Kid-Approved! This vegan recipe is kid-approved, and adult-embraced too. I adore the flavor and texture of this dish. The way the pasta absorbs the dry nutritional yeast and spices and makes for a flavor-infused, creamy-ish, nutty, rustic pasta dish – paired with the sweetness of healthy green peas.
This NYC-style pasta (NYC = Nutritional Yeast Cheeze) is nutty, creamy and packed with zesty, sharp “cheeze” flavor. And did I mention Nutritional Yeast is uber-healthy? Who needs Mac/Cheese when you can say “Easy Cheezy Peazy Pasta Please!”…
The Flavors & Nutrition. Savory “cheezy” couscous pasta balls are coated in healthy nutritional yeast (facts) and a hint of sweet garlic. Protein and fiber-rich peas mingle and dance along side the pasta balls creating a fun and savory bowl that kids *of all ages* will love.
Serve it with a spoon and dive in.
Adults try this: add in a pinch of saffron to the boiling water, for an extra layer of exotic, sweet flavor.
Kids: See, peas aren’t so bad when they are “cheezy!”
Israeli Couscous. So fun to pair with peas, which are similarly round. It’s like a rolly polly bowl of pasta and veggie balls.
Oh and did I mention how easy this recipe is? Only 5 main ingredients (not including water/salt/pepper)..
Easy Cheezy Peazy Pasta Balls
vegan, makes 6 cups
½ – 1 16oz. bag of frozen organic peas (or use fresh, cooked peas)
1-2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ⅓ cups Israeli Couscous, dry
2 ½ cups water
2 teaspoon garlic powder
⅓ cup+ Nutritional Yeast (Add as much as you’d like really)
salt & pepper to taste
* Pinch of saffron added to pasta pot while boiing
* For extra creamy pasta fold in a spoonful of Vegenaise before serving
salt to taste/ ½ teaspoon pepper
optional: a pinch of saffron (adults will LOVE this) and/or cayenne
Gluten Free: You could use gf pasta OR substitute the pasta with any variety of grain like: rice, barley or farro.
1. Place the extra virgin olive oil and the dry couscous into a large pasta pot. Turn on heat. Stir continuously and toast couscous over heat for 3-5 minutes – just until the couscous becomes slightly browned.
2. Add in the water, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt/pepper and optional pinch of saffron. Stir well. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and let slow boil for 10 minutes. (If the heat is too hot, the oil will burn the couscous on the bottom of the pan.)
4. When the 10 minutes are up, turn off heat but DO NOT remove lid yet. Let pot sit, covered for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Remove lid, fluff hot couscous with fork and add the frozen peas (I like to thaw mine a bit by rinsing them in hot water for a few minutes.
6. Fold the cold peas into the hot pasta balls. The hot pasta will that and ‘cook’ the peas mildly. Cover with lid and let sit for another 2 minutes. Warm in oven or microwave if desired. Fold in optional Vegenaise for extra creamy texture. Salt, pepper and added veggies, herbs or spices to taste.
Serving Notes: Serve with a spoon. You can add in additional nutritional yeast if you’d like an extra cheezy flavor. Extra EVOO (or some decadent vegan buttery spread) is also approved. And if you’d like to warm the pasta/peas up further you can warm them covered, over low-medium heat for ten minutes.
Delicious hot, warm or cold!