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”

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….


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.


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


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  1. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on August 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

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

  2. anna on August 31, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I think you could use the real pasta!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      it would probably taste just as good, but the kelp was fun and delicious 🙂

  3. Kristi @ on August 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    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! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      i can’t wait for spaghetti squash season

  4. Kristi @ on August 31, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    me neither!

  5. Elizabeth M. on August 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    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. Janice on August 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    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. Miranda @ Biting Life on August 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm

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

  8. Emily on August 31, 2012 at 11:29 pm

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

  9. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 31, 2012 at 11:33 pm

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

  10. Christa @ Edible Balance on August 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    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. Natasa on August 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Gina, check this out:

    😉 Natasa

  12. Abby on August 31, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    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. Julie on September 1, 2012 at 12:13 am

    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!

    • Michaela on September 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

      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. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance on September 1, 2012 at 6:47 am

    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. Jess on September 1, 2012 at 6:49 am

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

  16. Nikki on September 1, 2012 at 7:19 am

    What’s the brand name of those Kelp Noodles?

  17. Kristen on September 1, 2012 at 7:42 am

    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. Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness on September 1, 2012 at 8:06 am

    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. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on September 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

    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. Silvia @ skinny jeans food on September 1, 2012 at 8:36 am

    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.

  21. Staci on September 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I really want to try spiralized veggies, but I didn’t know if I wanted to buy the machine etc, but thankfully 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 🙂

  22. justine on September 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

    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. Susie on September 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

    What great ideas. Thanks!

  24. vicky on September 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    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. Jessica @ Busy Living Healthy on September 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

    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. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on September 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    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! 😛

    • Ali on September 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Don’t feel alone, I love real pasta too and have no plans of giving it up!

  27. Alison on September 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    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! 😀

  28. Beks on September 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      both 🙂

  29. Ksenija on September 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    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. Kelly on September 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Miracle noodles like Natasa mentioned!

  31. Meg on September 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    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. Teresa on September 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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

  33. Liz @ Southern Charm on September 2, 2012 at 11:20 am

    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. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on September 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    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 on October 3, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    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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