Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dairy Free Alfredo Tortellini Pesto Pasta - yum!

Do you love the taste and texture of a rich, creamy Alfredo white sauce but hate the bloated, lethargic feeling you experience afterwards? If so, this 100% dairy-free recipe might be for you! I have a sensitivity to dairy and have heard amazing things about using Raw Cashews as a substitute. Cashews have been heralded as one of the "World's Healthiest Foods" for their high contents of Magnesium (bone health), Copper (antioxidant defense), low fat contents and many cardiovascular (heart) health benefits. This is a Vegan, Superfood dish that is bound to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!

Ingredients:

- Olive Oil
- Sweet Onion
- Sea Salt
- Garlic
- Basil
- Flour (one tablespoon)
- Raw Cashews (1/2 cup)
- Nutritional Yeast (one tablespoon)
- Almond Milk (2 cups of original flavor, unsweetened)
- Sundried Tomatoes
- Pasta of choice (I used Trader Joe's Pesto Tortellini)

Directions:

1) Over medium heat, saute olive oil, onion and garlic until golden. Then, add basil and stir until lightly crisp and set aside.
2) Re-coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and add 1 tablespoon of flour. Using a metal whisk, move the flour around until it it looks lightly toasted - be careful not to burn! Then, add almond milk into pan and continue to use the metal whisk, or switch to a fork, to whisk together as a thick sauce starts to form. This may take about 3-5 minutes over medium heat. 
3) Once you are satisfied with the consistency, add the sundried tomatoes, plus the original saute of onions, garlic and basil to the sauce and continue to stir together. 
4) Using a blender or NutriBullet, grind up the Raw Cashews into a powder-like texture. Then, add the nutritional yeast and blend again. Add this to the sauce pan and whisk all the ingredients together (make sure you get all the clumps out!) to create your super healthy, non-dairy Alfredo white sauce.
5) The fun part! Taste your sauce and season to your desire. You may want to add: sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, more basil, and/or, if you like a little kick like me, add Siracha sauce to spice it up a bit. 
6) I paired this with a delicious White Vinho Verde from Portugal - bubbly, light, perfect for summertime.

I had so much fun making this and experimenting with something new! It's super empowering to think that you can take back control of your health and find more natural alternatives if something isn't working for you. I encourage you to give it a try, and let me know how it goes!  

Namaste, Mandy

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