I’ve been walking around with a mug of chai tea in my hands perpetually, periodically sashaying to the microwave for a blast of heat. It’s cold here! I know, I know, it’s cold just about everywhere. Like polar vortex cold. Thankful for my warm home, electric blanket, and plentiful tea supply. And for this pasta dish. It will warm you up and stick to your ribs, without tons of artery clogging fat.
I started with a fairly healthy recipe I found on line, but even still it had butter and cheese in it. Not anymore. Here’s my veganized version to heat you up from the inside out.
***a special word on nutritional yeast. What the heck is that, you ask? No, it is not the yeast you put in bread so put down the little packet and walk away from the baking aisle! Nutritional yeast is a yeast grown on molasses and the dry flakes give a wallop of vitamin B12 and impart an earthy, cheesy taste to dishes. My original recipe called for parmesan cheese, so I used nutritional yeast instead. You can find it in whole paycheck type stores or in the nutrition or crunchy-hippie section of larger grocery stores. I buy mine at Sprouts, and it is with the vitamins. Sometimes you will hear very hippie-crunchy types call it Nooch. Please don’t call it nooch. That makes me throw up in my mouth just a little. People shouldn’t eat things that sound like vomit. Makes me think of the following scene: “dude, we were doing keg stands, and it was so awesome, we were like trashed, but then I nooched all over the fraternity stairs.”
The defense rests. I dare you to even think of it as notch again.
Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Pasta (serves 6-8 depending on portion size)
1 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced (you could sub onion if you don’t have a shallot, I actually used leek but I think shallot would taste better)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 T whole wheat pastry flour (or any flour, it just is used as a thickener)
1.5 C almond milk
1.5 C mashed sweet potato (about 2 small or one really big one)
1/2 C nutritional yeast
1/2 of a really big bunch of lacinato kale… or use the whole bunch if it is scrawny (can sub regular kale), cut into about 1.2 inch by 2 inch strips
3/4 pound box of whole wheat spiral pasta
In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat and then brown the garlic and shallot. When the have turned golden, add in the flour and stir until the flour is also golden. In a separate container/bowl, whisk the sweet potato and milk together (this would be a smart use of your blender). Add the mixture to the skillet, bring to a simmer and then reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in the nutritional yeast till combined, and season with salt/pepper as desired. Meanwhile, cook the pasta per package directions. Add the kale to the pasta water when there are two minutes left of boiling time, then drain the pasta and kale. Mix with the sweet potato sauce. Enjoy! Try not to lick your bowl.