Happy Earth Day! In honor of this important celebration, I created an indulgent, yet healthy and sustainable vegan pasta primavera. This creamy dish packs in a surprising wallop of all-natural nutrients thanks to the use of seasonal vegetables, raw cashews, wholesome pasta, and unique protein-packed almond milk.
What makes this vegan pasta primavera so special? Have you got a minute or two?
Nutrition: When made as is, this vegan pasta primavera contains approximately 25 grams of protein per serving! It’s virtually sugar-free – the cashews, peas, and carrots add small amounts of naturally-occurring sugars – but contains ample amount of fiber. And compared to most cream sauces, the fat is low (approximately 20 grams of “healthy” plant-based fats) - it can be brought down even further if you prefer to use a lighter hand with the olive oil (the recipe will still work well with 1 teaspoon), and thin the sauce with additional almond milk.
Meatless Meal: Let’s face it, even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, buying sustainable meat is expensive! Having a protein-rich, nutrient-dense, all-natural meat-free menu item at your beckon call can be a true blessing for your body and your pocketbook.
Sustainable Choices: In days past, if the food came in a carton, bag, or box, it was almost guaranteed to be void of anything good. Fortunately, many manufacturers have upped the ante by sourcing high quality ingredients, opting for minimal processing and preservatives, and going above and beyond to lessen their environmental footprint. For this vegan pasta primavera I chose noodles with just 1 ingredient that is organic and non-GMO verified, and a milk alternative that shouts sustainability. I use So Delicious Dairy Free coconut milk beverage or almond milk because I love the choices that company makes. They carefully source ingredients, focus on water conservation, have a green office program, go above and beyond to get or source certified foods (non-GMO verified, Rainforest Alliance, etc.), and even share their policies in a downloadable Sustainability Report. Oh, and of course it tastes amazing, too…
Seasonal Versatility: The produce you pick can have a huge impact on your environment. I opted for fresh peas and organic carrots because they are right in season and grown locally to my area. Both were produced sustainably and involved very little transit. In the summer, I might switch it up to use fresh cherry tomatoes, herbs, mushrooms, tender greens, and/or zucchini. For fall, broccoli would be my go to, but winter squash would also be an option, and late summer / early fall crops like tomatoes, and eggplant would also go nicely. In winter, this vegan pasta primavera would be a comforting delight with hearty greens (like kale).
Fast, Easy and Delicious: Yes, believe it or not, healthy vegan pasta primavera not only tastes wonderful, it is also super quick and simple to make! This is a great beginner dish, but can also be loved by more advanced cooks who like to modify ingredients to taste.
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. See above for recipe variations.