Spaghetti was one of my favorite meals as a kid, and it was also one of the first things I learned how to cook. When I first started my attempt at eating a plant-based diet, I was constantly bummed that I never had spaghetti. I mean, not really spaghetti. We never skimped on the meat part of the meat sauce in my household, and anything I tried was an extremely basic blob of noodles and tomato sauce.
This recipe is actually an adaption of one I tried that basically used zucchini and squash to replicate the meat. I wanted to have more protein for the workouts my husband and I were doing, so only veggies wasn’t going to cut it to fill our stomachs. When I found meatless, ground crumbles, I had to try them with this, and it made up for the meat texture that was missing! I chose to keep the zucchini and squash for the extra serving of vegetables, and there have been no complaints so far!
When we make pastas, we typically forget about our serving of veggies. I honestly think I fool myself into think that tomato sauce is somehow providing me the vitamins I need to survive. Using a food processor to finely chop up the vegetables makes them hardly noticeable. Give it a try!
Grocery Store Tips
If you’re at a loss for what meatless, ground crumbles are, they are a soy alternative to ground beef that is typically sold in the freezer section. Not every grocery store has it, and the one I go to most frequently is Kroger. You’ll have your best luck at any store that has an organic or natural food section. If you’re hoping to eat vegan, double check the ingredients on these as well. Some are made with soy, but others use egg as a binder. Either way, you are closer to eating a plant-based diet if you give it a go!
My goal is to give people a solution for cooking plant-based that can be used in all kinds of scenarios. Your kids would never eat weird ground crumbles? You want to get the veggie benefits, but would rather make this with ground turkey? Follow the exact same steps, but make your own decision on the “Flex Step” and pick your ingredient! It’ll be delicious either way.
|Difficulty Rating: 2
Flexible Rating: 5
|Temp. Stovetop||Prep Time 5 min.||Cook Time 20 min.||Yield 6-8 servings|
|Tips & Tricks:
Tip #1 – I suggest using a food processor throughout this recipe, but you could also finely chop these vegetables. It just takes less time to do it this way.