If you’re vegan, you know it can be tricky to get enough protein — no one wants to eat nuts or peanut butter all the time. But Terry Hope Romero’s new book “Protein Ninja” proves sneaking protein into your meals isn’t hard, it just takes a little creativity. Her book has over 100 plant-based recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks.
While her Tempeh Apple Sage Sausage Patties and Tomato Zucchini Dill Burgers sound delicious, it was the Pro Mac With Roasted Broc that caught our eye — this isn’t your grandma’s casserole. Made with butternut squash and vegan Dijon mustard, it’s a flavorful, filling meal. Get the full recipe here:
Pro Mac With Roasted Broc
Excerpted from “Protein Ninja” with permission
Prep and cooking time: 1 hour
3/4 cup unroasted cashewpieces
10 ounces high-proteinpasta shells, spirals, orelbows, such as quinoapasta or brown ricepasta (for gluten-freemac)
Olive oil, for baking dish
2 cups vegan vegetablebroth
1 cup butternut squashpuree (see pro-tip)
1/2 cup pea proteinpowder
3 heaping tablespoonsnutritional yeast
1 tablespoon vegan Dijonmustard
2 teaspoons garlicpowder
1/2 teaspoon groundturmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bread Crumb topping
1. cups whole wheator gluten-free breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons nutritionalyeast
2 tablespoons shelledhemp seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
Freshly squeezedlemon juice
Red pepper flakes
1. Cover the cashews with 2 inches of hot water and soakfor about 20 minutes, until softened. Drain and discardthe water.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions,but slightly undercook by 2 to 3 minutes so the pastais very firm. Drain and rinse with plenty of cold water ina colander. Set over a sink to drain while preparing therest of the recipe.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously oil a7 x 11 x 2-inch baking dish. Also, line a large bakingsheet with parchment paper. In a blender, puree thedrained cashews, vegetable broth, butternut puree,pea protein powder, nutritional yeast, mustard, garlicpowder, turmeric, and salt.
4. In bowl, toss together the bread crumb topping ingredients,rubbing the crumbs together with your fingers todistribute the olive oil evenly. Sprinkle about a quarter ofthe crumbs onto the bottom of the baking dish.
5. In another bowl, stir together the drained cooked pastaand cashew sauce. Pour into the prepared baking pan.Spread the crumbs in an even layer over the casserole.Cover the casserole tightly with foil.
6. On the baking sheet or in a mixing bowl, toss togetherthe broccoli ingredients, rubbing the broccoli with yourfingers to distribute the oil and spices evenly. Spread in aneven layer on the prepared baking sheet.
7. Bake the mac casserole on the bottom rack of the ovenfor 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil fromthe top of the casserole and also slide the broccoli panonto the top rack. Occasionally stir the broccoli as it roasts.
8 Roast the broccoli for 20 minutes, or until tender andthe tips are lightly browned. The casserole should beready in about 15 minutes, or when the crumb toppingis golden.
PRO-TIP: For this recipe, I prefer to steam peeled1-inch chunks of butternut squash for 20 to 25 minutesuntil very tender. Once it’s done, puree it withan immersion blender or mash like crazy until verysmooth. But really what I actually prefer mostbusy days is to buy frozen butternut puree (youcan even find it organic!), thaw according to thepackage directions, and use that in this recipefor some seriously ridiculous convenience.