Cheezy Red Pepper Pasta

In my dream world, there would be no hate,

no wars,

and the environment could repair the damage that has been done over time.

Every day would include beautiful and random adventures

Childrens museum 5

Childrens museum 3

oh, and noodles and cookies would be calorie-free.

Actually, I have no prob with the calories in cookies. Every time I have a really good cookie (which is pretty much all cookies), I think to myself, “Man. That was worth.my.while.”

Pasta? I think, “I’d like 18 more bowls and maybe I’ll be full.” It’s really not the pasta I enjoy- it’s just a vessel for whatever delicious sauce that’s along with it. 

I think this is a huge reason why I love to go for veggie pasta, like spiralized zucchini and sweet potato. Not only do they taste way better to me than the doughy options, but make the meal much more satisfying. Sometimes I get sick of whipping out the spiralizer to make veggie pasta, so I’ll opt for these instead:

Kelp noodles

Kelp noodles!

Pretty darn close to calorie-free and the perfect vessel for any sauce.

They don’t look too appetizing on their own….

Noodles

but this is muuuuuuuuch better. 

Pasta 6

I first learned about kelp noodles at 105degrees, which is now called Matthew Kenney Academy OKC. (If you live nearby, check out the restaurant. It will blow your mind.) While I was at 105degrees, a lot happened: I was attacked by a coconut, I worked in the pastry department (where I learned as many raw dessert recipes and methods as possible) and I was introduced to the cheesy kale chips I’ve been obsessed with every since. 

Since I usually eat the cheesy sauce for my kale chips without dehydrating it -from blender to mouth with a spoon is good enough for me- I thought it would be fantastic on top of kelp noodles.

That would be correct.

Pasta 5

I soaked the cashews yesterday and left them in the fridge overnight. Whenever you need to soak nuts for a recipe, you can do it in advance but for cashews and almonds I wouldn’t go longer than a day… then they get a little, um… tangy.

Cashews

I blended the cashews into the cheesy red pepper sauce and stirred in the kelp noodles. In you can’t find kelp noodles, broccoli slaw, or zucchini sliced with a vegetable peeler would be lovely, too.

Pasta 7

It was a perfect little lunch, especially followed by a cookie. (Thanks, Lisa!)

Do you like pasta, or do prefer other pasta-ish options? What’s something you would have in your perfect world? :)

Hope your weekend is off to a great start <3

xoxo

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Comments

  1. I love that picture of Livi in a tooth! Calorie free cookies would be the bomb.

  2. I think you could use the real pasta!

  3. I love pasta but really just for the sauce like you said. I like to feel like I’m getting nutrients from my pasta too though so I love options like spaghetti squash. My perfect pasta world would have to include a calorie free pad thai shrimp! :)

  4. me neither!

  5. Elizabeth M. says:

    O. Em. Gee. This looks amazing!! I always make extra kale chip topping because I eat so dang much before it even makes it to the dehydrator. I’ve never tried kelp noodles, but I agree, it’s a vessel for sure! I cannot wait to try this! It would be great on zucchini noodles too :)

  6. Sometimes I feel like the only person on the planet that does not like pasta! Doughy, soggy, makes-me-too-full-and-sleepy bread, that’s what pasta is. I just can’t see the point so no thanks. Same goes for stuffing by the way. But spiralized veggies? Now you’re talkin’! Bring it on, so much more satisfying and yummy. Can’t wait to try the cheesy red pepper sauce.

  7. Where did you find those kelp noodles? Are they at Whole Foods?

  8. I live in OKC, and looooooooove Matthew Kenney’s restaurant! What’s a must-have I should get next time I’m there?!

  9. I love kale chip/cheezy/cashew/red pepper coating. It’s SUCH a winner with the flavor. Good thinking over kelp noodles!

  10. Mmmmm…. I love kelp noodles! I usually toss them in an almond butter/tamari/maple syrup sauce, but your red pepper sauce looks mighty tasty!

  11. Gina, check this out: http://www.miraclenoodle.com

    ;) Natasa

  12. I love Spaghetti squash! Its so much tastier than basic pasta and so ready to prepare! Another reason i can’t wait for fall I guess. In a perfect world chocolate would be as healthy as kale so that i could justify eating it nearly every day haha. I love Olivia’s expression on the motorcycle with Dad, she looks like she’s having the time of herlife :)

  13. As I read this post, I thought, I wish there were “Like” buttons throughout blog posts so I could indicate which sentences were particularly awesome. But then, as I kept reading, I realized I truly love all your sentences. :-) Thanks for such an incredible, heartwarming blog. Honestly, when I’m stressed, I often turn to you because I know you’ll be uplifting, positive, and have a terrific perspective on life.

    As for pasta, I’ve never tried kelp noodles, but my tastes have expanded over the years, so I can’t knock it till I try it. And I agree that typically the sauce is better than the actual noodles, but I actually really like al dente pasta. There’s something so comforting about the texture!

    • totally agree with your comment, Julie :)

      I agree with all points you wish for in a perfect world, but also I would like to add that people have respect for one another and are honest with each other.

  14. I’m totally with you on pasta just being the vessel for the REALLY yummy stuff. I tried shirataki before, but didn’t really like it. Do you think the kelp noodles are better?

  15. Kelp noodles sound amazing! I’d never heard of them! Hope I can find them! Livi looks gorgeous and tall! :)

  16. What’s the brand name of those Kelp Noodles?

  17. I love pasta dishes but I can take or leave the actual pasta. I never pay attention to it anyway. It’s all about the sauce and toppings! So if I can replace the noodles with something a little less heavy, I’m good with that….except shirataki noodles…I just can’t get past the texture.

    Randomness: I’m sure you know this by now but Giuliana & Bill finally have their sweet baby!!!! I’m SO excited for them. <3

  18. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I have a bag of kelp noodles I’ve been putting off trying and I think this will be the perfect recipe for them! Thank you for the idea!

  19. I can’t stand kelp noodles! I tried them once and thought they were HORRIBLY bitter and harsh tasting! But the sauce looks delicious!

  20. I had the same problem with pasta — LOVE it, but even small amounts have quite a lot of calories and you are still left hungry. A few years ago I switched to Fiber Gourmet Pasta. Their pasta is made with added fiber and they have 40% less calories and I always feel absolutely stuffed for hours afterwards because of the fiber. I swear they taste just like regular white pasta. Since then… it is pasta galore in my house.

    They make penne, spaghetti, rotini, short fettucine and even lasagna noodles. Not too much of a fan of the flavored fettucini, but the plain pasta is great.

    http://fibergourmet.com

  21. I really want to try spiralized veggies, but I didn’t know if I wanted to buy the machine etc, but thankfully http://ohsheglows.com just blogged about a julienne peeler that you could use to substitute, so Im pretty excited to try it out and the price made me happy too :)
    http://ohsheglows.com/2012/08/27/how-to-spiralize-vegetables-without-a-spiralizer-2-veggie-pasta-dishes/

  22. Gina, have you ever used almonds in place of cashews in the sauce? does it alter the taste much, or are cashews definitely better? Thanks! x

  23. What great ideas. Thanks!

  24. hi, gina! quick question… for cheesy kale chips…. can you bake them in the oven in lieu of a dehydrator? if so, what temp would you suggest and for how long? thanks!

  25. Gina! Did you ever take the classes at Matthew Kenney? I love that place, and it made me more interested in raw foods. :) I need to pick up some kelp noodles.

  26. I feel like I’m in the minority, but I love real pasta! Especially the fresh, homemade kind. I also like using spaghetti squash sometimes too, but I hate how it gives me major fiber belly after I eat it! :P

  27. I’ve been too intimidated by kelp noodles, but I LOVE spiralizing zucchini for pasta. I usually top it with an avocado-based pesto or regular tomato sauce. And spaghetti squash makes my winter complete. <3 I'm excited to try the cashew/pepper sauce, especially after all of my kale chip fails, haha. Thanks again for the awesome ideas, Gina! :D

  28. When you use sweet potato for pasta, do you cook it or just eat it raw?

  29. I heard that kelp noodles have a really funny consistency – but maybe that was about the already soaked ones, which you buy wet and not dry.

  30. Miracle noodles like Natasa mentioned!

  31. I am with you Gina, I love the zucchini noodles SO much better! I made the most delicious bowl of zucchini noodles yesterday for lunch:

    zucchini noodles, grape tomatoes (chopped up), fresh garden dill, chicken (chopped up), and avocado sauce (avocado + water + mustard all blended up!) oh so good girl! :)

  32. Shirataki noodles they smell awful but are so low cal it’s a great substitute for Asian dishes

  33. Ohhhh that pasta looks amazing!! YUM. And those noodles!! I didn’t know that’s when they were called! Now I wan get some and make m own :)

  34. I used to love pasta until I realized what you said, pasta is only tasty because of all the things you eat on it, so why not just skip the pasta?! I do enjoy spaghetti squad and I’m thinking about trying some zucchini pasta and cauliflower rice.

  35. Shaina Anderson says:

    I have a huge spaghetti squash on my counter waiting to be devoured by my 16 month old and he loves spicy. Done and done!

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