Monday, March 4, 2013

Skillet Veggie {GF} Pasta

The first time I cooked gluten free noodles they disintegrated.
One of my first lessons in Gluten free cooking was that the noodles tend to cook quicker than their wheat-filled counterparts.
This particular kind only needed to be boiled for 4 minutes!
The shorter cooking time is great though because they can be an afterthought when you are preparing a  dish. It makes for a very quick and tasty lunch.
Here I prepared all the veggies and the 'cream sauce' before beginning to boil the noodles!

I wanted this pasta to be light and healthy, and that is exactly what it turned out to be! It is full of colorful vegetables! Leeks and onions always pair so well together, and the sweet potato lends such a great flavor.
Even the 'cream sauce' is light and healthy, made from cashews and oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal!

1 sweet potato, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 leeks, thinly sliced, washed, and separated.
1/3 Sweet white onion, diced into small pieces
2 handfuls of greens, roughly chopped. (I used a spring mix, but kale, spinach, or arugula would be lovely)
1 box uncooked {GF} pasta (I used a rice brand, but I really like noodles made with quinoa)
water to cook the noodles

1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup dry oatmeal

salt and pepper
oregano, Italian seasoning, thyme

Prepare all veggies and set them aside.
Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat on high heat.
Toss the sweet potato in the warmed skillet and turn the heat down to medium, cover and let cook until browned on the outside and tender, ~ 10 min.
Start to boil a pot of water for the noodles. I like to season the water with a pinch of salt and sometimes even a bit of the other seasonings that I'm using, like the oregano.
Meanwhile, put the oats, and cashews in a food processor and process on high until the mixture starts to stick together in the bottom of the food processor. Before I took it out, I added about 2 T of the (mostly) cooked sweet potato pieces and a pinch of salt, pepper, and oregano. The mix should be very thick, like chunky peanut butter. 
Add the leeks and onions to the skillet with sweet potato, season to taste.
Add the noodles to the boiling water. Now, watch them closely! You want them to be al dente, so read the box for cooking directions.
Continue to watch and stir the veggies while the noodles are cooking.
When the noodles are done, scoop them out of the water and into the skillet, you will want to (be like Rachel Ray and) reserve the pasta water, this is for the 'cream sauce' that we will attend to in a minute.
Stir the veggie and noodle mix.
Add pasta water into the 'cream' mixture until it takes on the consistency of...well, cream. You can always add more water, so start with just a bit and add more. Pour this mixture over the noodles and vegetables and toss together. 
At the last minute add in the spinach and stir, allowing it to wilt.
Serve warm!


I ate mine atop a bed of more greens, and it was satisfying.
There is nothing that needs to be kept cold, making this a really great lunch-box meal!

This did make a lot, and I was glad because I knew there would be left overs. I get excited when I make something and there are left overs. Mostly because I tend to have a problem with putting something away if there are only a few bites left. I'll just eat it :)
'Cream Sauce' adapted from Aromatic Cooking
Oh, one more suggestion: We discovered this was complimented really well with freshly grated Parmesan on top. Of course, if you are vegan, you could substitute nutritional yeast, or I also really like the 'veggie cheese' that is available at most supermarkets.
Yummy leftovers!

What leftovers do you look forward to finding in your fridge?

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