My Easy Cheezy Peazy Pasta Balls are just as they sound! This super easy recipe is packed with nutritional yeast based "cheeze", plump green peas and Israeli couscous pasta balls. You can whip this recipe up in under 25 minutes.
Kid-Approved! This vegan recipe is kid-approved (for kids of all ages - I inhaled this bowl!). The 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, add in a pinch of saffron to the boiling water, for an extra layer of exotic, sweet flavor.
Kids, peas aren't so bad when they are "cheezy".
Israeli Couscous. It's trendy now. Those plump little balls of semolina pasta. They are fun. Different. And while I have yet to find spelt, whole wheat or quinoa Israeli Couscous, I am having fun experimenting with the classic variety. I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy the texture, but I do. Fun to pair with peas, which are similarly round. It's like a rolly polly bowl of pasta n veggie balls. Fun.
Dry Israeli Couscous:
N.Y.C Style Pasta. I hate saying "Nutritional Yeast Cheese" in my recipes - but really that's exactly what my vegan "cheezy" base usually is! And it's healthy-delicious. So maybe I should just say NYC style, aka "Nutritional Yeast Cheeze". What do ya think?
EZ Recipe!! Oh an 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
1 bag of frozen organic peas (16 oz.)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/3 cups Israeli Couscous
2 1/2 cups water
2 tsp garlic powder
3+ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
salt to taste/ 1/2 tsp pepper
optional: a pinch of saffron (adults will LOVE this) and/or cayenne
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.
Toasting Couscous in Hot Pan with Oil:
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 running them under hot water for 5 minutes.
Fluffing Cooked Couscous:
Adding the Peas:
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.
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!