Did you know that 1 cup of broccoli gives us about 2.5 grams of protein? Not to mention other nutrients and it being low-fat. And for me, with broccoli, I definitely eat more than 1 cup when I have it. So adding it in when I can to replace a protein when I want something other than beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts, etc. is definitely something I want to do more and more.
The first thing I thought of was a creamy pasta. James loves pastas, and he loves sausages, but we have to be careful when buying them because he will get headaches with the nitrates in most packaged sausages. So one of the sausages we found was a sun-dried tomato chicken sausage. Perfect! Already thinking of how I could get James to eat a broccoli/pasta combo, we found this and it completed the idea! Not to mention it was something simple to throw together at the end of a busy workday.
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Broccoli (Optional: Chicken Sausage)
- 16 oz pasta, I use either penne or rotini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp fresh parsley
- 12 oz broccoli florets, frozen or fresh
- 4 tbsp earth balance butter
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup coconut cream (cream from 1 can of coconut milk)
- 2/3 cup sliced dry sun dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-4 chicken sausages, optional
- Cook pasta to package directions.
- Steam broccoli until cooked but still firm, drain any excess water, pat dry.
- Slice the cook the sausage, browning the sausage lightly. Once it’s cooked, cover to keep warm but turn burner off.
- Make the sauce. Melt butter in a large skillet or a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, whisk in flour until lightly browned. You now have your roux. Mix for about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the vegetable broth and heat through.
- Add in the coconut cream and mix until melted and combined completely. Add in the sun dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, thyme, and basil. Simmer until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large enough pot, toss pasta, broccoli florets and the sauce together. Leave the sausage on the side for your omnivores to top their pasta with. Serve immediately and top with fresh parsley if desired.