#MeatlessMonday – Garlic Spinach Pasta

This blog was posted before our name change to For All Animals.

A vegan diet is a great (and easy!) way to help animals. To help encourage and support our readers in making healthy and humane diet choices, Photographers for Animals is partnering with Nourrie Cuisine to bring you delicious vegan recipes—accompanied by mouthwatering photo tutorials! We’ll post recipes and step-by-step photography instructions on (meatless) Mondays.

Spinach PastaVery Vegan Garlic Spinach Pasta

Spinach. It’s good for me, and I know I should eat it. So every time I go to the grocery store I buy a fresh bag. I stick it in the refrigerator drawer—and inevitably end up throwing most of it away as it wilts within a short period of time. I had to face the facts—I’m not a big salad eater—so I set out looking for new ways to digest these mean, green leaves.

I stumbled upon a non-vegan kale recipe that I thought I may be able to massage (so you can easily substitute kale for spinach). It has turned out to be one of my favorite new recipes and I haven’t thrown away a leaf of spinach since!

When I cook, it’s for two (me and my husband) and I am notoriously terrible at ‘guestimating’ how much pasta I should be cooking. I’ve found this recipe also works well for leftover noodles I don’t know what to do with. You just need to scale back the other ingredients to match the amount of pasta you’re working with.

This recipe is also extremely easy to double—by just using a whole bag of noodles and spinach and bumping up the other ingredients.

TIME: 15 Minutes
MAKES: 4 Servings

8 oz of Spiral Pasta (half a bag)
A half bag of Spinach
2-4 cloves are Garlic (to your taste preference)
A quarter of an Sweet Onion
2 TBSP Olive Oil
Fresh Lemon Juice (or bottled in a bind)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Start by boiling water for your pasta. I use the spiral kind, so all the spicy goodness can work its way into the twists and turns. I also almost always use brown rice pasta because I’m gluten free and Tinkyada is my go to brand (don’t judge them for their website). You can find them in almost any grocery store these days.

Spinach Pasta3Put the Garlic and Onion in a food processor/chopper, then sauté in a large skillet (that will be large enough to hold all the ingredients by the end) with 1 TBSP Olive Oil.

Spinach Pasta1Spinach Pasta2Next, chop the spinach in the food processor. If you can’t jam all the spinach in at once you can do it in batches.

Spinach Pasta4Once the Garlic and Onion have started to brown and become aromatic, add the diced Spinach and the second TBSP of Olive Oil. Stir the Spinach, so it gets a good coating of the Garlic/Onion/Olive Oil mixture.

Spinach Pasta6Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Stir until the spinach is evenly distributed. Add Salt and Pepper to taste, and add fresh squeezed lemon. I typically use half a lemon.

Spinach Pasta5Scoop into a bowl and serve hot!

This is a super easy recipe that looks pretty and feels substantial. Who knew Spinach and Brown Rice could taste so good?!

Post and Photos by  Elizabeth Putsche.

Spinach Pasta7Spinach Pasta8Vegan chef Elena Johnson is the president of Nourrie Cuisine, a company committed to fresh, wholesome, organic food that feeds the body and soul. Photographer Elizabeth Putsche is the executive director of Photographers for Animals. Elena and Elizabeth met nearly a decade ago through an animal protection organization and became fast friends. Together they create #MeatlessMonday recipe tutorials to encourage healthy and humane diet choices. Elena is a member of Photographers for Animals’ advisory board.