I heart alfredo sauce and have missed it sorely since I stopped consuming animal bits. Although the interwebs turned up a few plant-based recipes, none of them were quite able to fill the sauce-shaped hole that buttery, creamy, traditional Alfredo had left in my heart.
After my fabulous boss and friend, Marsha, emailed me a pasta recipe that used cauliflower and white beans as a sauce base, I was inspired.
Turns out, aside from being totes good for you, cauliflower can bring the bam to a whole host of recipes (also, just so we’re clear, I don’t care if I’m nearing 30, I’m going to keep saying “totes.” And you can’t stop me). And white beans also pack a serious nutritional punch, especially when it comes to protein, fiber and antioxidants.
Using those two veggies as my foundation, I Frankenstein-ed my own ideal plant-based Alfredo, complete with not one but two vegan cheezes.
Plus, while this is not quite an oil-free recipe (thanks a lot, Daiya mozzarella I just couldn’t part with), it is very low in oil. Where once I would have used four tablespoons of olive oil, I chose vegetable broth and silken tofu. So, this oil-lite sauce contains only 60 fat calories from oil, versus a whopping 480. And Aunt B’s booty is thankful.
Cauliflower-powered mushroom Alfredo
Makes about 4 cups of sauce
- 2 cups of Cauliflower (about half a head), cut into large florets
- 1 cup white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 4 Tbsp vegetable broth, divided
- 2 Tbsp silken tofu
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheeze (if you don’t have or want store bought, here’s a super-fast and easy recipe at Veggieful.com that I used)
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheeze (I used Daiya)
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 1 large Toscana kale frond, cut into thin, ribbon-like strips (double this if you’re cooking for two)
- ½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms (double this if you’re cooking for two)
- Pasta (I rock the whole wheat linguine)
- Either make your own parmesan cheeze and leave it in the food processor/blender, or pour your store-bought cheeze in there.
- Boil the cauliflower in a medium-to-large-size sauce pan for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s soft.
- While your cauliflower is boiling, sauté the shallots and garlic in two tablespoons of vegetable broth until they’re soft and yellowing. If they start to stick, add a little more broth or water.
- Plop the cooked and drained cauliflower in the food processor or blender, along with the shallots, garlic, beans, milk, tofu, mozzarella, and white pepper and process until you have a smooth sauce.
- After you cook and drain your pasta, put it back in the pot and carefully mix in your sauce.
- Season to taste with sea salt.
- Sauté the mushrooms in the other two tablespoons of veggie broth before folding them into the pasta, along with the kale, and heating the whole lot through.
- Serve yourself the yummiest cholesterol-free Alfredo I have ever tasted, being sure to send good vibes my way.
If you made this a meal for one (as I did), you’re going to have about three cups of sauce left over (lucky you). Store it in an airtight container in your fridge, and it’ll keep for a week or so.
As my beautiful roommate Brynn said upon having a taste of this sauce, “you can put this on anything.” And I plan to — broccoli, asparagus, boots. Got any other ideas? I’d love to hear ’em.