Creamy Spinach & Mushroom pasta with basil
Like many others that don't eat meat or poultry, my fridge always contains lots of seasonal vegies. Coming up with ideas to use them while still at their best is a daily challenge. I now feed 6 people, so a few likes and dislikes have to be taken into consideration, but overall I feel it's easier to cook for more than for less. That could just be the Greek in me talking!
It's rare that mushrooms aren't lurking in the fridge somewhere, so yesterday's dinner brainstorm began with those and the leftover leeks I'd prepped from the other day's Coles special. I had a craving for pasta, so I grabbed a pack of Vetta High Fibre Penne Rigate from the pantry.
I'd visited Aldi a couple of days beforehand and found a preservative-free smooth ricotta (their Emporium brand) which I excitedly put in my trolley with no idea as to how I'd use it. If you knew about my over 20 year migraine battle with potassium sorbate (preservative 202) you'd understand why I was so pleased. I found another at Coles today. Winning!
I have successfully used processed firm silken tofu as a vegan alternative in creamy sauces in the past. You can increase the leek, garlic & chicken stock (there's no actual chicken in chicken stock cubes) concentration to help mask the different flavour, or cook off a bit of Boronia Marsala before Step 4 (below).
English spinach is now in season, but a pack of frozen or even baby spinach will do the trick. Garlic, a chicken stock cube and a tube of Gourmet Garden Basil stir in paste, and voila - a meal idea was born.
Keeping in mind I'm feeding 1 elderly person and 2 young children in my lot of 6, the sauce is a great source of calcium for healthy bones. As always my main focus is on fibre content and getting a reasonable variety of vegies into lunches and dinners. Coupled with a good source of fibre for breakfast, it all adds up to make the suggested daily target of 38 g/day for men and 28 g/day for women to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
You can find the Creamy Spinach & Mushroom pasta with basil recipe on the Recipes page
This experiment was so well received, the girls wanted the small amount left over as part of a cold lunch the next day. High praise indeed for something I put together in just over half an hour (my vegies were already prepped to save fridge space). Of course I was particularly pleased about the additional resistant starch they both ate today!