Healthy Summer Pasta (3 versions!)

Summer is such a wonderful time. The weather warms up, BBQs with friends and family become a weekend ritual and we spend more time outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and beauty of nature. The feeling in the air changes: we want to live more simply and slow down a little, and making our meals is no exception!

As much as I love eating salads and smoothies during the warmer days, sometimes I want something a little more adventurous that doesn’t take forever to make.

One of my favorite ways to do so is with PASTA!! After all, I AM half Italian! So I created these recipes, cooked and raw, to help you keep things simple, but still super delicious and healthy :)

Zucchini Pasta with Fresh Herbed Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

3-4 zucchinis

1.5 cups pureed tomato

1/2 cup veggie broth or water

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, thyme and basil, roughly chopped

Directions:

Using a spiralizer, make zucchini noodles and set aside. In a large sauté pan, add a little of the broth to cover the bottom of the pan and sauté and onion, adding broth a little at a time (or water) as it evaporates and cooks the onion. After a few minutes, the onion will be transparent. At this point, add the garlic and a little more broth or water to sauté for about a minute or until it’s fragrant. Add in the pureed tomato and herbs and mix everything together. Cook until the tomato mixture begins to bubble and simmer on low for about 5-8 minutes. Add the zucchini noodles, tossing with the sauce, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the stove and top with more fresh herbs to serve!

Serves 2

Brown Rice Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Roasted Veggies

Ingredients:

1 package brown rice pasta (I like Lundberg & Jovial brands)

2 cups pureed tomato (or a 16 oz. jar of just pureed tomatoes)

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly

2 red bell peppers, cut into quarters

1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

1 bunch asparagus

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. Place bell peppers and asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over them and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt and some pepper to taste. Put eggplant on a separate baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Roast eggplant for 15-20 minutes or until they begin to brown. Roast peppers and asparagus for 12-15 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta 1-2 minutes less than the package directions and heat up the pureed tomatoes. Once the roasted veggies are cool enough, slice them and add to the pasta then add the tomato sauce. Cook everything together for a few minutes to incorporate all the flavors. Remove from heat and serve. Top with any fresh herbs you have on hand (I like parsley with this).

Serves 2

Zucchini Noodles with Marinara (raw)

Ingredients:

1-2 zucchinis, spiralized

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup sprouts

1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

2-3 tomatoes, roughly chopped **extra tomato to top, as pictured**

1 clove garlic

1-2 green onions, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons each, fresh thyme + oregano

Add zucchini noodles, spinach and broccoli to a large bowl. For the sauce, add sun-dried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, garlic, green onion and herbs to a high speed blender or food processor. Process until the sauce becomes the consistency you desire. I like my sauces on the thicker side, but if you want them less thick, add more chopped tomatoes. Add sauce to the bowl and toss to coat. Top with sprouts and one more tomato, if you like.

Serves 1

If you want more ideas beyond dinner that are plant-based and naturally gluten-free, check out my ebook: Happily Healthy. Eating well doesn’t have to mean slaving away in the kitchen, so here’s to healthy eating!

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