VGF Black Bean Pasta Primavera

Everyone knows there are a ton of different pasta noodles to choose from. Spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, rotini, macaroni, etc. etc. etc. For me, there is only one problem with that. I need gluten-free options, and pasta is traditionally made from wheat. I’m also vegan, so finding a pasta that doesn’t use eggs.

When my wife and I first went vegan, there were a few gluten-free options, but not really any that are both. This black bean pasta from Trader Joe’s is not only both vegan and gluten-free, but it’s also organic. In fact, it has one ingredient: Organic Black Bean Flour. That’s it!

For this recipe, I also threw in a ‘secret ingredient’ that I would bet hardly any of those who read this have ever had. Why? Because it is typically throw away, or tossed in the compost pile. Yet, it has the same amount of protein as kale, but with less calories per serving. What is it?

Broccoli leaves! (click here to see a nutritional comparison between raw broccoli leaves and raw kale)

Here’s how I made this dish:


  • 12 ounce package of Trader Joe’s Organic Black Bean Rotini
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • small handful of asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 small zucchini, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 10 to 12 broccoli leaves
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast


Set a pot of water to boil. Add salt and oil to the water. When it boils, add the black bean pasta and stir to prevent clumping. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally.

Heat 1 TBSP of the olive oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. When it begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring to prevent it from browning too dark. Add in the red bell pepper and the stiffer parts of the asparagus spears. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes more.

Stack the broccoli leaves on top of each other, largest ones first, then roll them lengthwise and chop into thin strips. Add these to the skillet, along with the oregano, parsley, onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine the seasonings, then taste and adjust if needed.

When the pasta is done, drain the water and immediately rinse the noodles with cold water for a few seconds to prevent them from sticking together. Finally, add the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Stir to blend, then add the black bean pasta and toss to coat. Serve with vegan parmesan and your favorite organic wine.

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