Tag Archives: pasta

Cauliflower-powered mushroom Alfredo

13 Mar

Cauliflower alfredo with mushrooms and kale chiffonade.

Made with veggies and magic.

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.

Until now.

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.

Cauliflower Clark Kent

Get me a phone booth and I’ll turn into Super Man. True Story.

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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Alfredo time!

  1. Either make your own parmesan cheeze and leave it in the food processor/blender, or pour your store-bought cheeze in there.
  2. Boil the cauliflower in a medium-to-large-size sauce pan for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s soft.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. After you cook and drain your pasta, put it back in the pot and carefully mix in your sauce.
  6. Season to taste with sea salt.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Bon appetit!

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Mama mia! Vegan spaghetti pie

25 Jan

Spaghetti pie

A pie made out of spaghetti. And it’s vegan. Now you’ve seen it all.

Me and my mama.

Me and the mama.

If you could translate a hug into food, it would probably become spaghetti pie. It’s warm, comforting, familiar, simple and, like the very best embraces, noodley. (Note: I may have abnormal hug preferences).

The story of spaghetti pie begins with my mother, who I am like in most every way. We both love classic films and jet-fuel-strength black coffee. We both become apoplectic in crowded situations. And we also both have a tendency to burst into made-up-on-the-spot lyrics when frustrated. In short, we are both a little odd (and okay with it).

Little Lloyd Dobbler

This is Little Lloyd Dobbler. To be fair, you’d spoil him too.

My mama does not, however, share my love of cooking.

She’s good at it, no doubt, but would just rather focus her energies in other areas, such as spoiling her dog rotten.

So when I was growing up and she did spend time in the kitchen, what resulted was usually a treat. One of my very favorite dishes was spaghetti pie, probably because it’s also a bit of an oddball. Noodles in a dessert dish? Wah?

At my mom’s genius suggestion, I devised a vegan version of this comfort food champion for all of us plant-eaters, replacing cottage cheese with crumbled tofu, swapping in vegan butter for the cow kind, and calling for egg and meat substitutes.

For the meaty part you could use chopped mushrooms, seitan, or vegan beef crumbles.

I chose to use a combination of baby bella mushrooms and diced up Tofurky Italian sausage, which I am kind of obsessed with.

Serves 6

Ingredients

Ingredients

Your ingredients stand at the ready.

  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance is uh-may-zing)
  • 2 flax eggs (Dissolve 2 Tbsps ground flax seed in 1/2 cup super hot water, then set in fridge for 15 minutes to thicken)
  • 1 cup drained and pressed tofu, squished through your fingers until it resembles cottage cheese
  • 1 pound vegan beef substitute (I used finely diced Tofurky Italian sausage)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (I am a member of the Daiya cult)
  • A couple shakes of Italian seasoning, if you so desire

Build a Pie

Noodle crust and tofu "cheese" base.

This here is your noodle crust and tofu “cheese” base.

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions and drain.
  2. Mix your butter into the still-hot spaghetti until it’s all melted.
  3. Stir in the flax eggs until the noodles are coated.
  4. Place the mixture in a buttered 10-inch pie pan/tin, and form it into a crust-like shape.
  5. Spread the crumbled tofu over the bottom of your spaghetti crust.
  6. Cook up your meat replacement of choice in a skillet, along with the onions, mushrooms and peppers, over medium heat until the meat replacer is browned and the veggies are soft.
  7. Add the spaghetti sauce and heat the mixture through.
  8. Pour the skillet mixture into the pie pan, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the pie with the mozzarella cheese and some Italian seasoning, if you wish, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and browning and calling your name.

That’s it! Let it cool for about 10 minutes before digging into your very own noodly hug.

Bon appetit!

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