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A staple in my fridge these days is cooked lentils. I buy them pre-packaged, and even though I do have dried lentils to put in soups and chilis, this saves me about 20 minutes, which I so desperately need sometimes. Cooked lentils are so versatile that you can use them in the same way you’d use ground meat in a recipe. Lentil tacos, lentils with rice in burritos, lentil sloppy joes (I make this recipe over and over again, and even dip crackers in it), etcetera. Not only is there no cholesterol and saturated fat, like you’d definitely find in ground beef or turkey (these animal fats are artery-clogging!), but there’s also lots of protein and fiber from them. I simply adore them, and they were just one of the fun discoveries I had when I started cooking vegan.

I hope you’re seeing how easy, simple, and fun these recipes are. I really try to make these recipes accessible to y’all, because so often in my cooking classes, I hear tired comments of crazy/busy/hectic work/family/social lives, and how it’s just easier to order out for the night.

Well, I hear ya, because I go through it too. Work, for me, isn’t just about clocking in and clocking out. I teach community college, so in every lecture there’s at-home prep that I do, and I’m constantly trying to make whatever topic I’m teaching interesting, so my students don’t fall asleep!

There’s a balance that you must figure out, and for me, since I don’t want to compromise quality time with my husband and daughter, put together a semi-decent lecture, and eat good food, I figured that the best thing I could do was to drastically cut the food prep time. Not only did switching to only cooking vegan food become better on my wallet (this serves 4-6 for less than $10!), better for the health of my family, and better for animal welfare and the environment, it SAVES ME TIME. Seriously, I love this way of life.

Lentil fusilli
Print Recipe
A comforting pasta meal that is reminiscent of those tomato and meat pasta dishes you used to have as a kid, but now meatless and sooo much better!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Lentil fusilli
Print Recipe
A comforting pasta meal that is reminiscent of those tomato and meat pasta dishes you used to have as a kid, but now meatless and sooo much better!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Instructions
  1. Cook fusilli pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a 5-qt French oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot and shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, and light brown sugar, sauteing for about 4-5 minutes, until onion softens. Add the lentils and nutritional yeast, stirring 2 minutes more. Add the marinara sauce, and stir to combine. Bring the pasta sauce up to a simmer.
  3. When the pasta sauce starts to bubble, add the cooked pasta, and stir to combine pasta with sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with capers and/or red chili flakes to garnish.
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