Introducing our new recipe for a high protein vegan meal prep: Lentil Pasta with Green Sauce. This nutritious dish features protein-rich lentil or chickpea pasta noodles, creating a satisfying base. Paired with a vibrant Green Goddess Dressing, this meal is packed with flavors and essential nutrients. By incorporating fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes and arugula, we ensure a delightful burst of colors and textures. Whether you’re looking to boost your protein intake or simply indulge in a flavorful vegan dish, this Lentil Pasta with Green Sauce recipe is a perfect addition to your meal prep routine. Stay tuned for the step-by-step instructions to recreate this nourishing and convenient meal.
Ingredients & Substitutions
In this recipe, the main ingredient is lentil or chickpea pasta noodles, known for their high protein content. However, you can substitute them with any type of pasta noodles to suit your taste or dietary restrictions. To add freshness and tanginess, incorporate cherry tomatoes or substitute them with other tomato varieties or sun-dried tomatoes. For a peppery kick and vibrant color, use arugula or substitute with baby spinach, watercress, or mixed salad greens.
The star of the recipe is the Green Goddess Dressing, which combines spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, shallots, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Customize the dressing by adjusting the ingredients according to your taste. Substitute dried basil for fresh basil, finely minced red or white onion for shallots, and lime juice for lemon juice if needed. Enhance the richness with extra virgin olive oil or use alternative high-quality vegetable oils. Substitute cashews with pine nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, or almonds for creaminess. Omit nutritional yeast or use vegan Parmesan as a replacement. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
By understanding these ingredients and their substitutions, you can easily customize the Lentil Pasta with Green Sauce recipe to match your taste preferences and dietary needs.
- Food Processor: A food processor is essential for blending the ingredients of the Green Goddess Dressing. It will help achieve a smooth and well-combined texture. Ensure your food processor is in good working condition and has a sharp blade.
- Cutting Board and Knife: You will need a cutting board and a sharp knife to cut the cherry tomatoes in half and prepare any other ingredients that require chopping or slicing.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are useful for accurately portioning ingredients, especially when following a recipe. They ensure consistency and help achieve the desired flavor profile.
- Airtight Containers: Airtight containers are crucial for storing the prepared lentil pasta meal prep portions. Choose containers that are suitable for the quantity you plan to store and that can be sealed tightly to maintain freshness.
How to Meal Prep Lentil Pasta with Green Sauce
Start by cooking the lentil or chickpea pasta noodles according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, boil the frozen peas for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set them aside.
In a food processor, combine spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, shallot, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until the ingredients are well combined.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and rinse the noodles with cold water to cool them down. In a medium serving bowl, mix the cooked pasta, green sauce, and cooked peas together.
Separate the pasta into airtight containers, considering the desired portion sizes (3 for larger portions, 4 for smaller meals).
Distribute the cherry tomatoes and arugula evenly among the containers. Finally, Cover the containers with their lids and store them in the refrigerator for ready to eat meals.
Tips & Tricks
- Cook the pasta al dente: To ensure a perfect texture, cook the lentil or chickpea pasta noodles until they are al dente, which means they are tender yet still slightly firm to the bite. This will prevent them from becoming mushy when combined with the sauce.
- Reserve some pasta water: Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve a small amount of the pasta water. It can be added to the sauce if needed to adjust the consistency and help the sauce coat the noodles evenly.
- Customize the Green Goddess Dressing: Feel free to adjust the ingredients in the Green Goddess Dressing to suit your taste preferences. You can increase or decrease the amount of garlic, basil, lemon juice, or nutritional yeast according to your liking.
- Make extra dressing: If you enjoy the Green Goddess Dressing, consider making a larger batch and storing it separately. It can be used as a flavorful dressing for salads, a dip for vegetables, or a spread for sandwiches.
- Add protein and vegetables: To make this meal even more balanced and nutritious, consider adding protein sources like grilled tofu, roasted chickpeas, or cooked lentils. You can also incorporate additional vegetables such as steamed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, or roasted bell peppers.
- Store ingredients separately: If you plan to store the prepared meal prep portions for several days, consider storing the sauce, cherry tomatoes, and arugula separately from the pasta. This will help maintain the freshness and prevent the ingredients from becoming soggy.
Absolutely! While lentil or chickpea pasta adds extra protein, you can substitute it with any pasta noodles of your choice.
Yes, you can make the dressing in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Give it a good stir before using.
Yes, you can use a blender as an alternative to a food processor to blend the Green Goddess Dressing. However, make sure to adjust the blending time and speed accordingly to achieve the desired consistency.
Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the ingredients based on your preferences or dietary restrictions. For example, you can substitute cashews with other nuts or seeds, or omit the nutritional yeast if desired.
The prepared meal prep portions can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Make sure the containers are properly sealed to maintain freshness.
It is not recommended to freeze the prepared dish, as the texture and flavors may be compromised upon thawing. It is best enjoyed when freshly prepared or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
You can enjoy this dish both warm and cold, depending on your preference. It can be served immediately after preparation while still warm, or chilled in the refrigerator for a refreshing cold meal.
High Protein Vegan Meal Prep – Lentil Pasta with Green sauce
- 1 box lentil or chickpea pasta noodles (this makes it high in protein, but feel free to sub with any pasta noodles)
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 ½ cups arugula, loosely packed
- Cook the lentil or chickpea pasta according to package instructions.
- Boil the frozen peas for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a food processor, add spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, shallot, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Blend until well combined.
- Drain the water from the cooked pasta, and rinse with cold water. In a medium serving bowl combine cooked pasta, green sauce, and cooked peas.
- Separate the pasta into 3 or 4 airtight containers (4 for smaller meals, 3 for a bigger portion). Add the cherry tomatoes and arugula evenly into each container. Place lids on your containers and store in the fridge. Enjoy!
Lentil Pasta with Green Sauce offers a delicious and nutritious option for a high protein vegan meal prep. With the flexibility to customize ingredients and make substitutions, you can tailor this recipe to your taste preferences and dietary requirements. The combination of lentil or chickpea pasta noodles, vibrant cherry tomatoes, and a flavorful Green Goddess Dressing creates a well-balanced and satisfying dish. Whether you’re looking for a convenient meal prep option or simply a tasty vegan meal, this recipe provides a perfect solution. Enjoy the nourishing flavors and the ease of preparation as you incorporate this delightful recipe into your culinary repertoire.