Stay satisfied between meals with this vegan lemon pasta! Each plate is balanced with a full serving of whole grains, greens, and plant-based nut protein.
This post was sponsored by Fruits From Chile, however all views and opinions are my own.
This post was first published October 22, 2018 and was last updated August 22, 2020.
My love of cooking, baking, and eating has led me down a path of sugar overload, weight gain, and an imbalanced diet. For the last six months I’ve been cooking plant-based meals three nights each week, however, I recently visited a dietitian through Atlantic Superstore’s Food Lovers Unite campaign to talk further about my goals. This vegan lemon pasta recipe is a direct result of my visit.
For over 20 years, Kristen Gaudet has worked as the in-store registered dietitian at Atlantic Superstore in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where I live. Kristen specializes in adult nutrition, grocery store tours, healthy eating, and nutrition workshops. We talked about my goals with weight management and plant-based eating, and the amount of valuable, actionable information I got in one short hour left me stunned!
For the vegan lemon pasta recipe, as well as to learn more about my tips from Kristen, keep reading.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of this post, or scroll to the bottom of the post, to see the PRINTABLE recipe card with ingredient measurements and full instructions.
- whole grain spaghetti
- shelled pistachios
- olive oil
- 2 lemons
- greens of your choice
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shelled pistachios to the dry skillet and toast them for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil and garlic to the nuts in the skillet. Continue to cook until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about four minutes.
Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and add the greens. Cook until the greens have wilted, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the hot drained pasta and toss everything together with tongs to coat the noodles and distribute the nuts and greens. Serve the vegan lemon pasta immediately.
11 Ways Visiting A Dietitian Changed My Life
- Now I Know The Difference Between Mindless And Mindful Eating – I love to eat fat-laden, sweet, and salty treats (um, hello sour cream and onion chips!). When I experience sudden food cravings, I often reach for these treats without thinking. Kristen said mindful eating, that is, paying attention to what and how much food I put in my body, combined with taking time to slow down and enjoy my food, will benefit me in multiple ways. Since visiting a dietitian I’ve been practicing being mindful with meal and snack choices, portion size, as well as when and where I eat. The vegan lemon pasta recipe in this post is a direct result!
- I Learned How To Create A Complete Meal – I now realize my cravings came on so strong because I wasn’t eating balanced meals. Vegan lemon pasta is perfectly balanced and leaves me feeling full for hours! Kristen showed me how to combine fruit and/or vegetables with servings of protein, along with whole grains to create a fully balanced meal. Now that I have these visuals in my mind, and am practicing mindfulness, my crazy, intense cravings for chips and chocolate have nearly disappeared.
- I Don’t Go Longer Than Four Hours Between Eating – A huge bowl of homemade mac and cheese sounds great doesn’t it? Then why am I so hungry soon after I eat it? Kristen recommended not waiting any longer than four hours between meals as it sends signals to the body to slow down its metabolism. Eating the right balance of fruit and vegetables, combined with protein, and whole grains regulates blood sugar and insulin levels. Mac and cheese doesn’t have balanced ingredients the way vegan lemon pasta does. This means I don’t crash and crave in-between meals, or overeat at the next one.
- I Created A Schedule That Includes Work, Mealtimes, And Exercise One of the perks of working from home is making my own schedule. The problem is, I schedule in work projects, but don’t take meals or exercise into consideration. Kristen recommended plotting out work, meal times, and exercise on a daily schedule, taking time to sit and focus on my snacks and meals at the times I pencil in. When my lunch alarm rings, I sit at the kitchen table, or on my deck with my vegan lemon pasta and focus on savouring every bite.
- I Put Together A Kitchen Binder Kristen suggested setting up a three-ring binder with dividers to keep in the kitchen purely for meal planning. She also suggested a great strategy to get my binder going. Each night I pick out a small stack of my cookbooks, and search through them based on ingredient. For example, one night I’ll search for chicken recipes, and add the ones I’d like to try to my binder. The next night I look for a different ingredient and keep going until I have ideas for a few weeks of meal plans.
- I’m Using (And Eating) Less Sugar I eat a lot of white carbs and sugar, which increase insulin production. Working from home, sitting at a desk for most of the day means my body stores the influx of insulin as fat (hey where did that muffin top come from?!). Kristen suggested reducing the amount of sugar called for in any recipe I make. She also said though natural sugars in food are fine, to be cautious about overdoing sugar in any form. Vegan lemon pasta is very low in sugar, keeps me feeling full for hours, and doesn’t give me the crash and burn of higher sugar meals.
- I Started Taking A Vitamin D Supplement Kristen said about 95% of people don’t get enough Vitamin D, or are deficient. Although we do get increased amounts of Vitamin D in the summer season, and from the greens in vegan lemon pasta, it’s still not enough. She recommended taking a supplement of at least 1000 IU of Vitamin D daily.
- I’ve Added Probiotics To My Diet A lot of research has been published, and established on the benefits of probiotics, and Kristen said there will continue to be more research in the future. She suggested introducing natural probiotics through foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, or anything else fermented. She said probiotics in fermented foods will balance my gut, keep me regular, boost my immune system, and reduce gas and bloating. Feeding probiotics to the flora along my gut lining also helps my body absorb nutrients in my food.
- I’m Eating More Vegetables Kristen suggested eating two cups of raw or cooked vegetables at both lunch and dinner time. Each serving of vegan lemon pasta contains 2 cups of greens! Though I should still include protein and whole grains, filling up on vegetables helps with digestion.
- I’m Treating Myself Using The 80/20 Rule Treats! The 80/20 rule is where treats fit in. Kristen said eating dessert after a bowl of vegan lemon pasta is fine, as long as it’s done mindfully. She stressed that I should remember healthy treats are still treats.
- I’m Buying More Locally Grown Produce The Atlantic Superstore has made a huge effort to feature locally grown produce whenever possible. At the time this post was published, my store had locally-grown Asian greens, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, garlic, kale, radishes, spinach, turnip, Swiss chard, potatoes, green peas, and snow peas in the produce section! Buying local is better for the environment because the food doesn’t have to travel as far, which benefits our local farmers. Sitting down with a bowl of vegan lemon pasta, loaded with locally grown greens makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
More Balanced Family Meal Recipes
Vegan Lentil Bolognese Sauce Hearty, nutritious, and only 25 minutes to cook! Also cheap to make and freezes well.
Coconut Milk Chili With Sweet Potato & Chickpeas Coconut milk chili is packed with nutrients from sweet potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, peppers, and corn! Skip the cheese and yogurt garnish to keep it vegan.
Easy Chickpea Salad Sandwich A briny, herby play on tuna salad. Made with pantry-based ingredients it’s sure to become a go-to meal.
- 150 g whole grain spaghetti
- ½ cup shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lemons
- 4 cups greens of choice
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shelled pistachios to the dry skillet and toast them for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil and garlic to the nuts in the skillet. Continue to cook until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about four minutes.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and add the greens. Cook until the greens have wilted, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the hot drained pasta and toss everything together with tongs to coat the noodles and distribute the nuts and greens. Serve immediately.
Feel free to substitute any whole grain pasta you like. Adjust cooking times according to package instructions.
Pistachios are expensive! You can use any other nuts or seeds you like, simply swap in the same measured amount. Tofu is also a great protein substitution if you don't eat nuts.
Fresh lime juice is a good substitution for lemon.
Use any greens you like. Arugula, spinach, Asian greens, or mustard greens are all good.
Top the pasta with goat cheese or crumbled feta to make a vegetarian version of this recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 19gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g
DISCLAIMER - NUTRITIONAL DATA IS PROVIDED BY A CALCULATOR AND IS A ROUGH ESTIMATION OF THE NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION IN THIS RECIPE.