unexpected deliciousness

Don’t you love when unplanned meals turn out to be amazing??  After seeing Angela’s delicious looking olive oil + red pepper pasta dish the other day, I knew I needed to make it.  I made some adjustments, to use ingredients I had on hand, and I was 100% pleased with the outcome!

I gave the dish a bit of a Mexican flare.  The second I threw ground cumin in, it was either going to be delicious, or a disaster.

Luckily, it turned out delicious! 

(4 of 6)

I used mung beans, instead of lentils.  If you don’t like mung beans or can’t find them, lentils will work great, like in Angela’s recipe.  They are both packed with protein + fiber.  The mung beans have a nice crunchy texture, which I absolutely loved.

There are walnuts mixed into this recipe as well, which I was a little apprehensive about at first, but for some reason it works!

You could definitely cook up some tempeh or tofu to throw in this as well!  I used brown rice pasta and it worked perfectly.  Some brown rice pasta becomes sticky/gummy after cooking, but I’ve had the best success with Lundberg Brown Rice Penne Pasta.  The texture + flavor are great!

(5 of 6)

Mexican Spiced Veggie Pasta [serves 4-5] inspired by Angela's pasta recipe

  • 4 servings cooked pasta [cook to package directions]
  • 1c chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3c broccoli
  • 1.5c cooked mung beans [or green lentils]
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4c nutritional yeast
  • 1.5c marinara sauce
  • 3T olive oil + 1T olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1.5t cumin
  • 1-2T chipotle/adobo sauce [optional - or sub cayenne for heat]
  • 1T mild chili powder
  • 1T tomato paste
  • 2-4T water/veggie broth
  1. In separate pots, cook pasta and mung beans according to package directions. 
  2. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.  They should take roughly the same time to cook.
  3. In a large pan set to medium heat, toast chopped walnuts, stirring frequently. 
  4. Cook until golden brown, about 5-8min, watching closely.
  5. As walnuts are browning, sauté broccoli over medium heat with 1T olive oil, covered [in another pan] for about 6-7min, until slightly softened.
  6. Add in chopped pepper, and cook another 2-3min, until the pepper is just starting to soften.
  7. When walnuts have browned, add minced garlic to the pan and stir for 30sec.
  8. Add in marinara, nutritional yeast, olive oil, cumin, adobo sauce [if using], chili powder, tomato paste and 2T water, to the walnut + garlic mixture.
  9. Stir and bring to a simmer for 3-5min. 
  10. Add in broccoli, peppers, mung beans + pasta and cook until heated through, stirring every minute or so. *If the sauce is too thick add another 2T of water or veggie broth, until it’s to your desired consistency.

Dish up!

The textures in this were awesome!!  Loved the crunch from the mung beans and walnuts, especially.  The nutritional yeast made the sauce creamy + thick.  The bold flavors were delicious and this was such a fun twist on pasta.  I originally planned to just throw marinara over pasta with broccoli for dinner.  Boring!  This took a little longer, but was totally worth it. 

It was up + ready in 30min!  Thanks for the inspiration, Ang!! :)

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The wood floors are now sanded and look AMAZING.  It made such a huge difference!!!  Can’t wait to see what they look like with the color put on.  We went with a fairly light, nutmeg stain, which will really help keep the natural look of the wood.  It will show a lot of the character from the natural grain.  I’m super excited!  Going with a lighter stain will also make the house feel bigger.  We decided to get water based top coats put on because of the toxic fumes off-gassed from the polyurethane finishes.  The VOC [volatile organic compounds] of the water based is sealer is about 100.  For the polyurethane it’s 750!!  For typical paint, the VOC count is around 250-380.  We’re using all non-VOC and low-VOC paint and wanted to do the same for the floors.  It will be so nice working in the house, not breathing in all of those heavy fumes for the next month or so.  It’s also a bit kinder to the environment!

The floors will be done tomorrow!   

Back to IKEA ordering…