I skipped the gym today because I ran out of olive oil!
I know that sounds weird but it’s true. I did walk to the store to buy some so that’s gotta count for something, right? The only problem is the store that’s walking distance from my house is a super duper fancy health food store so the bottle of Extra Virgin olive oil I bought was organic, imported, and 26 dollars! Yikes.
And that’s where my inspiration came from. As I was I was walking home feeling oh-so-guilty about skipping the gym, buying a tub of vegan cookie dough (did I forget to mention that before, oops), and my 26 dollar olive oil; it hit me! I’ll just use less oil than I normally would which will bring my cost AND my calorie count down!! Woohoo! I’m such a problem solver…
This recipe is packed with tricks that will help you make a healthy dish for those guilt ridden nights when you just need to have your pasta & vegan chocolate chip cookie too. The tricks are in the instructions, so take note and use them later on in all your cooking endeavors. Let’s go!
1 box Banza pasta
1 medium eggplant cut into cubes
2 cups Brussels Sprouts cut into quarters
1 bundle asparagus
1 box cherry tomatoes
1 box sliced cremini mushrooms
3 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Basil, Oregeno, Thyme – dried
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1. Lay your veggies on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. Trick #1: Cutting your veggies to the same size and roasting on the same baking sheet will save you lots of time since they will all cook at the same pace in the same place.
2. While your other veggies are baking, sauté your mushrooms in a large skillet. Add seasonings like dry herbs & pepper.
3. After your mushrooms are cooked through, remove from skillet and add cherry tomatoes to the same skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes until they burst and blister. Trick #2: Cooking your tomatoes in the mushroom skillet will help you avoid adding any additional oil since your mushrooms will let off a lot of liquid. The pan should get juicy once these are done. Add them in a separate bowl with the mushrooms.
4. In a large pot, bring water, salt, & olive oil to a boil and throw in your Banza Pasta. Trick #3: This pasta is made of chickpeas and is so tasty you’ll trick your whole face into believing you’ve indulged but you haven’t.
5. In the same skillet throw in your capers and get them frying. Trick #4: This is such a great/sneaky way to get a salty dish without adding any salt. Once they burst a little, remove from the skillet.
6. In the same skillet add a little bit more olive oil + a tablespoon vegan butter + a tablespoon crushed garlic. Melt on low for a few minutes. Trick #5: mixing butter with olive oil is an easy way to make a rich and decadent sauce that everyone will think is so fancy. Plus, you’ll pick up all the flavors from the skillet which will season your pasta to perfection. Add this sauce to your cooked pasta and let it marinate.
7. Finally, combine everything in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with some vegan Parmasan cheese and your fried capers. You could also add some fresh basil and red chili pepper for some extra flavor.
Recipe will serve 4 or 2 + 2 leftover office lunches.