Pasta, Kale & Mushrooms 

Somi Igbene PhD ANutrJune 2, 2022

A delicious low-glycaemic vegan recipe using kitchen staples – pasta, kale and mushrooms. Enjoy like this or add baked tofu for a protein boost.

Most people believe they can’t eat pasta with high blood sugar levels, but this is false. Ironically, pasta has a much lower glycaemic index than other popular starchy foods like potatoes and rice. Pasta’s glycaemic index is even lower if you cook it al dente (to the bite).  

While I no longer eat a plant-exclusive diet, I still thoroughly enjoy vegan dishes. And I know many people who lower cholesterol, reverse prediabetes and thrive (short-term) while eating a vegan diet.  

You don’t have to eat a vegan diet to achieve these health benefits. Still, plant-based foods are generally associated with a range of benefits, including better lipid profiles, weight control, lower risk of several chronic diseases and longevity. 

If you choose to eat a vegan diet to lower your blood sugar, ensure your diet consists mainly of whole foods and that you crowd your plate with fibrous vegetables. Insulin resistance is a critical driver of pre-and type 2 diabetes, and carbohydrates stimulate insulin the most. An unbalanced vegan diet tends to be rich in fast-digesting carbohydrates and fat, which can worsen insulin resistance and blood sugar levels if eaten in large quantities.

The essential tip is choosing carbohydrates wisely, crowding your plate with non-starchy vegetables, and practising portion control when eating a vegan diet for blood sugar and weight control. 

This pasta, kale and mushroom stew is a delicious, low-glycaemic vegan recipe worth trying. Before I share the super simple recipe, let’s explore the 

Nutrition Highlights 

This recipe has an estimated glycaemic index (GI) of 42 – meaning it is a low-GI recipe that won’t cause blood sugar spikes if you eat the recommended portion size. It is a good source of fibre, low in sodium with minimal saturated fat and rich in several other nutrients, including:

Potassium: You need potassium for many bodily functions, including muscle movement, blood pressure regulation and nerve signalling. Low potassium intake can increase blood pressure, cause muscle weakness, tiredness and constipation.  Low intakes are also linked to increased pre-and type 2 diabetes risk (Ekmekcioglu et al., 2016). 

This meal is an excellent potassium source, providing 847mg per serving or 42% of the recommended nutrient intake (RNI). 

Iron: You need iron to make haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from you lungs to the rest of your body. Many women of reproductive age are iron deficient, and experience symptoms such as tiredness and brain fog. 

Please note that excess iron intake (usually from supplements) is linked to a higher risk of diabetes (Simcox & McClain, 2013)

This meal is a good iron source, providing 2.6mg or 19% RNI per serving

Folates: Folate is a B-vitamin that your body needs to make DNA and other genetic material. Although more evidence is needed, current studies show that folate regulates blood sugar and reduces insulin resistance (Lind et al., 2019). 

This meal is a good folate source, providing 101mcg or 25% RNI per serving. 

Zinc:  A component of more than 200 proteins in your body, it plays a crucial role in immunity, cell growth, skin health and sexual function. Zinc also maintains vision, taste and smell. 

This meal is a good source of zinc, providing 1.8mg or 18% RNI per serving. 

How to Cook

Serves 4 | Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 240g pasta
  • 200g baby chestnut mushrooms
  • 200g black kale
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Add pasta to a large pan of salted, boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes or until al dente, then drain. 
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large lidded non-stick pan over medium heat. 
  3. Fry shallots until softened, then add mushrooms, tomato puree, harissa paste and garlic. Fry for three minutes, stirring frequently. 
  4. Add kale, then season with a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir thoroughly. Put the lid over the pan. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for three to five minutes or until the kale is tender. 
  5. Serve kale and mushroom stew over pasta. Garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.  
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Pasta, Kale & Mushrooms 

  • Author: Somi Igbene PhD ANutr
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner

Description

Low-glycemic and vegan pasta, kale and mushrooms


Ingredients

Scale
  • 240g pasta
  • 200g baby chestnut mushrooms
  • 200g black kale
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil

Instructions

Add pasta to a large pan of salted, boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes or until al dente, then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large lidded non-stick pan over medium heat.

Fry shallots until softened, then add mushrooms, tomato puree, harissa paste and garlic. Fry for three minutes, stirring frequently.

Add kale, then season with a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir thoroughly. Put the lid over the pan. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for three to five minutes or until the kale is tender.

Serve kale and mushroom stew over pasta. Garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.


Notes

Add tofu or other protein of your choice for a protein boost


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Per Serving
  • Calories: 299kcal
  • Sugar: 4.9g
  • Sodium: 42mg
  • Fat: 4.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.65g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 52g
  • Fiber: 5.8g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

Keywords: Pasta, Kale, Mushrooms, Vegan

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