Aileen made this super healthy pasta sauce for a potluck with friends. What to make was a bit of a challenge. One – it had to taste good; and two – her friends have a mix of food allergies. She came up with creamy pasta sauce à la Alfredo.
Instead of cups of cream, it calls for cashew nut butter and cauliflower – creamy but with more protein and with healthier fat in healthy amounts. Go ahead, do yourself a favour and eat ’til you’re full!
Her creamy pasta had lots of flavour for the crowd, and her friend who is allergic to dairy got to join in the fun. Aileen boiled up gluten-free pasta for another friend and that took care of all her buddies.
This recipe is vegan and calls for vegetable stock. I have made a version with chicken stock and it worked out well. Your stock quality makes a big difference. We don’t always have homemade stock in the house. For years I’ve bought packaged organic stock, but it tastes nothing like our rich, delicious homemade. I’ve come to think that processors pass a chicken or a veggie under a tap, boil the heck out of it, and stick it into a shelf-stable box. I use good bouillon now when homemade isn’t available. –More flavour, similar nutrition and less cost. Enough preaching already! Here’s the recipe.
Adapted from McKel at Nutrition Stripped
- 3 c cauliflower (about 1 small head)
- 1½ c cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 tbsp cooking Oil
- ½ c Onions, diced
- 5 small cloves Garlic, minced (approx. 2 tbsp)
- 1 c unsweetened, Non-Dairy Milk, such as Hemp, Coconut, Almond or Soy
- ⅓ c Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp Salt, to taste
- 1 tsp ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 c Vegetable Broth
- Soak cashews in water overnight. Discard soaking water.
- Steam cauliflower until tender, 6-8 mins.
- In a large pan, add the oil, onions and garlic. Sauté on medium heat until onions are transparent. Do not burn the garlic.
- Combine the almond milk and cauliflower in a blender. Gradually add all of the remaining ingredients except for the broth. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add broth to the blender, 1 cup at a time. Sauce will change from pasty to creamy.
- Flavourful broth makes a difference! Prepackaged broths have their own distinctive flavour, and they don't always enhance the dish or impart nutrition. If homemade is not on hand at our house, I reconstitute a good bouillon cube.
- Total time does not include soaking time for cashews
A Note to you: Your pasta sauce will come out thinner and creamier than the photos. I’d already shot the pictures before deciding that I way prefer the flavour and creamy texture that comes from adding broth. Also we have a stick blender. If you have a Cadillac Vitamix, you’ll get a smoother texture.
Give it a whirl! Creamy pasta à la Alfredo is quick enough for a weekday meal.
A healthier YOU Next Year Principle
Food is love. Share it with people who are important to you. Potlucks are great that way.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
J. R. R. Tolkien, Author of Lord of the Rings