Cooking light and easy is fun and delicious. By making one meal vegan, one snack vegan, or even one purchase vegan – you are helping to fight climate change and reduce pollutions in the air and atmosphere. Let me know what vegan butter you use in the recipe – there are many to choose from – I use a couple different brands. New products are out there and waiting for you to try them.

Garlic has been used for centuries as a medicine to prevent and treat a wide range of health conditions. Garlic is an antioxidant which helps promotes heart health, healthy blood pressure, healthy blood cholesterol, and has anti-viral properties. Garlic may even increase longevity by benefitting the heart, brain, and other organs.

How do you like to use garlic? Do you ever eat it raw? My recipe calls for crushed garlic, after you crush the garlic, let the crushed garlic sit for at least ten minutes – this increases the potency and beneficial properties. The UK website, BrainStorm Health, states, “During this time, the maximum amount of allicin, the most active compound in garlic, is released.” Allicin, pronounced Allison like the name, deactivates when exposed to heat, however, by allowing crushed garlic to sit for ten minutes keeps the beneficial compounds intact during the cooking process.

Angel-hair pasta with artichokes and lemon-garlic butter

Ingredients:

•1 package of high-quality bronze cut angel-hair pasta

•2 cans of artichokes in water, drained and rinsed

•¼ cup vegan butter (I like Country Crock’s new plant-based line)

•4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

•The juice of 1 lemon, plus a wedge for garnish

Optional:

•Red chili flakes

•Sea salt and black pepper

Directions:

Trim each artichoke by pulling or cutting the outer leaves off the bottom of the artichoke. Set aside. Bring a large pot of 6 cups of water, over medium heat, to a full boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the package of angel-hair pasta, allow the water to return to a boil. Set a timer for five minutes and when the timer goes off, drain the pasta into a colander and set the pasta aside. Pro tip: Angel-hair pasta is quite easy to overcook, in which case it turns to a starch mush. However, do not rinse the pasta as doing so rinses the starch off and then sauce will not cling to the pasta.

In the same pot, heat the vegan butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, trimmed artichokes, and red chili flakes, if using. Cover the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon, add the drained pasta and lemon juice. Carefully toss the pasta and sauce together using a spaghetti fork until fully incorporated. Serve hot, with a lemon wedge on the side and top with a pinch each of salt and black pepper, if using. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Let me know what you think by emailing my editor justint@montrosepress.com.

Leah Okeson is an avid vegan since 2008. She lives in Montrose with two kids, two dogs, three cats, and one long-suffering husband. You can reach her at vegancookingbyleah@gmail.com for cooking tips, advice, and personal vegan catering for local large and small events such as birthday parties, celebrations, ceremonies, and jubilees!

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