Anybody that has more than one child- how in the hell do you manage it? Reid and Sydney have been oil and water this week. She wants to be all over him and he wants space. It’s impossible to explain that to either of them that Reid needs patience and Sydney needs to learn boundaries. So instead, he yells and she cries. So I yell and I cry. At one point this week, both were crying hysterically AT THE SAME TIME and I had no idea how to handle that – who gets the attention first? It’s Friday, I’ve been working a ton this week (in the quiet attic, which is awesome), and quite frankly- I’m flat out. I feel like all of my energy has been sucked out and I have nothing left to give. My patience, my sanity, my sense of calm- gone.
I am, admittedly, an emotional eater. When I feel like this, I crave comfort food, something that warms you from the inside. But, I try to avoid gluten and dairy, which happens to be in a lot of comfort-type recipes. I thought, screw that- I’ll just make my own! So here you go. I really don’t like the term “pasta bake” for no particular reason- it’s just one of those things that rub me the wrong way (like “upcycled” or “life hack” or adding “-gate” to a scandal). But essentially that’s what it is. Enjoy!
Baked Lentil Pasta
- 8 ounces gluten-free pasta (I use Tolerant brand lentil penne)
- 1 T. coconut oil
- 3/4 c. diced mushrooms
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
- 3/4 c. frozen peas
- 8 ounces cooked chicken breast or thigh, chopped (I use rotisserie)
- salt and pepper
- cashew cream sauce
- vegan parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is melted and the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the mushrooms and onions for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add the pasta, chicken, and peas to the skillet with mushrooms and onions and mix.
- Make the cashew cream sauce – you will end up with about 1 1/3 cups. Add as much as you want to the skillet and mix together. (I used all of it)
- Put the pasta mixture in the 8×8 baking dish and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until top gets crispy and bubbly and delicious.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle up to 1/4 cup of vegan parmesan cheese on top. Broil for 5 minutes to toast the top.
I love this recipe because there are SO many variations you can do. Omit the chicken for a vegan option, or try some other things in there: artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, green beans, broccoli, chorizo, peppers…the list is endless. I made a simple salad as a side, and it was perfect.
Originally, instead of the cashew cream sauce, I used this artichoke pesto sauce (gluten free, dairy free). It was really great- but I wanted an option where I didn’t have to order something special and could make my own sauce at home. The cashew cream sauce is like a garlicky Alfredo- it really is amazing!
Let me know your thoughts!