I have been very busy in the kitchen experimenting and I’m super excited about the dishes that I have been creating lately. Most of them are unique but full of flavor, like my Jamaican Jerk Butternut Squash Fries and Gluten-Free Black Bean Pizza.
This Vegan One Pot Taco Spaghetti recipe also has a special ingredient and it is pigeon peas. Pigeon peas is a legume that is popular in Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
Pigeon peas are very nutritious and they have a lot of health benefits., They are high in protein, fiber, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium. They contain important amino acids namely methionine, lysine, and tryptophan.
- Methionine – Important for cell function, fights free radicals in the body, improves wound healing and protects the liver.
- Lysine – Known to treat cold sores, reduce anxiety, prevent herpes.
- Tryptophan – Known for its beneficial relief of depression, anxiety, irritable bowel disease, insomnia.
Growing up in Jamaica, my mom always planted pigeon peas. She would use it to make traditional rice and peas similar to my Jamaican Rice and Peas recipe.
Fortunately, it can be found in most mainstream supermarkets here in the US in the International aisles. It is sold canned, frozen or dried. I’m happy that pigeon peas can be grown here in Florida. I hope to grow some this year.
Somehow the taste reminds me of brown/green lentils. So you can substitute cooked brown or green lentils in this recipe.
I used the pigeon peas with walnuts as a meat substitute, I then sauteed onion, garlic and added seasonings with tomatoes. Spaghetti with water was added and cooked to create this delicious recipe.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup pigeon peas, black eyed peas or lentils (cooked) and liquid drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos, coconut aminos or Tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1-14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 41/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounce spaghetti, (I used brown rice)
- Place walnuts and cooked pigeon peas in a food processor, pulse until crumbly but not smooth.
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add walnut/pigeon peas mixture, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt and liquid aminos.
- Cook until mixture begins to brown, about 5 minutes, while stirring periodically.
- Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes, spaghetti, and water. Cover pot, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer until spaghetti is aldente., about 20 minutes. Stirring in occasionally
- Delicious served warm with salad.