Some days I just don't want to cook. Yesterday was one of those days. Does this happen to you, too? Don't be ashamed, next time that happens you'll have a tasty recipe to save you. Do you have a half empty jar of pasta sauce leftover in your fridge, just waiting to become a science project? Yes? Then this dish is for you.

 Quick & Easy Pasta with "Meat" Sauce. No, it isn't the epitome of healthy, whole food...though it does have kale! I was at Costco the other day and I came across this Gardein Meatless Ground and I was quick to snatch it up! I've never had it before! I'm very into trying new foods...or foodish foods.

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I was so excited to tell Todd that we were having pasta with a "meat" sauce. He was obviously very excited about this as well. However, halfway through making it, he sauntered through the kitchen, stopping over my shoulder and and exclaimed, "Oh no! Kale made it in there!?" Heh heh. He can't escape my sneaky healthiness, no dish is safe from the kale! Even desserts. Anyways, this is a lazy man's recipe for sure but with a healthy little kick. Super quick, super easy, and super delicious. I assume this is what Hamburger Helper would be like, if I had ever had it. I know it's not going to win any "Most Creative Recipe" awards but hey, I would have never known about nutritional yeast with toast unless a friend hadn't mentioned it! So, here you go.

 

Quick & Easy Pasta With "Meat" Sauce

Inspired by my own lazy bones Serves 4

  • 1 18 oz. package of pasta (any type will do)
  • generous sprinkle of salt
  • half a 24 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce (12 oz. total), or make your own but that would really defeat the purpose of this recipe)
  • 1 13 oz.package of Gardein Meatless Ground
  • 2 large handfuls of baby kale, spinach, or green of choice

So, in case you live under a rock (or had a very nurturing mother) and don't know how to make pasta....boil enough water for all your pasta, seasoning it with a generous sprinkle of salt. When the water reaches a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package. Whew! After the pasta is added to the boiling water, heat a large frying pan and spray it with a nonstick cooking spray. Add the pasta sauce and the meatless ground (I'm still weirded out saying "meatless ground") , breaking it apart as it cooks over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the kale. Cook over medium-low until the kale is wilted, about the time it takes the pasta to cook. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and return it to it's pot. Add in the meat and kale mixture to the pasta and stir to combine. Serve it up hot! I sprinkled mine with nutritional yeast, obvs. Is this homemade, vegan Hamburger Helper? I'll never know...but it sure was delicious. Produce On Parade: Quick & Easy Pasta with "Meat" SauceTodd loved it, even with the dreaded kale. It's a work in progress.

Quick & Easy Pasta with "Meat" Sauce
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 4
Have a half empty jar of pasta sauce leftover in your fridge, just waiting to become a science project? Yes? Then this pasta with "meat" sauce is for you.
Ingredients
  • 1 18 oz. package of pasta (any type will do)
  • generous sprinkle of salt
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • half a 24 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce (12 oz. total)
  • 1 13 oz.package of Gardein Meatless Ground
  • 2 large handfuls of baby kale, spinach, or green of choice
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package.
  2. Spray a large frying pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Add meatless ground and pasta sauce and breaking apart the ground while cooking. After a couple minutes add the kale.
  4. Continue to cook over medium-low until the kale is wilted.
  5. Drain the pasta and return it to it's pot.
  6. Add in the meat and kale mixture and stir to combine.