Craving Carbohydrate Comfort Foods?

Listen to your body. Viva La Pasta! *

I can’t believe I still hear people saying things like, “I’d like to go vegetarian, but how do you do it without eating a lot of carbs?” Or, “I’ve been vegan for five years and I’ve managed to completely avoid pasta in all that time. Yay for me!”

No cheering for you, buddy. A sad pat on the back with a wet noodle instead.

The Atkins myth has long been busted and we all need to move on to healthy eating, like this month’s featured recipes:

Sesame Ginger Sauce Pasta and Veggies
Mushroom Stroganoff Sauce

Carbs are nature’s energy foods, the food you need to be active and trim. I eat a predominately carb-based diet, supplemented by fresh veggies and some protein foods like tofu, beans, tempeh, and seitan. For a while I thought I ate more carbs than anyone I knew…and I had more energy (and less weight) than anyone I knew. Then I joined a training team for new runners and I was surrounded by a whole group of carb addicts! All during warm-up people would share their favorite new carb discoveries—whole-grain bagels, a new (vegan) carb-loaded energy bar, an easy potato recipe, etc.

Pasta was always first on the list, though. Whether it was plain pasta, whole-wheat, corn or quinoa pasta…the food talk invariably came back to love of pasta, and recipes for pasta.

Bay Area Vegetarians is about to join Team Vegan, the 12 week training program for new runners to raise money for animals. Some of us are signing up to help animals. Others want to get in shape and learn how to run. I, however, am joining so that I can eat more pasta.

Members of BAV’s team (Runaway Vegans) will receive a weekly e-mail with training instructions and a free vegan recipe that will be easy to make—inexpensive—and loaded with energy for runners.

The pasta recipes below are samples of what will be sent out every week, for free, to Runaway Vegan and Team Vegan members. Run, vegans, run!

*I have no idea if “pasta” is male or feminine, in other words la pasta or le pasta, and I apologize to everyone with enough brains to speak more than one language).

Sesame Ginger Sauce Pasta and Veggies

1 cup tahini
¼ cup chopped garlic
¼ cup chopped ginger

1/3 cup apple cider or rice wine vinegar
½ cup sesame oil
¾ cup tamari
1 cup water
2 Tb maple syrup

2 # pasta of your choice

1 # chopped fresh veggies (I usually use sliced carrots, broccoli florets, and chopped zucchini)

Lots of salted water in a really big pot

As you can see, this makes a very large recipe. You can cut it in half, or serve it to large group of your active friends, or freeze the extra.

–Bring the water in the pot to a boil. While you’re waiting for it to boil, make the sauce:
–Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. That’s it.
–Toss the pasta into the boiling water, stir well, and cook according to package directions. 5 minutes before it’s done, add the veggies to the pasta.
–Drain the pasta and veggie in a colander. Toss ASAP with the sauce and eat.

Mushroom Stroganoff Sauce

1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
1 cup roasted garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup tamari
fresh parsley and basil

salt and pepper to taste

1 # mushrooms of your choice, washed and sliced
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil

Lots of salted water in a really big pot

2 # penne pasta

1/2 # baby spinach (optional)

Again, a large recipe to either cut in half or freeze.

–Start the water boiling for the pasta.
–Combine the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
–Sauté the mushrooms in the oil. When they’re golden brown, pour the sauce over bring to a light simmer, then turn off. Taste and add salt and pepper. Stir in the baby spinach (don’t cook it any more, though).
–Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and toss with the mushroom-spinach-sauce.


  1. Pat Cuviello [Visitor] says:

    Pasta is an Italian word. Typically words that end in A are feminine. La is singular feminine and Le is plural feminine. My very limited knowledge of the Italian language guess is that it would be la pasta. La Lasagna is one lasagna noodle and Le Lasagne is multiple noodles. Words ending in O are singular masculine and words ending in I are plural masculine. Gli spaghetti means multiple noodles and il spaghetto is one noodle.

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