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Sunday
Feb192012

Fresh Start Challenge, Week 1, Day 2 pasta, sauce, & green beans

On day 2 of the Fresh-Start Challenge, you are already ahead, with Vinaigrette and Chocolate Pudding in the fridge. Cook two meal's worth of pasta, tomato sauce, and green beans and soak beans to cook tomorrow. Also start a broth jar, which will become your go-to source for free vegetable broth.

whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce with kale and onions and green beans with vinaigrette

This week, you'll be cooking part of your meals from scratch in just 20 minutes a day. Add other food: I'm not recommending having only pudding for dinner! Next week, you'll use those skills and more to cook all of your food from scratch.

Do it plant-strong (without dairy or eggs) or classic:

  • Plant-Strong:  make Tomato Sauce with Robust Greens and Onions to serve on organic whole-grain rotini or fusilli. Add two tablespoons of nooch, nutritional yeast, on top of or in the sauce. I think it tastes a lot like Parmesan and put it on top.   
  • Classic: make Tomato Sauce with Peppers and Onions and use a high-protein pasta such as Barilla Plus. If you can't get Barilla Plus or would rather go more organic, then use whole-grain pasta and nooch as described above.

Here's what to do:

  1. When the pasta, sauce, and green beans are all cooking, sort two pounds of black beans and soak them overnight in a slow cooker or pot.  Check out my video if you've never cooked dried beans before. 
  2. Swish the water you used to boil the pasta and green beans around in the pans and tomato can and then save that broth in a jar to make rice tomorrow. You've just made free vegetable broth. See how clean the pots get too!

  3. save liquid from cooking pasta or vegetables in a broth jar for free vegetable broth

  4. Dress the cooked green beans with Vinaigrette. Eat some green beans tonight.  
  5. Have the dessert you made yesterday, either Sweet-Sixteen Oatmeal Raisin Bars or Chocolate Pudding with sliced bananas.
  6. Refrigerate the remaining food and the broth jar after dinner. Pat yourself on the back! You've already made dinner for day 4: pasta and sauce with chilled marinated green beans.   

What's the difference so far between classic and plant-strong? 

  • Classic makes pudding using milk. Next week, you'll make yogurt first and then use the same pot to make pudding. Plant-strong can make delicious pudding using coconut drink, but it doesn't have any protein. (Soy milk has protein, but I don't use soy.) Pudding is a plant-strong luxury, not a staple. Instead, make the Sweet-Sixteen Oatmeal Raisin Bars. You'll get two extra days of dessert that way, too: the bars serve sixteen and the pudding serves eight. 
  • Classic makes the most popular tomato sauce using bell peppers. Plant-strong makes a more seasonal and calcium-rich sauce with collards or kale. Either one will work for either group.
  • Plant-strong adds nooch in or on top of the pasta sauce for more protein and the one vitamin not available from all-plant sources: vitamin B12. Make sure your nooch is fortified with B12. The Vegan Coach has a good article on nooch and B12.

Reader Comments (2)

I notice that today, you call for soaking 2 lbs of beans, but tomorrow (Day 3), you say to cook 2.5 lbs. The grocery lists both call for 2.5 lbs. Usually, though, I see you referring to 2 lbs of beans (in the book's "How to Cook Beans" recipe). So, I'm going to assume I should soak 2 lbs.

Dec 7, 2012 | Registered Commenteradara9

Oops. After counting the number of servings expected tomorrow, it looks like I should be soaking 2.5 lbs. Off to fix that now.

Dec 7, 2012 | Registered Commenteradara9
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