Vegans Love Winesday Too

Happy Winesday! It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve written about a Winesday, and it’s a new year, which means a whole new range of possibilities for Winesday meals. The evenings are becoming quite a bit cooler here in Connecticut which makes me crave more hearty, comforting meals. This has been a bit more of a challenge while trying to stick to my veganism resolution…but lucky for me, things like peanut butter and pasta (my two ultimate favorite comfort foods) are animal product-free. Yipee.

The Wine

  • Yellow Tail Moscato. Ordinarily I may not have chosen this wine, but when I stopped at the store (which, ironically, said WINES! across the top of it), I had very little to choose from in the already-chilled section. I wanted something white and subtly sweet, but I found the choice difficult when I had nothing but Chardonnays staring back at me. I asked the clerk for a recommendation, but he pointed me in the direction of a dry Riesling…nope, still not cutting it. So I had to settle for a blatantly sweet Moscato. Sweet is never a bad characteristic in wine for me, but on that evening I was hoping for something slightly more mild. This wine isn’t that. It has very strong peach and apricot flavors, and a sweet citrus nose. It’s fruity and delicious with such a sugary taste that it slightly resembles a sparkling wine. That might sound odd, but very sweet wines always remind me of sparkling wines…Anyway, it’s much sweeter than most Rieslings, and it’s best served with fruit, cheeses, and to balance spicy foods.

The Entrée

  • Rustic Pasta by Alicia Silverstone. This is absolutely my favorite pasta dish. I could eat it for a week straight and not be sick of it, and what’s perfect about it is that it’s HEALTHY and satisfying and doesn’t make you want to take a nap after dinner. It’s a combination of flavors and textures that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of piecing together either-like carmelized onions, soy sauce, tomato sauce, and crunchy cabbage. Even thinking about it is making me drool a little bit…just a little though. It’s warm and comforting and versatile and healthy. What isn’t there to love about it?

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb whole wheat angel hair or spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 6 Tbsp marinara sauce

How to Do It

  1. Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain, and put aside. Whole wheat pasta cooks faster than white pasta so be sure not to overcook it.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok, and saute the onions for 7 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, and cook another 3 minutes or until the onions are transparent and browning.
  3. Add the celery to the pan, and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sea salt, and garlic powder, and mix thoroughly into the ingredients already in the pan. Add the cabbage slices and saute for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and marinara sauce to the pan, and toss the ingredients together. Cook for another 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until the ingredients are heated through.

Tip: Thinner slices of cabbage will cook more easily, and they’ll be delicious in the pasta. They’ll give a slight crunch to the dish, which will add the different textures, but they won’t be too stiff.

Extra Tip: This dish is exceptionally delicious with white wine. The Moscato mentioned above was good, but try something a little drier, like a Sauvignon Blanc, to really get the best of all the flavors.

Recipe adapted from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.

The Dessert

  • Cherry Chocolate Almond Strudel. This dessert was light enough to serve after a hearty pasta dish, and it was sweet enough to serve in small pieces. Oh, and it’s warm, gooey, and chocolatey, which is perfect for a cold evening.

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