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Delicious Iron packed pasta primeverra

Iron is an essential mineral needed by the body for a number of functions, including:

  • Transport of oxygen around the body, including the brain

  • Helping to make red blood cells

  • Maintaining enzyme function

  • Maintaining a healthy immune system

Vegetarians and vegans require a higher intake of iron compared to the general population due to the lower absorption rates from non-haem iron. This adds up to be 1.8x the recommended daily intake of Iron compared to non-vegans - This equates to approximately 32mg of iron for vegan/vegetarian females compared to 18mg for females who consume animal products.

GENERAL POPULATION Males 19-50: 8mg/day Females 19-50: 18mg/day VEGETARIAN/VEGAN Males 19-50: 14.4mg/day Females 19-50: 32.4mg/day

Eating foods with lots of vitamin C can help your body to absorb iron. These foods include citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pawpaw, melons, as well as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli, and capsicum.

This delicious plant-based pasta dish is rich in both iron and vitamin C. It contains just over 10mg of Iron per serving!

The secret to getting this dish to have an incredible amount of iron? Textured Vegetable Protein, also known as TVP. Yes, this simple ingredient that is only $2 per bag is a rich source of nutrients including iron, protein and zinc. TVP is a staple in my pantry, it is quick and easy to use and tastes delicious when added to the right dishes.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 Packet of pulse pasta (i.e: Red lentil/chickpea/pea etc)

100g Textured vegetable Protein (Dry weight)

1 Bag of baby spinach

2 Capsicum

2 Zucchini

1/2 cup black olives, sliced

1-2 bottles of passata sauce

1 Onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 tsp dried parsley

Basil, fresh

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: Nutritional Yeast to top


For the Sauce

1. Chop onion and garlic and saute in a saucepan in olive oil until translucent. Add 1-2 bottles of passata as well as dried parsley, fresh basil, salt and pepper.

2. Cook on a low flame for 1 hour, stirring frequently. About 45 minutes into the cooking process, prepare the TVP by pouring boiling water over the dried TVP in a bowl and allowing to sit until all of the water has been absorbed. Once absorbed, add the TVP to the sauce and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.

For the pasta:

  1. Chop vegetables into thin slices and sautee in a large saucepan in olive oil, add the spinach and cook until softened.

  2. In the meantime, cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain and mix the pasta into the vegetable mixture. Pour the sauce mixture over the top

  3. Serve in a large bowl and add desired toppings - enjoy!

Nutritional Information (Per serve)

Energy: 465 calories

Protein: 35g

Fat, total: 10g

Fat, Saturated: 3.0g

Carbohydrates: 55g

Sugar: 15g

Fibre: 14g

Iron: 10 mg

Zinc: 1.5mg

Author: This blog post was written by Melissa D'Elia (APD)

Book your free discovery call now to find out how Melissa can assist you.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with your Dietitian or GP for individualised advice.

Copyright: 2022 Sprout Nutrition & Dietetics.

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