19 Apr Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad and Eating More Fats For Good Health.
“NUMEROUS SCIENTIFIC STUDIES NOW CONFIRM THAT A WHOLE FOODS DIET COMPRISED PRIMARILY OF VEGETABLES, FRUITS, GRAINS, LEGUMES, AND NUTS WITHOUT ADDED OIL, SUGAR, AND SALT IS OPTIMAL FOR HUMAN HEALTH, NOT ONLY PREVENTING A BROAD RANGE OF DISEASE AND ILLNESSES, BUT ALSO REVERSING SOME OF THE MOST DANGEROUS CHRONIC CONDITIONS. THIS FINDING IS OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE TO THE COMMONWEALTH BECAUSE IT COMMUNICATES A TRUTH THAT HAS THE POWER TO SAVE LIVES.”
Daytime Vegan Meal Plan #18
BREAKFAST: Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie
LUNCH: Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad
DINNER: Cashew Chicken Stir Fry with Spinach
This Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad is one of my new favorite meals! I ate it every single day for lunch last week. I make a very similar dressing in my Daytime Vegan Cookbook that I use for a delicious veggie wrap. I was craving the wrap for lunch, but did not have all the ingredients to make it. However, I did have most of the ingredients for the chipotle dressing, so I decided to use it in a pasta salad.
Boy oh boy was that a good idea!
In my cookbook I use store-bought vegan mayonnaise to make the dressing, but this time I wanted to make it healthier. I love eating healthy plant fats whenever I can and some of you may notice that just about ALL of my creamy dressing recipes contain cashews or avocados. For this recipe I decided to use cashews in the dressing to make it creamy, instead of vegan mayonnaise, and I add some delicious chopped avocado to the pasta salad before serving.
If you didn’t know, there is actually a such thing as healthy fats! Crazy right?! For years we’ve bee told that fat, in general, is bad. No one really distinguished between the good fats and bad fats. We were just told that if you eat fat, you’ll be fat (which I totally disagree with). Luckily these days there are plenty of articles that you all can find online that will tell you all of the benefits of these healthy fats. The main thing to remember is that 9 times out of 10 (probably even 10 times out of 10!), plant fats are healthier than animal fats.
Some will say that we should barely eat any fat. I know of health professionals who say we should not eat more than a small handful of nuts a day. Seriously?! That just sounds a little ridiculous to me.
There are others who say 50% – 70% of your diet should consist of healthy fats. That sounds a little much to me.
I say, do what feels right to your body. Moderation is key when it comes to most things in life. I eat healthy plant fats every single day, whether it’s avocados, cashews, or my delicious homemade peanut butter. I do what feels right to my body.
If you decide you want to eat a few more healthy plants fats, try this Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad. I PROMISE you’re going to like it!
Now check out the health benefits of the Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie and Cashew Chicken Stir Fry with Spinach.
Health Benefits of All These Meals:
- My Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie might help lower cholesterol due to the oat beta glucans. Beta glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. They are sometimes used as medicine. Daily doses of at least 3 grams may reduce plasma total and LDL cholesterol levels by 5-10%, respectively. Such intakes can be achieved by consuming 2-4 portions daily of oat-based products. Here is another article on oat beta glucan.
- The avocado in my Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad is rich in monounsaturated fat that which easily burned for energy. Avocado consumption has been associated with lower metabolic syndrome risk. There is even a natural vegetable extract, Avocado-Soybean Unsaponifiables, that has been used for years to treat osteoarthritis (OA). Also, check out This Study to find out what an important role tree nuts, such as the cashews I use in my Creamy Chipotle Dressing recipe, play when it comes to the risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
- The Cashew Chicken Stir Fry contains almost 4 packed cups of spinach, which contains a good amount of folate and magnesium. Folate is good for a healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure.
I hope you give this healthy meal plan a try!
*** This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. All information contained in this blog is the opinion of Monique and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.
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- 2 cups frozen bluberries
- ½ cup oatmeal (not the instant kind)
- 2 bananas
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon
- 4 – 7 dates, pitted (depending on how sweet you want it)
- 2 cups almond milk
- Blend everything together until smooth. Add water to adjust the sweetness and consistency, if desired.
- 4 cups cooked spiral pasta
- 1 zucchini, peeled
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ cup cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt to taste
- black pepper taste
- ¼ cup water, filtered if possible
- 2 cups pico de gallo, store-bought or homemade (recipe on my website)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 cups corn (I used roasted corn and it tasted great!)
- 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- To make the dressing, place the peeled zucchini, cashews, olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, garlic, chipotle, cumin, salt, pepper, and water in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Add the pico de gallo, red bell pepper, spinach, corn, and olives to the bowl. Pour the creamy chipotle dressing over it. Mix everything thoroughly and top with diced avocado. Serve.
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce, or coconut aminos (a soy-free soy sauce substitute)
- ¼ cup water or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon sambal (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dijon, or regular yellow, mustard
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into ½ inch chunks
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped or grated
- 3 ½ packed cups spinach
- ¼ cup green onions, chopped
- ½ cup roasted cashews
- In a bowl, mix the soy sauce/coconut aminos, water/stock, sesame oil, agave nectar, sambal, dijon mustard, corn starch. Set aside.
- Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and chicken. Season it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the fresh garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, or unti the chicken is fully cooked.
- Pour in the soy sauce mixture you made. It will start to boil fast and should thicken quickly because of the corn starch. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the spinach a little bit at a time and stir. Add the green onions and cashews. Stir. Serve immediately.
- Suggested Side: Brown Rice