Pasta Primavera with Chicken (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Vegan Option)

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend and Mother’s Day and are well rested to face this week. I, for one, am having an interesting Monday. I had a productive night last night: got to spend the evening with a friend, prepared and packed my lunch, prepped my coffee machine for the morning, got my breakfast out, made 4 fruit protein smoothies for breakfast/snacks for the next couple of days, and then went to bed at a reasonable hour. I got 9 hours of sleep! The problem is I slept through my 5:45am alarm and didn’t wake up until 8am… I hate waking up late, especially when you know you’re late before you even look at the time. I always think of the Dane Cook joke about being late…

And you know you’re late when you wake up. You just, you know it, before you even look at the clock. You just get this feeling in your chestal section… I hate that I’m like Nostradamus and I predict that I’m late! I hate it, foreseeing lateness. If you have to be at work at 8, it’s always like, 7:54. Just enough time to do nothing. To just lay there and go, “I can’t do anything! I can’t even have an English muffin!” What do I do? What’s the one thing I want to do?

Regardless, everything is going well after that hiccup, so now I bring to you a tasty GF Vegan option meal. Way back when, being gluten free meant no Italian, no way, no how; However, with the advent of a slew of options for GF pastas, we can now “carboload” with the best of them. Despite the increase in options, I still only eat pasta occasionally, as I find that much starch to be incredibly filling and heavy on a routine basis. However, as I said in my first post, no longer do you have to spend your life wielding a celery stick against any encroaching carbs. Carbs are our friends, and our food- if they are complex, whole grain, gluten free grains. Think quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, whole wheat (if you’re not GF), oats, buckwheat. Another keyword to look for on products is “ancient grains,” which includes grains such as quinoa, amaranth, chia, buckwheat, teff, millet. HOWEVER, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, bulgur are also designated as “ancient grains” but these DO CONTAIN GLUTEN. Also, as a word of caution, some other “health foods” contain wheat grass, which also contains gluten. For example, the Naked and Bolthouse Green smoothie drinks contain wheat grass and barley grass, so they are NOT gluten free. Green doesn’t always mean go 😉

Pasta Primavera with Chicken (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Vegan Option)

Ingredients

GF Pasta- I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals. The ingredients are literally brown rice and water, and it’s incredibly easy and quick to cook. The taste and texture is spot on too.

Ground Chicken (or tofu or tempeh for vegan option)

Vegetables: I usually throw in whatever I have, so this is a good “clean out the fridge” recipe. Today I had some peppers, broccoli,  carrots, squash, and snow peas. You can also use frozen vegetables, which makes this recipe even easier.

Vegetable tomato sauce: your choice, really. Obviously go for the simpler, healthier products (typically fewer ingredients and all of them pronounceable). I usually choose a sauce with extra veggies or mushrooms, just for an added nutritional kick. Be sure your sauce doesn’t contain any cheese or cream.

Directions

  1. Bring water to boil in large pot
  2. Add pasta (I usually use half the bag for a large serving), return to boil, cook for 7-10 minutes or until al dente
  3. While pasta is cooking, add ground chicken (or tofu or tempeh) to skillet with olive oil and cook until brown
  4. In another skillet, saute your vegetables of choice in olive oil
  5. When pasta has finished cooking, remove from heat, drain water, rinse once with cold water, drain, and return to low heat.
  6. Add the vegetables, chicken/tempeh/tofu, and tomato sauce to the pasta and stir on low heat for a few minutes until all ingredients are evenly distributed and coated with tomato sauce.
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