container, store in the fridge for up to 1-2 months.
  4. When pasta is ready, strain and rinse with cold water.
  5. Add pasta to your bowl with broccoli and ramsons. Add olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 2 tbsp nut parmesan. Squeeze half lemon and stir gently.
  6. From the other half lemon, cut slices and save them for garnishing.
  7. Plate the pasta and garnish with mint leaves, a lemon slice and sprinkle some more nut parmesan. Absolutely delicious!

Tags

  • Guilt-free
  • Milk thistle
  • Protein
  • Spring recipes
  • Vegan cheese
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C

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