In the past I’ve made this dish with chicken sausage, but since it is Meatless May, I swapped the chicken out and used Navy Beans instead. I’ve been using Navy Beans a lot this year as a substitute for meat due to these three health benefits:
1) Navy beans are low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Beware: canned beans can include huge amounts of sodium, so look at nutritional info for canned items – stick to no / low sodium canned beans or find them in a box (or better yet, dried beans, which I still need to try myself).
2) They are rich with tryptophan, an amino acid credited for making you sleepy after eating Thanksgiving Turkey. Tryptophan can help with deep sleep and calmness, so if you suffer from insomnia or restlessness, adding foods with tryptophan like Navy Bean may help.
3) Navy Beans have a low glycemic index, so the do not trigger spikes in blood sugar levels and this helps manage sugar cravings.
Baked Penne with Navy Beans and Broccoli
Ingredients / Nutrition Information:
- Cook penne pasta according to directions
- Heat oven to 350
- Dice the onions and broccoli
- Sautée diced onion with salt and pepper and olive oil for 2-4 minutes over medium heat
- Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste with onion and stir evenly
- Drain navy beans then stir into the red sauce
- When pasta is done, drain and add back to pot
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir evenly
- Pour the sauced pasta into a baking dish
- Slice the balls of mozzarella into quarters and place evenly across the pasta
- Top with broccoli florets, spritz with olive oil and a little black pepper
- Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan on top
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until broccoli is nicely roasted
Question for you: What is your favorite meat substitute?