Protein Pasta Bake

Prioritizing Protein intake is probably THE biggest struggle that my clients face. Let's face it, it can be hard to balance all those tasty carbs and fats with quality protein sources when all those carbs and fats taste so good!


But when it comes to macro-nutrients, protein makes THE BIGGEST difference in regards to body composition. Protein is important for maintaining and building muscle mass which also makes it that much more important to prioritize as we age. This is because after the age of 30, studies have shown that we begin to lose as much as 3-5% of our muscle mass each decade. This loss of muscle mass is called sarcopenia and can increase the risk of low-trauma fractures from falls.


So we know protein is important, but why is it so darn difficult to prioritize into our meal plans? And what if you want to eat more protein but don't want to source it from animals or animal products? As a vegetarian for the past 15 years, I've gotten pretty good at sourcing non-animal based protein sources so my goal is to give you access to the same recipes I use to help fuel my powerlifting training by building and maintaining my muscle mass.


I'll try to post a few recipes a month so that you can use them to inspire your own protein palate and diversify your recipe bank.


This week I prepped Protein Pasta Bake which is one of the easiest recipes that I make, I hope you enjoy!


Protein Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can peeled tomatoes

  • 1 Large beefsteak tomato

  • 1 Medium white onion

  • 1 Cloves garlic

  • 125 grams soya mince or TVP (Bob's Red Mill is a brand I use)

  • 1 Box Red Lentil Pasta

  • 2 Large Hand fulls of Spinach

  • 1 TB Tomato Paste

  • 1 TB Olive oil

  • Salt and Pepper to taste (I like to add some chili flake as well)

  • 1-2 cups water.


Process:

  • Heat cast iron skillet or sauté pan on medium heat and add Olive oil.

  • Chop onion and garlic and add to warm oil in the skillet.

  • Sauté until the onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.

  • Add salt and pepper.

  • Add the Soy Mince or Textured Vegetable Protein to the onions and garlic. (*Note: If using TVP- hydrate it before hand by putting the portioned amount in a bowl of water. Strain from water before adding to the pan)

  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes.

  • Then add the chopped fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine with other ingredients. Cook 2-3 minutes.


  • Add canned tomatoes WITH juices. (*Note: I also add chili flake at this point, optional)



  • Crush up tomatoes with spatula and combine with other ingredients. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add cooked red lentil pasta that has been drained.

  • Add 1 cup water and combine all ingredients. Cook for 4-5 minutes.



  • Add the spinach and mix into other ingredients. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add the additional cup of water at this point if needed.



  • Add a little extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. I use this recipe to make 4 servings.



  • Each serving has approximately: 384 calories, 31 grams protein, 57 grams carbs, 6 grams fat.



This is a great recipe to meal prep for easy to re-heat dinners and lunches.

Enjoy!





-Ashley



Recipe Recap:

Protein Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can peeled tomatoes

  • 1 Large beefsteak tomato

  • 1 Medium white onion

  • 1 Cloves garlic

  • 125 grams soya mince or TVP (Bob's Red Mill is a brand I use)

  • 1 Box Red Lentil Pasta

  • 2 Large Hand fulls of Spinach

  • 1 TB Tomato Paste

  • 1 TB Olive oil

  • Salt and Pepper to taste (I like to add some chili flake as well)

  • 1-2 cups water.

Process:

  • Heat cast iron skillet or sauté pan on medium heat and add Olive oil.

  • Chop onion and garlic and add to warm oil in the skillet.

  • Sauté until the onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.

  • Add salt and pepper.

  • Add the Soy Mince or Textured Vegetable Protein to the onions and garlic. (*Note: If using TVP- hydrate it before hand by putting the portioned amount in a bowl of water. Strain from water before adding to the pan)

  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes.

  • Then add the chopped fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine with other ingredients. Cook 2-3 minutes.

  • Add canned tomatoes WITH juices. (*Note: I also add chili flake at this point, optional)

  • Crush up tomatoes with spatula and combine with other ingredients. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add cooked red lentil pasta that has been drained.

  • Add 1 cup water and combine all ingredients. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

  • Add the spinach and mix into other ingredients. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add the additional cup of water at this point if needed.

  • Add a little extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. I use this recipe to make 4 servings.

  • Each serving has approximately: 384 calories, 31 grams protein, 57 grams carbs, 6 grams fat.


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