I was really fussy as a kid. One of the only things I’d order at restaurants was fettuccini alfredo. I still sometimes fantasize about that creamy goodness. But, there’s no denying it, my body would revolt against that kind of food now. There’s really nothing good about regular fettuccini alfredo. In fact, it’s one big plate of nutritionally void, refined wheat and excessive saturated fat. So, I searched high and low and found a way to prepare this classic, mouthwatering dish that is not only healthy, but tastes like heaven. (Thanks to the lovely McKel Hill over at Nutrition Stripped. She always inspires me with her killer recipes. This is my version of her vegan alfredo sauce).
I swear by this recipe! It’s dairy-free, wheat-free and it’s good for you because it’s made with all-star ingredients like cauliflower, nutritional yeast and cashews. I’ve highlighted some good facts about nutritional yeast below. Since I’ve been making this vegan alfredo sauce it’s become one of the most requested dinners on the menu at home.
You can get all sorts of healthy, whole grain, pastas at most grocery and health-food shops. There’s everything from brown rice, to quinoa, to kamut. Try experimenting with different kinds to find a taste and texture that you like. For this recipe, I used a quinoa spaghetti, but you can honestly use anything. In fact, this vegan alfredo sauce could be used to coat any of your favourite veggies or baked in a casserole.
- 3 cup cauliflower (one small head)
- 1 cup cashews (soaked at least 30 minutes)
- ½ cup macadamia nuts (soaked at least 30 minutes)
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt (sea or Himalayan)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil for cooking
- ¼ cup white or yellow onions (diced)
- 3 large cloves of garlic (minced)
- Soak both macadamia nuts and cashews in water for at least 30 minutes or until softened. Discard water.
- Rough chop cauliflower and steam in
steamerbasket until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Heat saucepan on med/high heat. Add oil, onions and garlic and sauté until tender.
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor. (note: a food processor won’t puree as smoothly. I ended up finishing in my blender to make the sauce velvety smooth. If too thick, add more almond milk or water to reach desired consistency.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. (I used quinoa pasta).
- Add desired amount of alfredo sauce to pasta and mix thoroughly.
- Top with salt and pepper to taste, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil if you want!
You’ll hear a lot of superfoodies and vegans talking about nutritional yeast, also lovingly referred to as “hippie dust” That’s because of its great cheesy flavour and the fact that it’s packed with nutrients like B12, protein and fibre.
It’s an inactive yeast so can be incorporated into specific diets that avoid other kinds of active yeasts. Vegans love it because they can get a good dose of B12, which is typically only found in animal products. Just 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, however, provides an adult with a full day’s supply of this critical vitamin. And 2 tablespoons will give you 9 grams of protein! That’s more than an egg! Yes, it has a weird name, but it is really tasty. Once you start using it, you’ll be hooked.
No one would know this was dairy free and full of nutrients! Trust me. Play a trick on your friends, family and kids. Don’t tell them it’s vegan and see how much they love it. Then, tell me all about it. This recipe is quick and easy and it makes quite a lot of sauce. You can easily freeze leftovers for a few months. It thaws nicely by just placing the frozen container (glass is best) in some hot water for a few minutes so you can transfer to a pot to reheat. Change it up! Add extra veggies for even more goodness. Peas or broccoli would be amazing! Try different herbs on top like sage, basil or chives. Even add additional nutritional yeast or crushed nuts and a drizzle of olive oil for a flavour and texture boost.
I know you’re stoked to make this! So, get at it! And let me know how it goes. Jump online and post your pics with the hashtag #somegoodfood. Tag me @kimdeoncom and share your thoughts with me over on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. See you there.
Happy noodle slurping!
Recipe adapted from the gorgeous and talented Nutrition Stripped.