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Jazzy Vegetarian: Recipes

Main Dishes & Pastas

Meatless main meals are really quite easy to create. Baked portobello mushrooms or stuffed squash make good alternatives to meat. if you are just getting started on the path to plant-based eating, try taking your favorite main meal recipes and use “veggie meats,” such as seitan, tofu, tempeh or even commercially prepared meat analogues in place of the meat in your recipe. You’ll be surprised at how little the meat is missed! 



Whole Grain Rotini with Broccoli Rabe and Garbanzo Beans - Low fat cooking

Whole Grain Rotini with Broccoli Rabe and Garbanzo Beans

Serves 2 to 3

This tummy warming dish is full of good taste and easy to prepare for a weeknight meal.


1/2 vegan boullion cube, crumbled

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1/2 pound whole grain or whole wheat rotini pasta

1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned, trimmed and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/8 to 1/4 crushed red pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon organic tamari 

Sea salt (optional)

2 to 3 teaspoons wheat germ

Pour the 1/2 cup water into the bottom of a large skillet. Add the crumbled boullion cube and bring to a simmer. Stir the boullion cube into the simmering water unitl it is almost dissolved. Add the broccoli rabe, garlic, garbanzo beans and crushed pepper to the large skillet. Cover and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, adding a bit more water as needed if the pan becomes dry. Add tamari. Cover and simmer a few more minutes, or until broccoli rabe is tender, but still firm. Do not overcook!


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the rotini. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rotini is tender, but firm. Drain the pasta well.


For each serving: Place about 1 cup (or more) of the  cooked rotini into a pasta bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon wheat germ. Top with generous portion of the brocolli rabe mixture, making sure to include some of the broth (this will flavor the rotini). Season with sea salt, if desired. 



Whole Grain Penne with Broccoli Rabe

Whole Grain Penne with Broccoli Rabe: Click Here for Recipe 


Walnut & Basil Pesto Pasta

Arugula-and-Walnut Pesto Pasta

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Arugula adds a peppery bite to this pesto without overwhelming the flavors of the other ingredients, and the wheat germ adds extra nutrition and a subtle crunch. This recipe is among my top warm-weather go-to dishes because it is special enough to serve to guests, yet is also quick to prepare and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Serve it with crusty whole-grain bread and a simple romaine salad for a satisfying meal.

1 pound whole-grain pasta

2 1/4 ounces (3 cups, lightly packed) baby arugula

1 cup fresh basil, lightly packed

1 cup chopped walnuts

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

2 tablespoons water

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

3 small tomatoes, cut into wedges

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the pasta. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm.

            Meanwhile put the arugula, basil, walnuts, oil, wheat germ, water, garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar or work bowl as needed. (Depending on the size of your blender or food processor, you may need to process the mixture in batches.) Season with pepper to taste.

            Drain the pasta well and transfer to a large bowl. While it is still piping hot, add the arugula mixture and toss gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a large, shallow serving bowl and arrange the tomato wedges around the edge. Serve immediately.

 Note: The arugula mixture can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance. Just store it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Bring it back to room temperature before mixing it with the pasta.


 THE COMPANION COOKBOOK: JAZZY VEGETARIAN, Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious © LAURA THEODORE 2011/ Published by: Book Publishing Company


Broccoli & Carrot Pasta Supreme

I came up with this supremely fresh tasting dish one winter night when I wanted a body-warming dish that was tasty and quick. Perfect anytime of the year, this meal can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less. For a lower fat Pasta Supreme, substitute some (or all) of the olive oil with vegetable broth, adding great flavor! 

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE: Broccoli & Carrot Pasta Supreme

Soba Noodles with Shitake Mushrooms & Baby Spinach

This is a wonderful sweet and sublime gourmet noodle dish that cooks up quickly. This recipe features the shitake mushroom with all of its rich meaty taste and super nutritive properties. If you cannot find shitakes, feel free to substitute any other favorite mushroom that you enjoy.

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE: Soba Noodles with Shitakes & Baby Spinach

Confetti Spaghetti

Makes 3 to 4 servings

This easy, breezy pasta dish is sure to please the eye and the palate with it’s beautiful blend of colorful veggies mixed with whole grain spaghetti. The ripe avocado in this dish breaks down to slightly coat each strand of the pasta, giving it an inviting texture and fresh taste.

3/4 pound whole grain spaghetti

1 large tomato, chopped

1/2 head arugula, chopped chiffonade style

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt (to taste)

Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs or basil (or use fresh if you like)

1 ripe avocado, diced

3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

Pour 3 quarts of salted water into a large pot. Place it over medium heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Place the pasta in the pot and cook it until it is al dente. Meanwhile; toss the tomato, arugula, olive oil, sea salt, pepper and herbs together in a large bowl. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and immediately pour the hot pasta over the tomato mixture. Add the avocado and toss well. Add the wheat germ and toss it all together. This makes a great weeknight “stand alone” meal–in-one!


Earth Day Black Bean Burritos

Let's celebrate with an eco-friendly meal. Here is a recipe that highlights a delightful blend of black beans, salsa, and whole grain tortillas, all contained in an easy to prepare, slightly spicy burrito style meal! This is one of my favorite easy, jazzy recipes perfect to serve for Earth Day or any day! Yay!

Did you know?...According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American substituted just one meat based meal per week with a vegetable and grain based meal, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of our roads. By serving your family just one meatless meal each week, you too can begin to make a difference in becoming healthier, wealthier, and environmentally wiser! 

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE: Earth Day Black Bean Burritos

Pasta Primavery Jazzy

Pasta Primavery Jazzy is a fresh primavera style dish incorporating vegetables that may be commonly found at your local farmers’ market. This dish is easy to prepare and lower in fat than cream-based versions of this pasta favorite.

Serves 4

1 pound organic, whole grain spaghetti, shell, rigatoni, or penne

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil (or 12-20 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade cut)

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic )

1 teaspoon reduced sodium tamari (to taste)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil  (to taste)

sea salt and fresh ground pepper (optional)

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thinly

2 cups green beans, cleaned and cut in half

1 medium Bermuda onion, chopped

1 medium zucchini (or broccoli), cut in chunks

In a very large pot, put salted water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, place chopped tomatoes in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with basil, garlic, a dash of tamari, sea salt, and coarse ground pepper. Cover with a bit of olive oil, stir, and let marinate while preparing other ingredients. Start to steam the carrots for about 10 minutes, then add the green beans and onions and steam for about 5 minutes more, then add the zucchini (or broccoli) and continue steaming until all of the vegetables are crisp tender. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente and quickly drain. Pour the drained pasta over the marinating tomato mixture and pour the steamed vegetables over the top. Add more herbs and tamari, if needed, to taste. Toss well and serve with a green salad and whole grain organic bread.

Recipe from: Vegetarian Cooking for Every Day