Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pasta


I have a slight obsession with making recipes vegan. I was perusing Pinterest today and saw this recipe pinned by Erica at The Healthy Junky. It sounded so amazing! I knew I had to attempt my veganization! Weekends, especially Sundays, are the times I really like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. However, this was a very quick Sunday dinner!


I was a little nervous about using the called for (vegan) cheese. I have tried several brands, including daiya, over the past 6 months and I just did not like them at all. However, recently since I have been cutting down on cheese, I decided to try a few of the vegan cheeses again. The second time around I could say I almost liked them! They are a bit pricey so I use them sparingly and I don't buy them all the time. I have found a few brands that I buy when I want to create recipes such as this. I have also found that if you use the vegan cheese as an ingredient verses eating it plain, it seems to taste better.  :)

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

(makes 2 large or 3-4 small servings)

  • 3 T vegan butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1.5 T flour
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup  vegan parmesan cheese substitute (I used rawmesan)
  •  3/4 cup vegan mozzarella substitute (I used daiya)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (less or more)
  • 6 ounces penne pasta or pasta shells (preferably whole wheat) cooked until al dente
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • crushed red pepper, to taste 
      

    Method

    Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for one minute and then add in the spinach. Cook until it's wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove spinach from pan and set aside in a separate bowl.
    Add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter to the same skillet. Add in the halved artichokes and cook about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the skillet and set them aside.
    Reduce the heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter to the same skillet. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it's combined. Pour in soy milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add parmesan substitute, mozzarella substitute, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it's thick, add in vegetable broth as needed (I did not need to add).
    Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of panko breadcrumbs for crunch.



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