Vegan Whole Wheat Linguine with Fakin’ Bacon, Baby Spinach and Basil

10 Oct

I once saw a similar recipe to this one on the side of a pasta box, but hesitated in making it because it called for bacon. Thankfully, meat alternatives have made life a little easier on vegetarians who are trying to be creative with their dishes.

I’ve never cooked with fake bacon before and I was pleasantly surprised with the texture and flavor.  Typically the high sodium content in meat alternatives drives me away from using them, but in this case I included the “bacon” to make the meal hearty and flavorful like it is intended.  Not to mention, when comparing health benefits, meat alternatives win by a landslide to the real deal as stated in this article:

There are a variety of reasons for choosing alternatives to meat: health benefits, ecological benefits, philosophical reasons, convenience, and taste. Today, the health benefits are a major reason why many people are eliminating or reducing meat in their diets. Fat and cholesterol rank as the top concerns of consumers, and they are eating less red meat and more fruits and vegetables. Meat analogs can be part of this healthy diet because they provide a source of vegetable protein, vitamins, and minerals without the high saturated fat and cholesterol of animal products. 

I hope you enjoy this healthy meal as much as I did! 

Vegan Whole Wheat Linguine with Fakin’ Bacon, Baby Spinach and Basil

Ingredients:

1 lb. whole wheat linguine  
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
5 oz. Lightlife Smart Bacon, diced
1 red onion, diced
1-1/3 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, or to taste
1/2 lb. baby spinach leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
Grated soy Parmesan cheese

Steps:

Cook whole wheat linguine according to package directions. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; sauté 5 to 6 minutes, or until crispy and lightly browned.

Add red onion and 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in vegetable broth and basil; simmer 1 to 2 minutes. 

Add spinach and cook until spinach just wilts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss whole wheat linguine with sauce, sprinkle with soy Parmesan cheese and serve.

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