Updated: Jan 19
Yes, you read that right, a good for your Alfredo sauce! I used to joke and say Fettuccine I"m afraid of, lol. The regular dairy, high fat version is so bad for you in my humble opinion; high dairy fat, white flour, a ton of calories and did I mention the amount of butter used? Look, I'm not trying to shame anyone or make you feel bad about eating this stuff, but wanted to open your eyes to other alternatives you can make instead of using regular Alfredo sauce.. I know, I know, some critics might be saying, "Chef Jenn" things in moderation are ok", yes that is true, but choosing the right things to eat in moderation, that is key. If you look back at my past, I consumed meat, dairy and every animal product under the sun. It wasn't until I was out of culinary school, I was always feeling so bad, physically. Bloated, brain fog, exhaustion, stomach upset, joint pain and the list goes on and on. A trip to the doctor and numerous tests later, I was diagnosed with a dairy and gluten allergy. So for the past 12 years I've been gluten and dairy free. It wasn't until 2 years ago I gave up meat completely. I can tell you, I've never felt better. When I launched my cookbook, "She Cooks, She Scores" 6 years ago, half the recipes in the cookbook used meat, dairy and other animal products. I was more concerned with what the "masses" wanted to see and forgot about what I truly believed in. Since that launch, I've learned to go with my gut (no pun intended,, lol) and take what I've learned, share to the world how food affects our bodies in so many ways. It all starts with the food we consume. Just think back when you eat "bad" foods; fried, greasy, high sugar, meat loaded meals. You feel tired, bloated, headache and that unbutton your pants stomach upset feeling. Now flip to the other side when you eat good foods; high energy, clear mind, electricity running through you body and focused. Now which one do you want all the time? Mmmmmm can't believe I even have to ask that question, lol... I'm sure all of you just yelled, "Good Food"! Well you've come to the right place for that. Let's start with a "good for you" recipe today, Pumpkin Sage Cashew Alfredo Spinach GF pasta. The base for the recipe is cashew cream. That's what makes up the Alfredo sauce. I usually make a few quarts of this cream and keep in my fridge for a few weeks. It's uses are endless; mac and cheese sauce, Alfredo sauce, all cream base sauces, creamy dressings, cream base soups, sour cream, ricotta and the list goes on and on. The best thing about this recipe, the "Alfredo" sauce is so rich and creamy, you can truly fool anyone into thinking its the real thing. I actually did that. My father thought I had made him a decadent Alfredo sauce and when he was done eating, I told him there was completely no dairy. He was speechless. Love it, Success!!
Pumpkin Sage Parmesan Cashew Alfredo GF pasta with Beyond Sausage, Kale, Radicchio, Charred Tomatoes
3T Olive oil
2 - 3 beyond meat sausage links, thawed (any flavor)
1 package Gluten free spinach pasta or regular spinach pasta, preferably fresh
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1T chopped fresh garlic
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup cashew cream (see recipe below)
1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
1/3 cup vegan parmesan, shredded or powder
1T nutritional yeast
1/4 cup white wine* (If you don't want to use wine, just replace with water or stock)
2T chopped sage, fresh
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup chopped radicchio
2 cup chopped kale
Garnish with fresh basil
In sauté pan, heat olive oil on high heat. Add beyond sausage links, lower heat to medium and cook until golden brown and crispy.
Turn off heat, remove sausage to a clean plate and set aside to cool. Once sausage cools, cut into slices. Reserve the oil from sausage in small metal bowl or glass jar. No need to wash pan.
Make pasta according to package instructions. Drain and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
In sauté pan, add back into pan 2-3T of the sausage fat. Heat on high. Add onions, lower heat to medium high and cook for 4-6 minutes until onions are soft. Add garlic and incorporate together. Add tomatoes and cook for 4-6 minutes. Add sausage slices in and heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add cashews cream and incorporate with all ingredients. Add stock/water and incorporate together. Add parmesan, nutritional yeast, wine (optional), sage, pumpkin puree and garlic salt..Also if you can't have wine, omit this ingredient and just add 1/4 cup more stock/water. Mix all together. If sauce is too thick add a little more water or stock. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cooks. Add kale and radicchio and incorporate. Add cooked pasta and mix all together until everything is coated with sauce. If sauce is too thick, just add more stock/water. Garnish with more vegan parmesan and fresh basil. Enjoy immediately.
Cashew Cream Base:
14 oz cashews (unsalted)
1-3/4 cup filtered water
1 whole large lemon, squeezed
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt or your favorite sea salt
Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Put in airtight container and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.