What is The Vegan(ish) Experiment?

Our family (me, my husband D, and our four-year-old Molly) started 2009 with a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic-inspired diet (although I have to admit, the strict macro rules have pretty much gone out the window). I have seen a marked improvement in my chronic migraines, and I'm enjoying proving that we can make amazing, mouth-watering, memorable food without animal products. For a more in-depth intro, click here.

I stopped updating this blog quite awhile back, when life got in the way. I'm still keeping a mostly vegan kitchen, though, and loving it. Have fun browsing my recipes!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 88: Super-Easy Mexican-Style Pasta

So much for posting more often. Last week was more busy instead of less! I have a whole pile of yummy food pictures, ready to be posted ... when I find the time.

In an effort to save on groceries, I decided that one meal last week should be assembled from solely pantry ingredients. (Except the cilantro, which I already had in the fridge and needed to use up before it went bad.) This dish isn't traditional Mexican (pasta? huh?). But the flavors are Mexican-inspired. And, taking a scant 30 minutes to prepare (including boiling a big pot of water for the pasta), I'm willing to sacrifice a little authenticity! We loved this, and so did Molly (except the corn, which for some reason she doesn't like these days).

Mexican-Style Pasta
Before I give the recipe, here's another tip. Have you ever gotten annoyed when you had to throw away most of a bunch of cilantro, because you couldn't use it fast enough? Thanks to Alton Brown and Simply Recipes for this idea:

Tip #4 for Easier Vegan(ish) Cooking:
When you buy cilantro, snip off the ends of the stems (like you would for fresh flowers). Place the cilantro into a tall Tupperware container or a simple glass. Add water so that the ends of the stems are submerged, but not the leaves. Cover the container - either with a Tupperware top, or with an inverted plastic bag (I use the bag the cilantro came in.) Change the water every day or two. Your cilantro will last TWO WEEKS if you do this. No kidding. Even here in New England, where the cilantro is surely many days old by the time it hits my supermarket. If you're a visual learner, click the Simply Recipes link, above, for pictures.

Super-Easy Mexican-Style Pasta

  • 1/2 box (8 oz.) whole-wheat pasta (I used angel hair - cooks the fastest)
  • 2 cans Mexican stewed tomatoes (get these if you can - they have a way deeper flavor than spicy diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans
  • 1 (15-oz.) can corn
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • cilantro (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, put one can of tomatoes (including liquid) into a food processor, blender, or bowl. (I used a bowl and a hand blender.) Pulse until smooth. Add olive oil and blend.
  3. Drain the beans, corn, and the other can of tomatoes.
  4. When pasta is done, drain and put back into pot.
  5. Toss pasta with sauce, non-blended tomatoes, corn, and beans. Stir over medium heat until warmed through.
  6. If desired, garnish with roughly chopped cilantro right before serving.

By the way, this recipe is so not macrobiotic. It contains tomatoes, which true macro people don't eat. And, if I were being a true macro cook, I would soak dry beans and cook them on the stove, and I'd cook organic corn-on-the-cob and cut off the kernels. But I like tomatoes, and they don't trigger migraines for me. So I eat them. And the whole cooking-beans-from-scratch thing (which I do, fairly often, but more on the weekends) and fresh-corn-off-the-cob-thing would kinda NOT make this a 30-minute recipe.


  1. looks delicious! I'll try...

  2. Mom - Thanks! It was so easy and successful; I think it's one that we'll make regularly. We always keep a couple of cans of those Mexican stewed tomatoes around (we get the store brand) because they're so good.


I love it when people come back and tell me how the recipes turned out - please consider doing so! Thanks!


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