Pastalicious Recipes to kick off Earth Week

On Friday, April 9th, I had a ZOOM cooking class on pasta dishes that are vegetarian/vegan to emphasize that eating lower on the food chain is good for the environment. I post two earlier in that week, but no photos. Here are all five recipes with photos.

Here is the information that everyone who ZOOMed received via email, minus the photos:

Please go to my website, for more recipes. If you subscribe you will get posting once or twice a week on food, health, and the environment.

Cooking-by-the-Strings-of-Your-Apron: These recipes have fluctuating amounts and ingredients, depending on whether or not you will be reducing the pasta levels and increasing the veggie levels. Also, feel free to mix and match the toppings/ sauces as well as the herbs and spices, choosing also ones you prefer.



This casserole dish is a meatless version of a popular Eastern European or Russian dish called Kasha Varnishkes. (Toasted buckwheat groats are is called kasha and can be found in supermarkets as well as health food stores. You can get whole groats or cracked groats. Organic is best. Buckwheat is gluten-free.)

Kasha is made by coating the grains with a little oil in a deep (fry) pan, the larger the better to spread out the groats, and adding twice as much water or soup stock. The kasha expands and is cooked when all the liquid is absorbed. The grains are delicious and crunchy this way. If you omit the oil, the buckwheat will be softer and work as a hot breakfast cereal.

Note: If you are making this for the first time, cut recipe in half, because 1 cup of buckwheat groats makes a lot of kasha! I also recommend more veggies and buckwheat than noodles.)


Utensils: large pan in diameter, 2 qt. saucepan for noodles, cutting board and knife, colander or strainer

Prep Time: About 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes



 1 cup buckwheat groats (enough for 4-6 servings so cut in half if first time making)

2 cups soup stock or water (cut stock to one cup if only ½ cup buckwheat)

½ – 1 cups organic whole wheat bowtie noodles (also called Farfalle)

One medium onion or leek, thinly sliced

1-2 cups org. mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly

1-2 cups broccoli (small pieces)

2/3 cup sesame seeds

Avocado  (or other) oil spray

½ tsp. salt (optional)



  1. Fill saucepan almost full and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook per instructions. (My Whole Wheat Farfalle box says 13-16 minutes)
  2. Spray large pan with oil. Add onions and mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add buckwheat groats and cook 2-3 minutes to coat the groats with the oil.Then add water or stock and cook about 10 minutes, adding more liquid if needed.
  1. Add broccoli pieces and cook another 5-7 minutes to make sure broccoli is cooked but not overcooked. (You can also add the raw broccoli to the noodle water after the noodles are ½ done [6-7] minutes. Then you can drain both and add to buckwheat and veggies.)
  2. If using, add a little salt (or gluten free tamari soy sauce) for flavor. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Note: The idea is to use more veggies and buckwheat than noodles, since the pasta is very high in carbs with no notable nutrients except potassium, which will offset the salt, if using. Can be eaten cold, but better hot!


SOBA NOODLES with Veggies (Asian Style)

I had trouble finding 100% Soba, so this is organic soba and organic wheat. 100% soba turns mushy when overcooked, so if you can get 100%, watch carefully when cooking it. (I found it after class, so I plan to try it again with 100% soba and watch the cooking time.)

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, grater, pot for pasta, strainer

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


1 bundle Soba noodles (org.) (Wrapped separately in pkg.)

¼-1/2 cup Arame seaweed (soaked 5 minutes and drained well)

One org. carrot, grated

3-4 org. scallions, trimmed and chopped

Yellow summer squash, grated or diced

Sliced red radish or turnip

½ cup arugula microgreens  (optional)

Sesame Seeds (I use black)


While the water is boiling for the noodles, prepare the veggies and put in a large bowl and prepare the dressing. Drain noodles, toss with veggies & seaweed, and add dressing.

This will be warm noodles with raw veggies. Can also try chilling the noodles, adding veggies, and tossing with dressing. Top with sesame seeds.

Two dressing options: (one a vinaigrette and one a creamy dressing)

  1. Vinaigrette: Mix ½ cup (toasted) sesame oil with ¼ cup rice vinegar. Add a piece of fresh ginger (grated) and a dash of soy sauce. [I used 1/2 toasted sesameoil and 1/2 regular sesame oil.  Toasted oil is very strong in flavor.)
  2. Creamy: Mix ½ cup tahini (sesame paste) with ¼ cup lemon juice and a dash of tamari soy sauce (naturally GF). Add cayenne pepper for a kick (optional)




Utensils: Large pot for pasta, cutting board and knife, cookie sheet, strainer, spatula

Prep. Time: 20 – 30 minutes

Cooking Time: Pasta (9-12 minutes) Roasted veggies (10-15 min.)


Org. Rice or Org. Lentil Pasta (2-3 ounces, about ½ cup)

2-3 cups raw veggies for roasting: (any or all; organic)

Leeks, sliced
Zucchini or yellow squash, chopped into chunks

Asparagus or green beans

Cauliflower (cut into small pieces)


(Any other veggies of your choice)

Spray oil (avocado or other of your choice)

Za’atar or herbs of your choice



  1. Fill a large pot with water and when it comes to a boil, add the pasta.
  2. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare veggies as noted above Place on a cookie sheet (Feel free to use parchment paper.)
  3. Roast for at least 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Continue to roast to desired crispiness. (I like my veggies really crisp.)
  4. Drain pasta and toss with roasted veggies, adding some olive oil in a jar or spray can. Add herbs and serve hot.

Note: These two pastas do not taste well cold, so reheat if leftovers.



This is traditional white spaghetti (but organic, since regular wheat has issues, which I will share from a book called Unsafe at Any Meal by Renee DuFault. (See my review of this book for more information:…enee-joy-dufault/ POSTED on April 4th.)

Utensils: Large pot for pasta, cutting board and knife, strainer
Prep. Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time: Use directions from your box of pasta


Organic Semolina

Fresh salsa (Mom’s organic). Or

Capers, olives, scallions, and artichoke hearts cut up
with org. olive oil

Salt to taste (optional) and /or sesame seeds with capers mix


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to pkg. directions.
  2. Strain and toss with salsa or capers, olives, etc. and olive oil.
  3. To serve cold, chill pasta and then toss with salsa or capers mix. Add sesame seeds if you wish.


 This is for those of you who avoid pasta altogether because you are on a low carb diet or for other reasons.

Slice a small spaghetti squash crosswise into rings and bake until soft in medium oven, or cut in half lengthwise and place flat on an oiled cookie sheet, baking until soft inside.

If using a larger squash, bake only half and save the other half for another dish.

Remove seeds and place seeds in compost. Shred the spaghetti squash into a bowl and toss with Pestacado from my website,, and reproduced below:


Another photo with pestacado AND Microgreens (See photo at end of posting)

Utensils: Food processor or blender, cutting board & knife
Prep. Time: 10 min.
Cook. Time: None!
Categories: GF, NSA, Vegan


1/2 ripe avocado, washed, cut in half and 1/2 flesh scooped into blender
1/2 cup water or stock
1-2 minced garlic
salt to taste
dash of cayenne pepper
basil leaves (wash basil and remove large stems & use for stock)
oregano other herbs of your choice (optional)


  1. Place about 1/2 cup water or stock in blender. Add scooped avocado and seasonings and just blend for a few seconds.
  2.  Add basil and blend until smooth, adding more liquid if needed. Taste and add more spices if needed.

Yield is less than one cup. If you like it, then feel free to use the whole avocado and more basil leaves and spices.
Note: For a more pourable Pestacado, add more liquid. For a thicker pestacado, do not add more liquid. Also, if you like the idea of  pesto with mustard, feel free to add a dollop of mustard to the blender.


Note: One more pasta is Orzo, which is somewhat rice-shaped but made from regular wheat, which I avoid. Can be used in soups or casseroles or with pasta sauce. I could not find organic Orzo, so I will avoid this item.


I grew mircogreens to garnish the dishes: sunflower, buckwheat, pea shoots, lentils, and fenugreek. Only the buckwheat did not sprout. Called True Leaf Market where I purchased them online and was told to soak more hours that I did.



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