Because of my dietary restrictions, I have to get creative when I get a craving for pasta, dairy, and dessert. A lot of the time, I have to order non-produce items online because finding a packaged food item I can actually have (an item lacking the unnecessary nonsense most companies, even organic ones, just have to put in their foods) is nearly impossible in good ol' Oklahoma. So, when I went to LA recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see the wonderful variety of noodles at their Whole Foods. In the Body Ecology Diet, the four grains allowed are: quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat. Quinoa is fabulous but finding a quinoa noodle without traces of rice or some sort of flour is impossible. And although I use quinoa in replacement for noodles frequently, a lot of the time, texture plays a big role in successfully curing a craving!
After strolling the isle, I was lucky enough to find 100% buckwheat noodles (which I will touch on in another entry) and Organic Black Bean Spaghetti. I was pleasantly intrigued because after Stage 1 of B.E.D. (Body Ecology Diet), you are able to re-introduce some beans back into your diet, slowly. I was excited to see that the ingredients only contain organic black beans and water! They also contain 25 grams of protein per serving and were a whopping $4 for a bag that serves four people. Score! Now, I just needed to see if they were actually edible! (Spoiler alert: they are!)
Because they were a black bean noodle, I decided to create a Mexican-style spaghetti meal for my family. It consists of: ground taco beef, sauteed onions and red bell pepper, and vegan cheese. If you don't have the noodles in your grocery store, you can replace them with brown rice noodles or, this recipe can be easily made into a taco salad by replacing the noodles with lettuce and maybe adding some blue corn chips to add some heartiness. *Please note: people suffering from candida should avoid all grains other than the four listed above but brown rice is the best alternative for others.
Vegan cheese is a relatively new adventure for me because I just graduated to Stage 2 of the B.E.D. Meaning, I can also add new nuts to my diet since soaked almonds are the only nut allowed during Stage 1. But all I can say is vegan cheese is magical! I was really excited to be able to have an excuse to make this "cheese" because it is so very satisfying and flavorful. (It actually tastes extremely similar to the cheese from the kid's snack packs with cheese dip and cracker sticks. If that sounds questionable, don't let it mislead you. It's fabulous!)
What you will need! (This meal serves 4.)
-2-2.5 lbs Ground beef (grass-fed is best). You can also use turkey, if preferred.
Taco/ Fajita Seasoning:
-2 teaspoons chili powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon paprika
-1/2 teaspoon onion powder
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/4 teaspoon cumin
Vegetable Saute: (Feel free to add more veggies! Zucchini would be a great addition. I just used what I had.)
-1 clove of garlic
-2 red peppers
-1 Tbsp ghee (A wonderfully tasting, healthy option that cooks better at a higher temperature than butter. Available at Whole Foods and many other grocery stores.)
-1 bag of Explore Asian- Organic Black Bean Spaghetti
-1 cup- raw cashews that have been soaked in water for 2-3 hours (this softens the nut to create a smooth consistency and also makes it easier to digest).
-1/4 cup- chopped red bell pepper
-2 tablespoons- extra-virgin or virgin olive oil (meaning, it hasn't been exposed to chemicals)
-2 tablespoons- water
-1 1/2 tablespoons- lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon- sea salt
-1 teaspoon- onion powder
-1/2 teaspoon- turmeric
Let's get started!
First, start with browning your meat on medium-high with the mixed taco meat seasoning. Stir occasionally.
While your meat is browning, cut vegetables and garlic. Place a tablespoon of ghee and chopped garlic in pan on medium-high heat, until garlic turns almost transparent. Then, add vegetables. Later, lower the temperature to medium-low to avoid over-cooking the peppers. You want them to stay crisp for texture and preserving nutrients.
Place 5-8 cups of water in a pot and set on high heat for noodles. Once water is boiling, add noodles, and stir frequently for 8-10 minutes. Drain noodles and immediately run cool water over them. (This is what the instructions on the bag stated but I also went ahead and added a tablespoon of ghee to the pot before I put noodles back in to prevent sticking.)
While items are on stove, place drained, soaked cashews in a food processor (both Cuisinart and Vitamix work well), along with all of the other ingredients, and blend until it turns into a creamy texture.
After everything is cooked, top to your liking, and enjoy!
I can definitely assure you that this meal is absolutely fabulous!!! There is a ton of great nutrients, protein, texture, and amazing flavor and it is very satisfying and filling!