After posting the recipe for Ash-e-reshteh, I was inspired to take another crack at using pasta. I’m glad I don’t crave it enough to use it all the time, but no food should be off limits (unless it has to be for your health). One of the things I plan to do with this dish is to keep it vegetarian. Tony and I were have a discussion on climate change and using less meat is one of the ways to help slow it down. The Huffington post did post an article on the meat we should be eating that does not have a large carbon footprint. However, we don’t have goat ready to buy at the grocery store and I don’t have the time or energy to raise some, so maybe next time. The stats weren’t too bad for this recipe, but it was low in protein, A and C as well as not gluten free.
Here are the original stats:
- 280 Calories
- 15.7g Fat
- 28.6mg Cholesterol
- 516.9mg Sodium
- 25.4 Carbohydrate
- 11.4g Protein
- 16.9% Calcium
- 7.9% Iron
- 215.7mg Potassium
- 5.7% Vitamin A
- 49.1% Vitamin C
Here is what I changed:
- I replaced the pasta with red lentil gluten free pasta to increase the protein and go gluten free
- I deleted the added salt
- I replaced the milk with almond milk to go dairy free
- I reduced the olive oil to 1/8 cup to reduce the calories
- I added Brussels Sprouts for vitamin C
- I increased the cauliflower to 1.5 heads to increase the vitamin c.
- I added extra firm tofu to increase the protein
- I reduced the butter to 2 tablespoons to lower the calories
- I added 4 carrots to increase the vitamin A
- I reduced the cheese down to 3/4 cup to reduce the calories
Here are the final stats:
- 297 Calories
- 12g Fat
- 19mg Cholesterol
- 199mg Sodium
- 31g Carbohydrate
- 18g Protein
- 33% Calcium
- 12% Iron
- 405mg Potassium
- 113% Vitamin A
- 124% Vitamin C
Here is the final recipe:
Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake
- 8 oz red lentil penne pasta
- 1.5 head medium cauliflower (or 1 large)
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
- 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 24 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
- 4 carrots
- 12 oz frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed and cut in half
- 15 oz package of extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- fresh sage, sliced into thin ribbons
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta for 5 minutes – it should still be a little firm. Drain and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the cauliflower, and cook for 5 minutes until tender-crisp. Meanwhile saute the minced garlic with a tablespoon of butter. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked cauliflower to a blender with 2 cups broth, milk, oil, and sauteed garlic. Puree until very smooth. You might need to do this in batches.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the 1 tablespoons butter in a very large skillet. Add the tofu and brown on all sided. Remove from the pan. Add the mushrooms, carrots and Brussels sprout and saute until golden brown.
- Toss the cooked pasta, cauliflower sauce, tofu, and vegetables together. Add the remaining cup of broth to help the consistency stay saucy.
- Transfer to a deep 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Some of the moisture from the mushrooms will seep out – give it a quick stir to reincorporate it and make it creamy. Top with fresh sage ribbons.