Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quinoa Noodles with "Sausage"

I'm a vegetarian, and sometimes I get really bad with eating too much starchy carbohydrates and not enough fruits & vegetables.  According to a holistic dentist I used to see I have a very slight intolerance to gluten, but not an allergy to it.  In the end it is best that I eat breads, pastas, & other starchy carbs in moderation.  Also, now that I've been diagnosed with Stills Disease I am following the great  Dr. Andrew Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Food Pyramid which, with the elimination of the Fish & Seafood level and substitutions for the Other Sources of Protein level.  I'll be keeping a vegan kitchen at home, but allowing myself dairy & eggs on special occasions when I go out.
Dr. Andrew Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

One way to make a gluten-free substitution is Quinoa pasta.  Honestly it tastes just like regular "white" pasta and is very high in protein, a big plus for vegetarians!  I have found it at my local Giant, Whole Foods, and Wegmans grocery stores.  I like to pair it with Tofurky or LightLife brand Sausage.  Here is the recipe.

Portion out your noodles depending on how many people you are feeding (usually 1-2 cups per person is good).  Put the proper sized pot on the stove and fill about 3/4 of the way full with cold water.  Set stovetop to a high temperature to bring water to a boil.  (You can prepare the sausage while you are waiting for the water to boil, see the next step below.)  Once boiling, add your noodles and set stove temperature to medium or low.  Boil until pasta is soft, about 8-10 minutes.

While you are waiting for the noodles, remove the sausages from the package and place on a cutting board (again, the number of sausages depends on how many people you're feeding, or how hungry you are!).  Cut into slices about 1/2" - 3/4" thick.  Place the slices in a frying pan that has been greased or coated with your favorite cooking oil or spray (like PAM).  Arrange sausages flat on the pan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, or untill brown.  Feel free to add any additional spices or veggies if you like.  Carefully flip each sausage over with a fork & knife and cook the same way on the other side.

Cut into 1/2" - 3/4" slices
LightLife brand Smart Sausages - Italian style

I've added some herbs & chopped onion.

Next you can begin to heat up your favorite pasta sauce in a pot or microwave according to the instructions on the jar.  Once the sauce is hot I like to add the sausages in, but this is totally up to you.  When your pasta is done cooking, drain and serve hot.  Finally, I love sprinkling on top lots of my favorite Parmesan cheese alternative, Veggie Topping.   Now wasn't that easy?

Served without sauce, just olive oil, herbs & spices
Served with sauce & vegan Parmesan cheese
Just one of many brands of vegan Parmesan cheese, but my personal favorite.

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