Good morning beautiful people,
What a week this has been so far. I won’t lie, I’m happy we are Thursday morning and there is only one day left before the weekend. This week has been quite the roller coaster ride. I’m still figuring out the “blogging” thing, while trying to be more active on social media to get my blog more traffic and exposure, while creating awesome recipes (some of epic failure! loll) for you guys to enjoy. All that, while working my regular job, getting my workouts and yoga practice in, being a mom to a 13 month baby and a wife. Need I say that my plate is full! Lol
But I find comfort in the fact that I am not alone in this. So many other parents out there work there tails off to provide for their family while still creating a life for themselves they are proud of. And it’s with you in mind that I create my recipes. They are family friendly, easy, nutritious and naughty enough for you to enjoy without feeling guilty. They will even satisfy picky eaters!
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that this week has been all about people that have inspired me along my journey. Be it as a mom, a food blogger, a recipe creator, a fitness enthusiast or a vegan. All the people I mention in my posts this week are inspirational in what they share with the world. Tonight’s dinner is a salute to those in the fitness/bodybuilding community that live a vegan and plant based lifestyle.
If you read the About me page, you know I’ve been involved in the fitness/bodybuilding community for a long time. Unfortunately, one of the most prevalent misconception in that industry is that you need to eat very animal heavy meals and supplements, 5-6 times a day, to keep your metabolism at high speed and your physique lean, hard and muscular. These vegan athletes put themselves out there and show the world you can look smokin hot on beans, broccoli and brown rice! For those of you still skeptical about being an athlete and maintaining that hard earned physique on a plant based diet, there are plenty of science based articles written about the benefits of a plant based diet as an athlete. Matt Frazier over at No Meat Athlete runs an amazing blog for endurance athlete. Torre Washington, Jordan David and Crissi Carvalho are all vegan physique athletes that can show you the ropes of building an amazing body on plant foods.
(BTW, none of these links are affiliated. These are all people I simply admire, that have the necessary knowledge on how to structure a proper vegan diet and have the physiques to prove it.)
For me personally, as a former competitive athlete and one that still keeps very fit and active, adopting a plant based lifestyle has brought amazing benefits. Amongst all the benefits, recovery time has to be the one with the biggest impact and the greatest benefits. I recover a lot faster from heavy workouts and my body feels a lot less heavy so I’m able to move more freely and with greater ease during my yoga practice. And because my food is so nutrition dense and easily absorbed by my body, my sleep is so much better, which boils back down to my recovery being so much better. And by my recovery being so much better, I’m able to push harder in my workouts and my practice. And by pushing harder, I get greater results. And by getting greater results… well you know where this all circles back to.
And so for all my plant based and wanna-be plant based followers that make fitness an integral part of their lives and want to make sure their bodies get all the nutrients it needs, I created this protein packed pasta sauce. You can enjoy it over spaghetti like we did for dinner or over any other type of coarse grain you like or over vegetable noodles like zucchinis, for a gluten-free meal. It’s a pretty thick sauce so if you like your sauces a little thinner, just add more passata (italien tomato sauce). You can also substitute the spinach for kale or other leafy green vegetable you happen to have on hand. You can also swab lentils for other high protein beans like white kidney beans or edamame beans if you eat soy.
I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe. Let me know how you’ve eaten the sauce!
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. palm oil
- 2 Cups frozen spinach (if using fresh, use 4 cups)
- 2 Cups passata (Italian tomato sauce)
- 1 cup lentils, cooked
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dired rosemary
- 1/4 dried nutmeg
- 1 tsp chili flakes (optional – we like heat in our family but adjust according to taste or omit)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- On medium high heat, melt the palm oil in a pan.
- Add the onions and garlic. Stir and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the spices and coat the onion and garlic mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir frequently so the spices don’t burn.
- Add the frozen spinach and coat with the spicy mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir. The spinach should have wilted down. If not, add a little water. Do not cover the pan again. Simply stir until the spinach is wilted down and the water has evaporated.
- Set aside.
- If using canned lentils, rinse them.
- In a blender or food processor, add the lentils, spinach mixture and passata. Blend or process until you get a creamy textured sauce.
- Serve warm over pasta or zucchini noodles.