Are you bored of the same old vegan beans and pasta? Looking for a dinner with a bit more...oompf?
This "Siempre Un Poco Picante" (Always a little spicy) pasta recipe may give your pasta night just the kick of flavour it deserves.
Don't worry, this dish isn't actually that spicy. It's just packed full bodied Mexico-inspired flavour.
I know, I know, my recipes have been heavy on the Spanish themes lately.
But this recipe actually comes from my third year of medical school.
This was not a fun time. Between crazy hours, running and trying to maintain a long distance relationship, I didn't have a lot of time or energy for cooking (or anything else for that matter). Which I'm sure you all can relate to; we all put a little too much on our plates from time to time and end up feeling like we have to somehow maintain a constant sprint just to keep up. I made a lot of bland boring food during this time, and quite frankly it sucked.
So I started playing around more with spices, and found ways to make something quick, healthy and easy that also tasted great.
What I came up with is a dish that's warm, hearty and flavourful. It uses ingredients that are easy to find and spices that are found in most people's cupboard. Plus it's fast, like sub-20 minute dinner on the table fast.
This "Siempre un Poco Picante" (always a little spicy) pasta is packed with Mexican-inspired flavours. This pasta can be made in under 20 minutes and makes for a delicious and satisfying weeknight meal. I made it with chickpeas for the photos, because I know most of you will be able to find them, but I think it tastes best with small red kidney beans, which some grocers also carry. Use those, or home boiled kidney beans for best result!
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper, ample
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp of chili powder (or chipotle pepper paste)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or use red wine vinegar or lemon)
- 1 zucchini, julienned
- 1.5 c kale, thinly sliced
- 1 c sliced mushrooms
- 1 c dry rotini (gf if needed)
- 1 c pre-made tomato sauce (I usually use
- 2 c chickpeas or small red kidney beans (or 1 can)
- 10-15 kalamata olives
Start the water boiling for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the spices and stir for a minute or two before adding the beans.
Mash the beans, continuing to stir for another 2-3 minutes, before adding 1/2 c of the tomato sauce.
Continue to stir, until dry and then add the mushrooms and zucchini.
Allow the vegetables to brown for 2-3 minutes before adding the remaining sauce and the kale. Continue to cook until the kale is wilted. Add the kalamata olives.
Once the pasta is done cooking, remove it from the heat and drain the water. Add to the bean and vegetable mix, stirring until fully coated in sauce. Add more tomato sauce as to taste.
I cook this entire recipe without oil. I have a ceramic pan and use a combination of water, sauce and frequent stirring to prevent sticking. Of course, feel free to use it to fry the spices, if you like!
In other news, I am currently in Calgary for my friends wedding. Hopefully enjoying a hike as you're reading this (assuming my whole rental car fiasco works out properly). I'll be critiquing/sampling the vegan offerings from a bunch of local restaurants while I'm there, so follow along on Instagram for some food photo madness and my crazy critiques. I'd love any recommendations you guys have as well! Any must try dishes for vegans in the Calgary, Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise area? We also will be doing a lot of hiking and camping, so stay tuned for some of those photos (and maybe even some trail related recipes?). Foraged raspberry campfire tarts? Pine sap....something? Hope you all enjoy the recipe!