Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Red Lentil Rotini with Heirloom Tomato Sauce, Cabbage Salad, and Pressure-Cooked Vegetables (No Added Fat, Gluten Free)

My daughter was in the mood for pasta. Yesterday, I picked up a new product, Dave's Gourmet Red Pasta Sauce that promised great flavor, given that it uses heirloom tomatoes, and I decided to use it tonight. It has a little bit of oil, but only amounts to 1.5 ounces of fat per 1/2 cup serving of sauce, so I felt I could label today's dinner no added fat.

There is also a new brand of lentil-based pastas called Tolerant. They are not just based with lentils, they are all single-ingredient and just have lentils! I picked up recently their organic red lentil rotini.

I made a simple pasta dish with the red lentil rotini, topped with the sauce (to which I had added onion, salt, and garlic powder). I also put on a little homemade vegan "parmesan" (blend briefly 1/4 cup almonds, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 t onion powder, 1/2 t garlic powder, and 1/4 t salt, ensuring that there is still some texture) that we make in the Food for Life classes.

The salad was more interesting than my usual salad, and was a mix of purple cabbage, bell pepper, salsa, ume plum vinegar, and red chili powder. I made a simple 2-minute pressure-cooked dish in my Instant Pot pressure cooker with carrot, kale, scallion, and peas.

Dinner was great! The pasta started off deeper in orange but lightened as it cooked (as I recall, it was about 10 minutes cook time). It had a mild flavor but was good with the sauce. I prefer the taste and lower price of brown rice (or regular wheat-based) pasta, but this pasta has the nice lentil nutrition profile (lentils are great for fiber, protein, iron, folate, potassium, calcium, and more) - though it is a pricey pasta.

The sauce was good but didn't have the flavor punch that I had expected. I wanted to try it relatively unmodified, but next time will mix in additional herbs like oregano and maybe basil, as well as garlic and maybe other vegetables. The pressure-cooked vegetables were tasty, and the salad was quite good.

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