Being part Italian and sticking to a mostly plant-based diet could be a bit of a challenge.
A lot of people say it’s difficult to cook authentic Italian recipes, while also staying healthy, “Healthy Italian,” that’s an oxymoron I think.
Plus, if you know the Italian culture, it’s a lot harder to get fresh ingredients in America, which explains why we feel so uncomfortable and full after just a small plate. Meanwhile overseas folks can eat for hours non-stop and don’t gain any weight! America decided that it’s better to have process foods because it’s cheaper. Ugh, so annoying…
Anyway, it’s taking me a while but after a ton of research, I was able to find a few companies that offer high quality, healthy products. The Public Goods Company is one of those brands.
Public Goods (Instagram @publicgoods) specializes in creating sustainable products with a minimalism looks that offers everything from cleaning products, body lotions, oils, candles and even delicious organic foods, like what I’m going to show you today!
I’ve been using them for a while, more so now, since I’m not going out shopping as much anymore due to the pandemic. Their delivery is fast and I think the products are better than what you find in retail stores.
THE MEAL BELOW SERVES UP TO FOUR PEOPLE! SALUTE!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED for the Salad:
- 1 large head of lettuce
- 1 avocado (chopped/sliced)
- 1/4 cucumber (sliced)
- salad dressing
- croutons + squeeze of fresh lime
Simply chop ingredients to your liking and mix up in your favorite salad dressing. To pair with something like this meal I’d go with a lighter dressing, maybe a Vegan Avocado Ranch (one of my favs) or you could do a Caesar Dressing with some croutons.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED for main course:
- 1 can of Public Goods fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of favorite sauce (I like Victoria’s, pictured below)
- 2 pounds of Beyond Meat ground beef (1/2 a package)
- 3 whole mushrooms and/or peppers (optional)
- 1 box of Public Goods Red Lentil Fusilli Pasta
- 1 clove of fresh garlic
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp of cilantro
- 1 tsp of cane sugar (lowers acidity of sauce)
- 1 skillet + 1 large pot + pasta strainer
- Follow Your Heart Parmesan Cheese (optional)
PREP & COOK TIME: 20 minutes
Since the pasta doesn’t take long, be sure to start cooking the meat and mushrooms first, before the pasta.
Grab a skillet and cook the mushrooms/peppers, garlic and Beyond Meat on medium heat with a little bit of avocado oil if you wish. You’ll want to cook those for about 10 minutes or so.
Fill your large pot about 3/4 the way with water, along with a pinch of salt and place on another burner.
Add your Red Lentil pasta once the water begins to boil and cook on medium to low heat for about 7-9 minutes or until texture is to your liking. Note: this is Gluten-Free pasta, so if you over cook it will become soft. Be sure to stir the pasta occasionally and check after about 5 minutes.
Now that your meat is close to being cooked, toss in your canned tomatoes (smush those once they’re in the pot), along with that 1/2 cup of your favorite sauce and place in the meat skillet. Oh Yes! I love to finish cooking the meat and veggies in the sauce the last few minutes so it grabs even more flavor!
Add that tablespoon of sugar to the sauce then let it simmer on a low heat until the sauce is hot enough for you.
Strain the pasta but if you want a pro tip, be sure to save about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water, I’ll tell you later! 😉
Run cold water over the pasta throughly, making sure all the water is hitting each piece, this will prevent it from cooking even more.
The meat/sauce mixture should be done at this point so now place the cooked (strained) pasta back in the pot and put it back on the stove.
Next, you’ll want to add the meat/sauce mixture in with the pasta, so all the ingredients are in one big pot!
Mix throughly (heat not necessary) and this is where you add your 1/2 cup of pasta water (adds flavor and consistency), along with the cilantro and red pepper flakes.
After a couple minutes of mixing everything together and your dish is ready to be served! Mmmm that is going to be delish!
We have fresh basil leaves, so I like to add that on top of my past with a little Vegan Parmesan cheese, but that’s optional.
I hope you and the familia enjoy this dish, it’s one of our favorites. If you’d like to try out some of Public Goods other great products, CLICK HERE to receive a discount on your order and please leave a comment if you tried this dish, we’d love some feedback.
Thanks and happy eating friends.