Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Creamy Pasta with Chard

"So... what do you eat?" is a pretty common question that not only vegans, but also vegetarians, hear.
It's pretty sad that our society has become so meat-happy that, for some, the thought of losing this precious calorie source is unthinkable.
I find no lack of diversity in my diet. But I can understand that, when growing up on hotdogs, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese, the thought of no animal products can be difficult to grasp.
I have given up many childhood meals to pursue a vegan lifestyle. 100% willingly, and 100% happily.
Although I do sometimes long for those comfort meals I would eat all the time when I was younger, the thought of eating one disgusts me.
There are, of course, a few things that I can still have. Pasta being one of them.

I remember when I was younger, my dad would make pasta once a week, every week for my sister, brother, and me. I loved it... I would saturate my pasta with olive oil, salt, and parmesian cheese.
Not quite how it is anymore, but the memories are still there.

I still love pasta with olive oil (now with garlic and broccoli instead of the cheese, though), but I love creamy pasta dishes, too. A bit more decadent, but definitely worth having ever so often!
Prior to becoming vegan and finding interest in food preparation, macaroni and cheese and the occasional fettuccine alfredo were the only creamy pasta dishes I enjoyed. Now I've learned to branch out.
Here's a tasty pasta dish that leaves me unsure where exactly to categorize it. Although it has a slight cheesy flavor, it is in no way a vegan mac and cheese attempt. It's just what it is- a pasta dish!

1lb Pasta (I prefer corkscrews, but used rotini... any will work of course :P )

1 Tbsp vegan butter
1/3 C water (Use leftover pasta water if possible)
1/3 C pasta sauce
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 C soy milk (unsweetened, plain), or to preference
Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 (or a whole one if you want) bunch chard

1.) Get the pasta cookin' :D
2.) While the pasta is boiling, mix the mustard with the mayonnaise and add pasta sauce, nutritional yeast, cumin, and garlic powder.
Get the chard washed and chopped up.
Once the pasta is finished, take the needed water before draining and add to the sauce.
3.) Return the pasta pot to the stove, and on low heat, melt the vegan butter. Return the pasta, and mix in the sauce. Add the soy milk to your preference.
4.) Add in the chard. Stirring ever few moments, let the pot sit to allow the chard to wilt.

This pasta reheats very nicely, simply add a little bit more soy milk and heat on low heat over the stove :)


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