It’s Easy Eating Green: Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day Pasta Recipes

We know when it comes to celebrating the luckiest day of the year, it’s usually done with cocktails, but we’re here to tell you, enjoying a delicious plate of a delicious pasta is another great way to honor the greenest holiday. All Explore Cuisine products are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and jam-packed with nutrients. While they may not be Irish, these Explore Cuisine pastas, made with Green Lentil, Edamame, and Mung Bean, are actually green. Ready to try these Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes?

Free of artificial colors, Explore Cuisine integrates beans, peas, lentils, and rice to provide you with nourishing meals which are easy, quick, colorful, and simply delicious. The following Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes include two pesto dishes and a pasta salad.

Green Lentil Penne with Deconstructed Pesto

1 package Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Penne – cooked, drained
2 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
A handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
salt and red chili flakes to taste
3 T. pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oil in a small sauté pan. Add garlic and cook one minute. Toss penne with garlic oil. Gently fold in torn basil. Season with salt and chili flakes. Garnish with pine nuts. Add cheese if desired.

Explore Cuisine Super Green Pasta Salad

1 7oz Explore Cuisine Edamame Spaghetti
4 cups spinach (finely sliced & packed)
2 spring onions (finely sliced)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Green Tahini Sauce
1 cup fresh basil (packed)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup water (the pasta cooking water)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 lemons)
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup brazil nut parmesan (to top)
Cook pasta for 4 minutes, then drain and rinse briefly under cold water. Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup cooking water – it’ll make a huge difference to your sauce! While the pasta cooks, make up the Brazil nut parmesan by blitzing all ingredients in a blender until crumbly. Once your pasta is cooked, make the sauce by blending all sauce ingredients (including your reserved pasta cooking water) until smooth. Place the pasta back in the pan and turn the element onto a low heat. Add the sauce and spinach, cooking for just a minute or two until the spinach it very lightly wilted but still vibrant. Finally, mix through the tomatoes and spring onions and then remove from heat, (this maintains all the nutritional benefits of the raw vegetables while lightly heating them). Plate your pasta into bowls, adding 1 tbsp of parmesan to each plus cracked black pepper and extra sea salt to taste. **Recipe courtesy of Recipe by Buffy Ellen of begoodorganics**

Organic Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine in a Light Pesto Sauce

7 oz. Explore Cuisine Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine – cooked and drained
2 large yellow squashes, peeled into ribbons with a peeler
3.5 oz. pecans – peeled & halved
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
3 oz. pine nuts

LIGHT PESTO SAUCE
1 large bunch of fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
2 oz. olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

Peel skin from garlic cloves, and chop into big chunks. Using a food processor, pulse basil, garlic, and nuts several times until finely chopped. Add the salt and olive oil, pulse until blended. Pesto may be thick, so add more olive oil for a looser consistency. Lightly toast the pecans, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts in a skillet. Mix the fettuccine with the sauce, gently fold in the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

What are your thoughts on these Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes?

New Victoria Chef Collection: A Complete Gourmet Pasta Meal

Raise your hand if there are days when you don’t feel like spending more than 10 minutes in the kitchen cooking dinner, or if your lunch hour has somehow gone down to minutes. Every so often we will mutter “there’s just not enough time in the day” to ourselves or out loud and many times, our meal is what ends up being suffering. What if you could enjoy a homemade meal even though your time may be limited? Thanks to the new Victoria Chef Collection, you can enjoy a complete gourmet pasta meal in minutes.

As you can see, we’re not talking about those instant mac and cheese snacks that pass themselves off as an actual meal, this heat and serve pasta option is a full, well-balanced meal. With the Victoria Chef Collection, you will enjoy a wholesome, heat and serve meal solution – with the satisfaction of a homemade meal, without all the time.

The Victoria Chef Collection brings traditional Italian elegance to your table in under two minutes, whether you’ll be enjoying it for lunch or dinner. Available in two pasta sauce options (hoping more will be launching very soon), Penne Marinara and  Penne alla Vodka, all you have to do to enjoy is just heat and serve.

The Penne Marinara is simplicity at its best, combining penne pasta with premium, slow-cooked marinara sauce. The Penne alla Vodka is a decadent classic, it also combines penne pasta with rich, creamy vodka sauce. Both are made with antioxidant-rich 100% whole plum tomatoes, real cheese, fresh onions, fresh basil, and fresh garlic. Victoria Fine Foods has been committed to ingredients come first since day one, which is why they put them on the front of their label as part of their #ReadYourLabel movement.

Could the new Victoria Chef Collection help make lunch or dinner preparation easier for you?

 

National Spaghetti Day – Gluten Free Version (it’s pasta-ble!)

Although you may be completely preoccupied with the current snowstorm, today is January 4th, and you know what that means? National Spaghetti Day!!! If you’re like me, finding a gluten-free pasta that doesn’t taste like it is missing gluten and can hold its weight is hard. There are so many brands out there, it’s like kissing a ton of GF frogs to find the one wheatless carb Prince. Well, my Prince in noodle armor is Explore Cuisine. Explore Cuisine offers delicious spaghettis (and pennes, and lasagna noodles) made from ingredients like chickpeas, lentils, black beans, edamame, and more.

I am thankful for brands like this because you don’t feel like you’re missing out when it comes to pasta dishes. But I am also a label reader. So seeing that it is organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and gives you a serving of protein, what better way to indulge without the guilt on National Spaghetti Day. Find me a glutinous pasta that can do all of that.

I am such a major fan of the Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti. Who says pasta has to come in one color? To be honest, when I purchased it I didn’t think I would like the taste as much because…….black bean pasta! I mean I love black beans…over rice. However, when it comes to GF foods, I like to try everything once so I can speak on it. But surprisingly, I wound up loving the flavor as a spaghetti pasta! The black bean flavor was not overwhelming and added a nice element of taste with my spaghetti sauce. It became one of my fave pasta go-to’s. And while I am not totally committed to it yet, I can be vegan-ish, and this line of vegan pastas really help for when I want to Carbe Diem!

Since it is a snow day and National Spaghetti Day, I like to cook even more because I am home and I eat. It’s what I do. You might not have a box of Explore Cuisine pasta in your cabinets (of which I highly suggest you stock up), but for those of you that do (or will), here’s a couple of good recipes for you to try –

Simple Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti

1 box Explore Cuisine Chickpea Spaghetti
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup organic pasta sauce
Cook the spaghetti until soft according to the packet directions. Drain the water from the pasta, and stir in the pasta sauce. Add more if you like more sauce. Serve in bowls and then sprinkle the nutritional yeast on each one. Season with salt and extra nutritional yeast if desired.

Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti

Recipe and Image Credit: Lee Tilghman (Lee From America)
Serves 1 person
Preparation 30 minutes + 10 minutes cooking

1/4 box Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti
1/2 zucchini spiralized into “noodles”
1/4 Red Bell Pepper
2 handfuls Baby Spinach
1/4 cucumber
1/4 cup corn (canned in water works great- just rinse them)
1/4 avocado mashed with fresh organic lemon juice
1 tbsp. vegan cheese (I used Leaf Cuisine Plain Cream Cheese) pumpkin seeds + dill for garnish
Start by boiling a big pot of water for your black bean spaghetti. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and let cook for 6 minutes.
Once done, remove from heat, rinse under cool water and set aside.

Prep your veggies! Finely dice your cucumber, bell pepper, mash your avocado, spiralize your zucchini. Next, add a spicy adobo chipotle sauce to your noodles and zucchini noodles. Combine the ancho and guajillo chiles in a large bowl and add plenty of cold water to cover. Let them soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Place the soaked chiles in a blender along with the ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend until very smooth. Stop the motor a few times to scrape down the sides with a spatula and give things a stir, just to make sure everything’s getting puréed. Don’t be tempted to add liquid—you want the final sauce to be thick. Scrape the purée into a small bowl if you plan to use it soon, or into a jar with a tight-fitting lid if you want to save it for later. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Add a few handfuls of baby spinach to a big ‘ol bowl. Add some noodles, guac, then add cucumber, red bell pepper, vegan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and freshly chopped dill!

Explore Cuisine and their awesome pasta varieties are also oh-so-perfect for National Gluten-Free Day on January 13th! Enjoy!

**P.S. I need to know when it is National Lasagna Day because I will definitely be making my lasagna with these Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Lasagna Noodles! What spaghetti dish are you enjoying on this snowy National Spaghetti Day?

All Sold Out: Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Pass and Pasta Passports

Just like the must-see concert, latest gadget, or Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty products, the Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Pass and Pasta Passports were made available and sold out just as quickly. We’re not surprised at all, as many were waiting with breathless anticipation (and hungry bellies) for the announcement and availability of the pass that allows the bearer to enjoy eight weeks of unlimited servings of pasta, sauces, and toppings from the Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Bowl menu.

During the never-ending pasta promotion, you can enjoy more than 200 possible combinations of specialty portions of pasta, homemade sauces, and craveable toppings, plus all the soup, salad and breadsticks you want. The available pasta varieties include Fettuccine, Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Angel Hair, Cavatappi, Gluten-Free Rotini, and Whole Grain Linguine. The homemade sauces include Traditional Marinara, Five Cheese Marinara, Traditional Meat Sauce, Alfredo, Asiago Garlic Alfredo and a NEW Creamy Mushroom. Toppings include Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Crispy Chicken Fritta, Grilled Chicken, and Crispy Shrimp Fritta. But be hopeful pasta lovers, just because you missed out on the pass, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the neverending pasta. Guests without Pasta Passes can still enjoy the Never Ending Pasta Bowl with unlimited pasta starting at $9.99.

This year Olive Garden has taken their Never Ending Pasta Pass to extreme heights by giving 50 of their biggest fans the opportunity to buy an all-inclusive eight-day/seven-night trip to Italy (with stops in Florence, Assisi, Siena, Rome, and Pisa) for themselves and a friend for only $200. The first-of-its-kind, the Olive Garden Pasta Passport to Italy includes all the benefits of Never Ending Pasta Pass plus airfare, hotel accommodations, tours and meals on the trip of a lifetime for two to Italy. This unprecedented pass was made available to purchase alongside the 22,000, $100 Never Ending Pasta Passes (1,000 more than last year), giving more fans than ever a chance to gain unlimited access to the fan-favorite Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion. The Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion begins September 25th and runs until November 19th.

Were you one of the lucky ones to snag an Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Pass and Pasta Passports? What’s your favorite Olive garden pasta dish?