Vegan pasta with kale and butter beans for lunch on Meatless Monday

As the temperature drops, it's smart to blend your leafy greens with something a little more substantial to stave off the cold. Butter beans and pasta are two good options -- you can use rice or quinoa if you're gluten-free, and cannelli or kidney beans are also good substitutes for butter beans. This recipe was adapted from Moosewood New Classics (which uses broccoli rabe instead of kale).

See also: - Southwestern-style quinoa salad for a lunchtime protein punch on Meatless Monday - White beans and kale with parsnips on Meatless Monday - Mediterranean pasta salad for a lighter meal on Meatless Monday

You will need: 1 1/2 pounds kale 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 6-7 cloves garlic 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 15.5-ounce can butter beans (or substitute), drained 1 pound pasta, preferably curly or ruffled 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes Rawmesan or nutritional yeast flakes to taste (vegetarians can use sharp provolone or pecorino romano)

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

1. Rinse the kale thoroughly, remove the stems and tear into small pieces. You will have a giant pile of kale -- don't worry, it'll cook down. 2. Peel the garlic cloves. 3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get warm. 4. Press the garlic into the skillet. 5. Add the kale, a handful at a time, letting it cook down as you add more. By now your water should be boiling; add the pasta and cook for 8 to 12 minutes, until it's al dente. Keep cooking the kale until it's bright green and tender. 6. Chop the tomatoes. 7. Add the beans and red pepper flakes to the kale, stir and turn off the heat. 8. Drain the cooked pasta and add the tomatoes. Add the kale mixture and toss together. Sprinkle with Rawmesan, nutritional yeast flakes or cheese, if desired.

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