I'll be completely honest and admit that I totally wanted to blow off my cardio workout today. During lunch, I had set up my step and popped in the DVD. It was all ready to go. That was a good thing, because when I got home, it was either get it done, or spend the time moving everything back to storage. So, I got it done. It wasn't the best workout. I did do a lot of clock watching, but...I got it done. I did Cathe Friedrich's Hardcore Extreme - Hi/Low Premix and abs.
After trying the Ziti with Sun Dried Tomato "Cream" Sauce, it made me start to think about other ways to use the basics of that sauce. There is a Paula Dean recipe that I actually tweaked to make healthier, Lemon Linguine. Her recipe calls for sour cream and Parmesan cheese. The easiest tweak was a fat-free sour cream, less cheese, and added veggies. I thought that the basics of the tofu "cream" sauce would work well with the lemon flavors of her lemon pasta recipe, thus omitting the sour cream. Rather than using Parmesan cheese, I tried used nutritional yeast flakes. So, here is my updated (vegan) version of a Creamy Lemon Sauce using artichokes, spinach, and whole-wheat pasta. This is a super fast recipe that comes together very quickly. I think it would also be good over pearled barely, wheat berries, or possibly quinoa. This recipe made enough for 3-4 healthy servings.
Whole-Wheat Rotini with Creamy Lemon Sauce
8 oz. whole-wheat rotini (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 white onion, minced
1 tbsp minced garlic (more or less to taste)
1/2 can artichoke hearts, diced (optional)
1/2 package soft silken tofu
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
zest of whole lemon (divide into 2 piles)
juice of one whole lemon
Lemon pepper spice blend (to taste)
Red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Dried parsley, to taste
3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
In large non-stick skillet, saute onions and garlic in small amount of olive oil until soft and translucent. Add in artichoke hearts.
Cook pasta according to package. Drain, but reserve some cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the remaining ingredients except for nutritional yeast and reserving half of the zest until smooth. Use pasta water, white wine, and/or soy milk to thin sauce if needed (I did not need to thin it out using the soft silken tofu).
Combine pasta, sauce, spinach, into skillet with the onions and garlic. Add the nutritional yeast and re-season if needed. Let simmer on low until sauce is heated. Top with remaining zest and additional parsley and serve.
I enjoy trying to take recipes and make them healthier. What are some recipes you have made your own?