Check out this super easy meal I whipped up using a few ingredients I almost always have on hand. Basically pasta covered with a “sauce” of tomato puree, peas, corn and kidney beans, this vegetarian meal is high in protein, low in fat and calories, and takes less than 20 minutes to make.
I came up with the idea about a week ago when I was trying to make dinner without having to go shopping or defrost anything. Since I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty it was, I re-created it tonight.
You pretty much just throw everything together and voila. But I’ll break it down step by step just for fun:
- 1 can tomato puree
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can corn (i happened to have frozen peas/corn combo available tonight, but i used a can of corn last week)
- 1 oz. lowfat cream cheese (or neufchatel)
- salt, pepper, powdered garlic, oregano – whatever you like to season with
Boil some pasta. I happen to like Barilla whole grain rotini.
Combine the tomato puree, kidney beans, peas, and corn in another pan. Stir occasionally while it gets hot and bubbly. Give it a little splash of EVOO, and then toss in whatever seasonings you like. I used a teensy bit of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, some garlic powder and oregano.
Once its hot, add in a dab of cream cheese (technically, i used “neufchatel cheese” – its the lowfat equivalent of cream cheese). Use a fork to help blend the cheese into the sauce.
The reason I put cream cheese into this sauce is to help mellow out the acidity of the tomato puree. The canned puree has a pretty harsh tart and just a small amount of cream cheese is a really fast and easy way to smooth out that tinny acid flavor.
And that’s it! Serve the sauce over a small amount of pasta. Because of the beans, its REALLY hearty and you need less pasta to fill you up than you’d think.
I cooked half a box of the pasta and that’s plenty to go with the amount of sauce this recipe yields. I didn’t have any canned corn or peas, but I had some Green Giant “just for one” frozen peas and corn – and I used 2 servings of those (the veggies are pre-packaged as single servings; not very green because of all the packaging, but super convenient when you live alone). FYI: The nutrition info I calculated is based off the specific/exact ingredients I used tonight.
PER SERVING: 298 calories/3.05 g fat/11.8 g protein *this is based on making 5 servings out of the whole batch, reasonable portion sizes for me
If you were to make 4 servings out of the total you’d get: 372.5 cals/3.81 g fat/14.75 g protein per serving.
TOTAL for the entire batch: 1490 cals/15.25 g fat/59 g protein
Here’s how much I had leftover after I ate my bowl tonight:
There’s easily 4 more servings in here for me. See what I mean?
ENJOY!!!! And if you actually try this and make any modifications or changes, let me know how it comes out!