Creamy Spinach Pasta with a Lemon Twist

With no sign of letting up, and already a week past our designated vegan week, we are joyfully continuing with this delicious vegan-at-home diet.  My husband is loving the food (and quite frankly that I am actually cooking rather than asking to eat out all the time), and I am finally enjoying the kitchen.  Who knew it was meat all this time that was intimidating me?

While I am just barely dipping my toes in creativity, it is still fun to be able to throw something together that turns out quite tasty.  With some lemony dill seasoning just waiting for a new setting, I thought what better medium than a light cream sauce? Paired with whole wheat pasta, white beans and spinach, it was healthy and filling. 

Since the spinach does shrink down, I would probably add another cup or two the next time I make it (I love spinach), but 2 cups does make a fair bit. You can easily replace the seasoning mix I used with any flavors of your choice, or use some fresh lemon zest and herbs (dill, basil, etc.).  Also, I like my sauce a bit thick, hence the addition of arrowroot at the end, but after a simmer with the flour, you may find it thick enough …

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Creamy, Lemony Spinach Pasta

Makes Dinner for Two

  • 4-5 Ounces Whole Wheat Pasta (we like angel hair – use brown rice pasta for gluten-free)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dairy-Free Margarine
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour (your choice, I used whole wheat)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Milk Alternative (I used almond milk)
  • 2 cups Packed Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • 1 can White Beans (Great Northern / Cannelini), drained
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemony Dill Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.  Melt the margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir in the flour and garlic, and slowly add the milk alternative, wisking until the liquid is smooth.  Stir in the spinach.  Allow it to simmer at this low heat, stirring occasionally.  Be careful to ensure that the sauce does not boil.

After say 5-10 minutes or so, the sauce should begin to thicken and the spinach will look cooked.  Stir in the beans and the seasoning.  Wisk in the arrowroot until smooth.  Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to thicken for a minute or two before serving.  Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Pour the sauce atop your pasta.  Some chopped olives go nicely as a garnish.

The Lemony Dill Seasoning has gotten some serious mileage, but I still have a ton left.  The package is seriously stuffed.  I tried it the other day as a seasoning for some roasted red potatoes.  While good, it just didn’t shine.  Beyond the pasta above, my favorite backdrop for this seasoning is definitely the Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise.  Turned into a dip or salad dressing, this seasoning really shines.  Of course, it isn’t half bad just sprinkled atop a salad for a dressing free mix either.