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Tangy and Spicy Vegetarian Whole Wheat Pasta

Updated on February 2, 2015
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As a certified health and wellness coach, I love discussing food, health benefits, and how to keep weight in check.

Tangy and Spicy Pasta

Dig into this healthy vegetarian penne dish---no guilt, just sheer pleasure.
Dig into this healthy vegetarian penne dish---no guilt, just sheer pleasure.

Tangy and Spicy Vegetarian Whole Wheat Pasta—that sounds like a mouthful. I was trying to put every description in what makes this dish totally appetizing and everything it says it is. No bologna—it has all pure ingredients with all the wholesome goodness of freshness and taste.

This dish is very easy to prepare—you can’t go wrong and you can even make it with your eyes half closed, if you want to. Its health index is high when you consider the ingredients. Whole wheat pasta, as we know, helps to regulate blood sugar level, so you don’t get the sugar rush of regular carbohydrates. Health experts will tell you that whole grain helps with weight control—fills you up and keeps you full longer. Korean chili pepper is a thermogenic spice—burns fats and raises metabolic rate. Lemon juice gives zest and lots of antioxidants. If I’m sounding like a nutritional prude…I know…I’ll stop right here and just get on with the recipe. I’m sure you can google the health benefits of sesame oil, cilantro, tomatoes and whatever.


  • Half a pack of whole wheat pasta, cooked according to directions on package
  • 1 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 sprigs of green onion, chopped
  • ½ an onion (can be brown, white or purple), chopped


  •   2 tablespoons of vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • Juice of one big lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of Korean Chili flakes (or cayenne pepper, adjust more or less according to your spice tolerance)
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • A splash of water , so pasta is nice and moist.

There you have it--the simplest thing you'll ever have to make and it doesn't require the culianary clever of Emeril Lagasse. You can whip it up in no time and impress members of your family, friends, even your mother-in-law (if you have one).


  • If you stumble upon this hub, even though you're a sworn meat eater, don't buzz off. Just add cooked meat and toss. Enjoy!
  • Don't like the selection of herbs? Pick your own--mint, paisley, basil, chives, etc. Dried herbs will do as well.
  • Don't have the seasonings at hand? What do you have in your spice rack? Un-rack them and have a blast.
  • Allergic to sesame oil? Try olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil.
  • Don't like whole wheat pasta? You can substitute it with refined pasta,but eating whole wheat pasta is like trading your clunkers for cash (maybe, not quite) but it will enrich your health for sure.

Health Benefits of Whole Grain

Whole grains are grains that have not been refined, so they are naturally higher in fiber and nutrient content (think selenium, potassium, manganese and magnesium). Examples of whole grains include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, popcorn, whole what bread, pasta or crackers and wild rice.

Health Benefits:

  • Helps Weight Loss. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that weight gain is inversely associated with high-fiber intake such as whole grain foods.
  • Reduces Risk of Metabolic Syndrome. Studies cited in Diabetes Care revealed that eating whole grain foods can reduce risks of metabolic syndrome.
  • Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk. Whole grains are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps to regulate the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.
  • Alleviates Symptoms of Diverticular Disease. Helps to relieve symptoms related to diverticular disease such as pain, nausea, flatulence, distension and constipation.

Creating the sauce

Can you guess what's in this organized mess? Vegetarian oyster sauce, Korean Chili flakes, sugar, garlic salt, sesame oil, lemon juice.
Can you guess what's in this organized mess? Vegetarian oyster sauce, Korean Chili flakes, sugar, garlic salt, sesame oil, lemon juice. | Source

Health Benefits of Chili Pepper

What makes chili pepper so special apart from its ability to make you cry? It has a secret ingredient called capsaicin that gives chili pepper its fiery hit. However, more than just a spice to lend your food some edge, chili pepper packs a punch when it comes to enriching your health:

  • Reduces Pain. Capsaicin is anti-inflammatory. It inhibits substance P, a substance associated with pain. Consider what this translates to --capsaicin helps reduce pain associated with sensory nerve fiber disorders such as arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy. Several studies showed that the application of topical capsaicin can help to reduce arthritic pain. Along this line, it also helps to relieve headaches and migraines.
  • Fights Cardiovascular Diseases. To reduce risks of cardiovascular disease, it is best to reduce bad cholesterol level, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. Capsaicin can help you do that—cultures that consume lots of chili pepper have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary complications.
  • Fights Cancer. According to Dr. Lehmann, MD, Ph.D., “Cancer has a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture.” Simply put, capsaicin causes prostate cancer cells to kill themselves.
  • Reduce Weight. A dash of chili pepper can rev up your metabolism and help burn off fats. The heat generated by the spice is a burning mechanism by itself.
  • Fights Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion. If your nose is clogged, consider eating foods with chili pepper. It has the ability to stimulate secretions that clears the nasty mucus from your nose, thereby clearing the nasal passage. What’s more? It also contains anti-bacterial agents that fight chronic sinus infections.

Assembling the Pasta dish

Put penne pasta, green onion, cilantro, chopped tomatoes in--ready to toss.
Put penne pasta, green onion, cilantro, chopped tomatoes in--ready to toss.

All Ready to Serve.

Dig in or.....
Dig in or.....

Small Portion Size

Or portion control, if you're watching your waistline.
Or portion control, if you're watching your waistline.

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