I’m pretty sure it’s fitting that the last thing to be made in my tiny can’t-maneuver-in-without-dropping-and-shattering-innumerable-jars-of-peanut-butter kitchen turned out to be my favorite thing I’ve ever dreamt up. Black Bean Spaghetti Nests have all the classic elements of the perfect dish: a) protein and fiber heavy b) light on carbs c) handheld/fucking adorable and d) tastes so good I want to learn how to juggle for the sole purpose of juggling three of these into my mouth and then never juggle again because people hate jugglers.
That’s just my basic rubric for judging food. It always comes down to juggling. Just like everything else.
Anyways, I moved. Now I have cabinets AND counter space – the best of both worlds that every other person enjoys every day because it’s not realistic to even call it a luxury but rather a “duh!” And an adult size fridge! I’m going to lose all the leftovers/things in there! And two boys to use as vegan food guinea pigs! Finally. So far my American flag toaster strudels passed the test. But I’m pretty sure it would have been a war crime had they not.
SO. Black Bean Spaghetti Nests. Black Bean Spaghetti is one of those ingredients I found on one of my many may-or-may-not-be-drunk-but-100%-suggestible-nonetheless recent trips to Whole Foods. I got that and some Mung Bean Fettuccine because THESE THINGS ACTUALLY EXIST. While the Black Bean Spaghetti probably cost me $35/noodle, it’s worth it. These bad boys (I call noodles “bad boys”) have 21g of protein per 50g serving and only 16g carbs. That’s right. This spaghetti has more protein per serving than carbs. Be still my beating heart. But like, not too still. I need you for breathing. Black Bean Spaghetti aside. (Never put the Black Bean Spaghetti aside.)
Each big nest has only 12g net-carbs but a whopping 23g of protein. WHOP AWAY, FELLAS. And each little nest boasts 4g net-carbs and 10g of protein. BOAST AWAY, WHATEVERS.
This recipe also utilizes any left over Vegan Ricotta you may have around or gives you a fantastic reason to make more and more Vegan Ricotta. I’m single handedly sending cashew farmers’ kids to college. I call it the Molly Likes Cheese-Less Cheese Fund and it’s changing kids’ lives. Now if only I could teach the Nutritional Yeast Packagers’ spawn how to read and write. Soon.
I love all things portable, especially Walkmans, and the muffin tin sized nests are perfect for walking around and eating. The mini pie tin nests are similarly perfect for face stuffing. You just might want to take a seat and commit yourself to those.
*Side note – moving meant I forgot to give away sugar. Sorry to Michelle C., who should have been made aware of her sugar victories a week ago. My b/your 4 pounds of sugar. Email me your deets, girl.
makes 10-11 small nests, 5 or so big nests
- One 7.05oz bag of Explore Asian Black Bean Spaghetti
- vegan ricotta
- some spaghetti sauce (Rao’s Garden Vegetable! Preach!)
- ½ vidalia onion, diced
- ½ portobello mushroom cap, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 vine ripe tomato, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Go Veggie Mozzarella Shreds
- silicone baking cups or mini pie tins
I like to feed my dog like he’s a baby bird but only because he returns the favor…
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cook your Black Bean Spaghetti per bag instructions.
Over medium heat, cook your onions with about a tablespoon of water until they soften. Add the garlic and cook til fragrant. Toss the mushrooms in and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushroom juice has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and oregano. Add the tomatoes and just cook a bit till they wilt or whatnot. Remove from heat.
To assemble a small nest: Take about 20g of noodles and arrange them in your silicone muffin cups like a little nest. Make sure the bottom is well covered and adjust the sides until perfectly adorable. Now plop down about a half a tablespoon or somewhere along the lines of 8g of vegan ricotta in the center of the nest. Top with 10g or so of your mushroom mix. Cover with 10-15g sauce. Top with about 5g of veggie mozzarella shreds on top. Sprinkle with paprika.
To make a big nest: start with a 40g spaghetti nest. Add 15g of vegan ricotta. Top with 30g of your mushroom mix. Cover with 30g of sauce. Top with 20g of mozzarella shreds. Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is browned and melted.