Pasta Fagioli My Way
A traditional Pasta Fagioli is a soup or stew made with pasta and cannellini beans. Pasta Fagioli My Way is a pasta dish, and is a variation of my mother's classic, Pasta Fagioli recipe.
While my mother's family is from Sicily, she learned how to cook from my father's family. Since they were from Naples, I have to assume the original recipe is, too. Enjoy!
Cannellini Beans are high in protein and fiber.
1/2 pound Whole Wheat Spaghetti
1 15.5 ounce can of Cannellini Beans
Chopped Celery leaves (preferred) or 2 tablespoons of celery seeds
1/2 Small onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
- Put up a pot of well-salted water for the pasta.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat until the onions and garlic just begin to brown. If you're using celery seeds, add them about 20 seconds before you finish cooking the onions and garlic.
- Add half a cup of water. If using celery leaves (wash them by running under water in a sieve), add them along with salt and pepper and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the cannellini beans to the sauce. I like to create a thick sauce by mashing about half of the beans with a fork. Once the beans soften up, it's easy to mash them. To keep the sauce from becoming dry, add pasta water as you cook.
- Add the pasta to boiling water.
- Once the pasta is al dente, add it to the sauce. Mix pasta with sauce and cook for a minute or so.
- Garnish with celery leaves before serving.
If you make extra sauce and want to freeze it, take out the extra sauce and beans before adding the pasta. Let it cool, and then freeze. The next time you want Pasta Fagioli My Way all you have to do is defrost the sauce, heat it in a pan with just a couple of tablespoons of water, and cook some pasta. You've got a delicious and healthy meal in just 10 minutes.
All you need is a small salad and some good Italian bread, and you'll have a satisfying meal.
Easy and Delicious Vegetarian Chili Recipe
This vegetarian chili recipe is easy and delicious. You can make it as is or modify it to include different beans or a combination of beans.
You can make it without the tempeh, or with the tempeh minus the beans. Use fresh or frozen corn, or leave it out altogether. Instead of green bell peppers, you can add red, or a combination of peppers.
This is a high-protein meal that freezes well, so make a big pot of it.
1 15 ounce can pinto beans (or your favorite chili beans)
1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
4 ounces of plain tempeh (pre-mixed with brown rice or other whole grains)
2.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 medium yellow onion chopped finely
1 medium to large green pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic diced finely
1 cob of fresh corn or 2/3 cup of frozen organic corn (use organic or fresh when possible)
1 - 2 tbs. sour cream per serving - optional
salt and pepper
3-4 tbs. Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat oil over medium heat.
- Add peppers and cook until they start to soften up.
- Add onions and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add garlic.
- When garlic starts to brown add oregano, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. This allows spices to release and intensify their flavors.
- After approximately 30 seconds add can of chopped tomatoes and 1/2 to 1 cups of water. Stir well. During the cooking process, you may want to add more water depending on how thick you like your chili.
- Add crumbled tempeh and beans and stir well again.
- Cook on low for no more than 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Five minutes before removing from heat stir in the corn (adding the corn at the end keeps it firm and flavorful).
- Salt and pepper to taste, stir again, and serve.
Serving Suggestions: Place in bowls and top with a tablespoon or two of sour cream, or your favorite Mexican cheese.
Luscious Chick Pea Salad
This is one of the recipes from my new vegetarian, Spring Into Health, 3 Day Detox:
It's wonderfully refreshing for the Spring and Summer.
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed well
1/4 cup Italian parsley
1 small red onion, minced
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Finely chop the parsley, red onion and nuts (or pulse in food processor)
- Add cranberries, chickpeas, olive oil, and lemon juice.
- Mix well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate 1 hour or more for best flavor.
You can enjoy this as is, or use it as a stuffing for avocados or baked tomatoes.
Garbanzo Beans and Spinach Patties
The inspiration for this dish came from an episode of Lidia's Italy with Lidia Bastianich. She made something similar with potatoes and chard.
This is an easy and versatile recipe. You can swap out the spinach for kale, chard, etc. And if you don't want to fry, you can bake them and still get great results.
2 cups Garbanzo Beans
4 cups, raw spinach
2 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 lemons, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in Spinach for 2 minutes. Remove and let cool (can use an ice bath to stop the cooking and to chill). Place in strainer to drain. Then use your hands to wring out as much water as possible from the spinach.
- In a large bowl, smash Garbanzo Beans with a potato masher.
- Add the Garbanzo Beans and Spinach together. Mix and add the beaten egg. Mix well.
- Heat oil on low and add 2 cloves of smashed garlic. This will infuse oil with garlic flavor. Before adding the patties remove garlic.
- Form thin patties and place in breadcrumbs to coat. If patties are too dry to stay together, add more egg.
- Raise heat to medium and add patties to pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side.
Serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over patties. This added a fresh, tangy flavor and lightened it up.
As I mentioned above, you can bake these as well. Brown the breadcrumbs in a good, nonstick pan so that they're already crispy before baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes on each side.
Tropical Rice with Pineapple and Black Beans Salad
Whole, fresh pineapple is everywhere. I've been eating quite a bit of it and decided to use some to make a quick, light lunch. I've named the recipe "Tropical Quinoa" because the flavors remind me of a warm, tropical island.
This is a versatile and flexible recipe, so have fun with it.
1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa (or other favorite grain)
3/4 cup cooked black beans
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped mango
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
pinch of salt
So simple. Just combine the above and enjoy!
Vegetarian Pozole in 30 Minutes or Less
I fell in love with Pozole 15 years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico. There was a tiny, hole-in-the-wall place that had about four tables, and only served Pozole. I was hooked after my first bowl.
This is my super simple, vegetarian version that you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes.
1 15 ounce can white hominy, drained and rinsed
2/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 shallots or small red onion finely chopped
1 avocado sliced
2 cups organic vegetable stock or broth
1 cup water
Salt and Pepper
- Combine one-third of the hominy and vegetable stock and blend in food processor, mixer or VitaMix. (If you don't have the equipment, just combine with water).
- Pour pozole mixture into a pot and add water, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for ten minutes.
- While the hominy is cooking, chop the tomatoes and shallots, and slice the avocado.
- Take pozole off heat and pour into serving bowls.
- Add tomatoes, shallots, avocado and squeeze of lime. Serve with Corn Chips.
Doesn't get any easier than that.
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I love this recipe. It's easy, and although it takes a little more time than I usually like to spend in the kitchen, it’s worth it.
(You can use tofu instead of tempeh in this recipe.)
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