A Vegetarian Meal for Beginners

by Julie Yeagley

Going meatless can seem rather daunting, especially if you’re like me and you’re a novice in the kitchen. As a vegetarian, I often struggle to find appetizing recipes that are appropriate for beginner chefs like myself. Tired of endless salads and bowls of noodles, I attended the Green Festival in NYC last month with hopes of finding some inspiration. Thankfully, I was in luck! After stopping by the Explore Asian booth to sample their Organic Black Bean Spaghetti, I was convinced that I had turned a new leaf in my quest for easy vegetarian dinner ideas. So now, without further ado, I would like to introduce my first ever ‘recipe’ that’s not only entirely vegetarian but almost vegan as well! (The sauce has a tiny bit of cream, but it’s worth it because it’s SO delicious!)


(Serves 2 people — or one dinner plus lunch the next day!)

Nutrition: 1 serving has 400 Calories, 7 Grams of Fat and  15 Grams of Sugar

– 4 oz. of Gimme Lean Ground Sausage

– Half a bag of Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti

– 1 cup Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

– 1 cup mushrooms chopped

– 1 cup kale chopped

– Coconut oil to grease pan

Step One:

Before even touching the stove, go ahead and chop up the mushrooms and kale so that they are ready to go. I have personally found it challenging to attempt this step when things are cooking on the stove as I tend to get stressed and end up hurrying–which is not ideal for an inexperienced knife user!

After preparing the veggies, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. While you’re waiting for it to boil (don’t watch it! ;)), coat the bottom of a medium size saute pan with a little bit of coconut oil.  Then, after washing your hands, separate the 4 ounces of Gimme Lean Ground Sausage into little meatballs. Toss the meatballs into the pan with the coconut oil and let it simmer on low heat. Because it’s not actually meat, it won’t take as long to cook so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Step Two:

Once the ‘sausage’ has started to brown, add the mushrooms and kale to the same pan. Sprinkle a little salt and garlic seasoning on top and stir. Continue to saute until the mushrooms have browned and the kale has softened a bit.

Step Three:

Once the pot of water is boiling, add half the bag (or two servings) of the Explore Asian Black Bean Spaghetti to the water and cook according to the package instructions. In a small sauce pan on low heat, add a cup of Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce and cover.

Step Four:

When the ‘pasta’ is al dente, drain the noodles and separate into two bowls. Add the sauce to each bowl and mix to coat the noodles thoroughly. Finally, add the sausage, mushrooms, and kale to the top of each bowl and sprinkle with parmesan.

Congratulations! You’ve made a vegetarian meal that’s delicious, easy, AND healthy! Stay tuned as I continue my vegetarian cooking journey!

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