Tahini is my life blood. If you aren’t yet aware of what tahini is, it is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds, with a consistency similar to other nut butters. It has come to be one of my most coveted pantry staples. I almost always have a homemade tahini dressing or sauce of some sort, on hand, if not two. My garlic tahini, or some variation on it, is mainstay in my kitchen weekly.
Recently with all the fresh, local herbs in season I have been veering off and getting a bit more creative with my tahini sauce. This vibrant, herby, Green Tahini Sauce is so versatile. It’s wonderful simply as a dip for crudités, grain-free crackers or chips. It makes am amazing creamy, salad dressing for a traditional green salad, or better yet the perfect way to dress up a summer potato salad. It’s a lovely compliment to grain and veggie bowls or simply just steamed, roasted or sautéed vegetables of any and all kinds. It is also great in place of mayo on sandwiches. This Green Tahini is also a wonderful sauce for seafood, chicken and pork, especially when grilled or roasted.
This gorgeous, vibrant Green Goddess Dressing is ready in under 5 minutes and it’s loaded with so much flavor. This creamy, dairy-free condiment can be served up as a salad dressing, dip, sauce or spread. Sorry not sorry in advance if you become as addicted to it as we are!
I am not sure exactly where the term “Green Goddess” originated when speaking of a tasty green dressing, but I am not mad about it. Not at all. Clearly something this beautiful, brilliant and delicious is female! DUH.
I have seen many many iterations of the Green Goddess dressing and many call for yogurt or other dairy and ALL the green things. This particular rendition gets it’s creaminess from avocado and delicious avocado oil mayonnaise. There is a prominent basil flavor and aroma which is peppery and fresh, with parsley is a backup singer. If you want to have some fun, swap out the basil with cilantro (I’d say go with more like 1/2 cup since it’s a bit stronger), swap lime for the lemon and add jalapeño. Voila, another version of this amazing sauce.
Inspired by our travels to England, this Caramelized Onion Jam is the ultimate condiment. Great on burgers or with a cheese board, on your trendy avocado toast or just with veggies.
Part of what I enjoy so much about traveling, is experiencing new and different foods. I love sampling local fare and being inspired by new and unique ways to bring flavors together. On our trip to England this fall, as you can imagine there was a lot of room to be inspired. I was particularly impressed by our time in England, the level of culinary experimentation and creativity, as compared to my trip there 15 years ago.
We returned home last Monday after spending over a week Loreto, Mexico, in the Baja California Sur, celebrating the nuptials of our very good friends, Debbie and Dan. Since I was coming off a full month + of exceptionally strict eating, since I did Whole30, I was feeling really, really great, but on top of it, I was also several weeks in on experimenting with the ketogenic diet, as an attempt to get my autoimmune kidney disease into remission (more on this soon as I continue to experiment).
I had some slight trepidations in spending a week at a resort, both in how hard it would be for me to keep up my preferred way of eating, but also from the standpoint of my actual health and well-being, if 1 week away would ruin 1 month of hard work.
The answer is it wasn’t hard and no it didn’t.
This Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter is the perfect way to celebrate the season’s most abundant fruit, but this isn’t your mamma’s apple butter. With a rich, honey sweetened caramel mixed right in, you’ll find notes of rich, caramely goodness paired with the traditional spicy and tart apple butter.
We are home and still getting settled after our whirlwind trip to Europe. It was absolutely glorious, incredible, magical and so inspiring. I came home with a heart full of memories, sore feet from so very many miles of exploring and a head full of ideas for recipes inspired by all of our delicious meals. While the jet lag has been a bit brutal (8 hours time difference is no joke), what has been an even greater challenge is getting back into it all. Not the work, my usual healthy eating or my daily fitness routine, I jumped right back into all of those – they are so important to my mental well-being and were sorely missed in those 10 days away. Rather, I again found myself plagued by something interesting upon my return, something that seems to happen nearly every time I step away for an extended period of time. The much needed break from the internet, the constant connection and the need to check in across the various platforms throughout the day, it all obviously disappears when I am off adventuring. It helps that with international travel we were limited in our data usage, and of course the time difference plays a role, as well, but being busy and present, this perfect combination renders the vast, never-ending virtual world essentially non-existent to me and I love it. I often look forward to that aspect of vacation as much as I do the travel itself.
Yesterday’s summer solstice marked the official start of summer, which means we also kicked off the season of grilling and barbecue. A good traditional barbecue sauce is key to a season of delicious backyard feasts. However, if you are like me, when you turn over most jars and bottles from the store, to investigate the ingredients, you are sorely disappointed. Most contain loads of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, various preservatives, thickeners, artificial flavors, colors and who know’s what else. Let’s be honest, they are also not all that good. We can do better!
Making your own sauce is incredible simple, you don’t need any special ingredients and with this simple tutorial and formula, I also give you the options to customize your sauce and make it just how you like it.
I am all about the simple lately. Quick fixes, simple snack, meals without fuss. I want to enjoy the flavors of nourishing whole foods, with the seasonal ingredients I have on hand and minimal prep. It’s been a hectic month or so.
I haven’t had a moment to tell you guys, but I am back in school! As of this month, I am enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Program with the Nutritional Therapy Association to become a Certified Nutritional Therapist. I have long dreamt of finding the proper program where I could continue educating myself in a manner that would certify me to work even deeper with people, seeking to heal their bodies through a real food diet and a more foundational perspective.
I myself have been on a long and continued path towards healing my body. 10 years of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, diagnoses and at times, challenged guidance. While my own healing journey is far from over, with new discoveries on what works best for me still being made weekly, I have so much I want to share and yet, so much still I want to learn, both for myself and for the countless others whom I meet and want to help.
I could talk for hours about what I have learned already just a few weeks into the program and just what enrolling in this program means for me, moving forward, but I digress, I have a stack of homework and this post is supposed to be about dip. That said, please know that I will be sharing my experiences with this program and the curiculum here o the website. I will be sharing a monthly journal of sort, of the progress of my time in the program, for those that are curious in possibly joining yourself and for those that may just be curious in how what I am learning may be of help to you. So stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I have this super simple, seasonally-inspired snack for you. Read the rest of this entry »
This week marks the start of summer which means lots of fun and exciting adventures await us! Traveling around and exploring or just hanging out in your hood, summer is all about enjoying the sunshine and fresh summer food, getting together with family and friends, savouring fresh summer-inspired meals outside and of course, being on the go.
These summer-inspired veggie power bowls are the perfect tasty, nourishing option for a picnic, a trip to the beach, a backyard BBQ or summer potluck. You can play around with the various ingredients to what you have on hand and like best or what is most fresh near you right now, it’s a simple recipe perfect for customizing. Pre-assemble the bowls and cover, bring the dressing on the side and pack up your Yellow 108 Travel Roll up cutlery set for the perfect meal-on-the-road to accompany your summer adventures.
This month for my ongoing series with Beachgreens Organic Produce Delivery rather than focusing on a single vegetable or fruit, we wanted to share a recipe featuring one of our favorite local foods, this Mole Monarca sauce from Peppered Up, right here in Long Beach. This traditional red mole sauce is inspired by owner Griselda’s mother and grandmother and it stays true to its roots from central Mexico.
This sauce has incredible flavor notes. Rich, dark, smoky and earthy with a spicy kick, this unique blend of peppers, spices, seeds and nuts can literally turn any dish into a party! For those following along with my Autoimmune Protocol journey, you can obviously guess that this isn’t bowl of deliciousness sadly doesn’t fit my current restrictions. I created this recipe before I started AIP earlier this month, so I was able to happily able to enjoy it then. Now I am just dreaming of it, it’s that good!
I previously eluded to the fact that I was starting an Autoimmune / Leaky Gut Protocol on Monday of last week and that I would a some point fill you all in on more details. So here we are. As a reminder, I was diagnosed last summer via kidney biopsy, with an autoimmune form of kidney disease, called IgA Nephropathy. It hasn’t progressed too far, my kidneys are still functioning at very high levels and I have been lucky enough to have had little to no symptoms. After the diagnosis I was placed on several pharmaceuticals to protect my kidneys long term, from this progressive disease which can, if left untreated, in some patients lead to kidney failure later in life. As soon as I started taking the drugs, I found myself feeling terrible. I was tired and lethargic, I had rashes and developed acne, I found myself with terrible stomach aches and pains, I was chronically bloated and gassy, etc. In speaking with my Naturopathic doctor at the start of this year, we have discovered I am dealing with leaky gut and we have decided it best to first heal my gut and get this under control so we can properly investigate my kidney disease further. I have since been taken off all prescription drugs and I am on a regime of supplements and herbs with my doctor to protect my kidneys, aid in the healing of my gut and more.
I will work hard to keep this as short as I can, I don’t want for this to become a how-to or a resource on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet, many of those already exist online and in books and I honestly have no problem admitting that I am still a total newbie when it comes to all of this. Truthfully, I am slowly navigating my own way through this new journey, so I am far from an expert.
My plan is to follow this Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for a minimum of 30 days. I am very grateful to have somewhat minimal symptoms on the larger scale of leaky gut and autoimmune conditions, though they are there enough for me to want to get things under control and get back to feeling like myself. The plan is to give myself these 30 days to allow my body and my gut the time it needs to heal. I am really crossing my fingers that this will be enough time. After 30 days I will slowly begin to reintroduce foods and decipher my body’s response to each and go from there on deciding if I need to pursue this protocol further or not.
It should be said, this protocol isn’t necessarily a full list of ingredients to be avoided forever just because you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder or leaky gut. This is simply a plan to follow for a minimum of 30 days to give your body the opportunity to heal and the time to remain on the plan, from there differs for each individual.
For me, after just the first 7 days I have already noticed marked improvement. Less bloating and gas. I am still dealing with some discomfort with certain foods, usually my tummy seems to be most agitated when I eat too many fibrous veggies. That huge bowl of cauliflower with a sh*t ton of kale on top, maybe not the best idea. Woowee! I am also noticing some response to the changed diet. I am not sure if I can call them detox symptoms or “die off”, but I have certainly noticed some other new symptoms. But I am happy to report that I am already be getting some relief, so I am on the right track.
Here is a super quick overview on the details of the autoimmune / leaky gut protocol I am following for at least 30 days:
For me, carrots fall into the category of vegetables that I simply don’t give enough love! I find myself thinking of the boring, mushy steamed carrots we were served as kids and I find myself bored before I even take a bite.
I tend to forget how amazing roasted and charred carrots can be. That roasted goodness, where the carrots get tender but still retain a bit of their bite in the middle. The slightly caramelized brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots.
I am so excited to share this simple tutorial showing you How-to Make Harissa Paste, because I fully believe everyone should have a jar of this stuff in their fridge at all times. This spicy red pepper paste is so incredibly delicious and so versatile. Think of it as a more refined sriracha. This aromatic and spicy, Tunisian hot chile sauce can be used to liven up dishes as you would any other hot sauce, it can also be used as a dip or a marinade. It brings a great depth of flavor to fish, meat, roasted vegetables, egg dishes, soups, stews, potatoes or rice. Add it to sandwiches, pizza, condiments like hummus or a homemade mayo. The list goes on and on and on some more. OK I’ve got one more, spread some of that harissa paste on some toast, add a lil avocado, maybe a fried egg. You are welcome.
Harissa is made by blending chiles into a thick paste with aromatic spices, a good quality olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and from there, the optional add-ins are endless. You can add roasted red pepper, roasted carrots or sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs and so on.
Tunisia is the biggest exporter of pre-made harissa. In fact, harissa is often referred to as the National Condiment of Tunisia, so it’s perfect to go with my Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. But, no need to fly halfway around the world, for either one, harissa is quite simple to make this at home and customize it to your liking. You can easily adjust the level of heat by increasing or reducing the number of chiles or choosing chiles base on their spice. But do remember, harissa is meant to be hot!
Ya wanna know what I think? I think roasted Brussels sprouts are just about the most brilliant creation ever. I know for many people Brussels sprouts are a you either love ’em or you hate ’em kinda thing, but I would bet even the biggest of haters could get down with these Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Spicy Orange-Parsley Chimichurri. It’s THAT good, people! We got some Brussels sprouts in our CSA box from Beachgreens this past week and I have more oranges growing than I know what to do with and some extra fresh parsley, so this dish was born out of what I had on hand. As most of my favorite dishes are.
In my opinion, this delicious and flavorful spicy orange-parsley chimichurri is the perfect addition to an already delicious food. It compliments the roasted and toasty flavor of the Brussels in the most perfect of ways. A little pop of bright sweet, tartness from the orange juice and zest, the wee bit of spicy and a load of flavors from the parsley, oregano and garlic. Oh and be sure to bookmark this recipe, this chimichurri is so amazing on other foods like any of your other grilled 0r roasted veggies, try it with baked sweet potato fries, steak, pork chops, fish and more. Use it as a marinade or a dipping sauce, too.
Yes, I am aware it is summer and a typical summer recipe, this is not. Amongst the cold salads, popsicles, ice cream and grilled stuff – I had a craving for something a bit more hearty and comforting over the weekend. I guess because of the sage, in my mind, this dish belongs more on a fall menu than summer menu – but I just couldn’t ignore this desire for something other than another cold salad.
Although I am all about eating seasonal and celebrating the freshest local flavors, I am also all about eating intuitively. If your body wants something more hearty than a cold salad, if you are sick of the grilled veggies, or you find yourself wanting something more suited for the cool crisp weather of fall than the hot sweaty summer days – I say go for it. This obviously, like everything should be taken with a grain of salt. If your body is telling you it wants a whole cheese pizza, with a side of Doritos and a 2 liter of Coke, I am not actually suggesting you listen to that voice! You should probably kick that nasty jerk voice right out of your head space!
Instead of calling this one a recipe, I feel like I should call it a “requirement.” You NEED to grill some peaches, as soon as possible. I feel like this should be mandatory for everyone in the summer months.
It all started with this salad and I haven’t been able to stop since. This particular simple and sweet dish that I am sharing today would be the perfect way to end any summer meal, and it would be especially great at pretty much any summer BBQ. It also makes the perfect snack when you are craving something a little sweet.
I serve mine with a dollop of homemade whipped coconut cream. But, if you eat dairy, you could also just serve it with regular whipped cream, your favorite yogurt, ice cream or even, some mascarpone, crème fraîche or burrata.
It’s strawberry season, it’s strawberry season and I might be just a little bit excited! Iapologize in advance, I know it isn’t quite strawberry season for those of you not in Southern California. But, that just means you can start bookmarking and saving all of these yummy strawberry recipes I share and they’ll be all ready for you to get to cooking as soon as they are in season near you.
This slighty sweet, kinda tart, and a little bit spicy, Strawberry Avocado Jalapeño Salsa, is just as amazing as it is beautiful. Great on tortilla chips, over your favorite tacos, on grilled chicken or fish, or even just with a spoon. We have already had some hot weather here in Southern California, so I have been enjoying summery treats a little early. This salsa is simple to make and just full of so much flavor. I don’t always love fruit in savory dishes, but this one is incredible. I have a feeling this is going to be a staple snack around here this strawberry season! Read the rest of this entry »
I am not going to lie, one of my absolute favorite things about living in Southern California are the inexpensive avocados. I always have a few on the counter just waiting to get added to a salad, made into guacamole or just spread fresh onto toast or crackers.
When we lived in New York, it was always the painful part of my grocery shopping trip. Seeing the price tag on the avocados and deciding how much they were worth to me. Did I HAVE to have them? Usually I did, but some weeks I just couldn’t stomach the cost. Plus let’s be honest, they weren’t all that fresh, not compared to the ones out here.
I have severely cut back on my pasta intake the last few months. I am so seriously obsessed with pasta, but since I do try to limit my intake of grains as much as I can, pasta is a great place to start. But in total honesty, it is also the hardest one for me to eat less of. I adore good organic brown rice pasta, I like both Jovial and Tinkyada organic brown rice pastas, I like how light they are and there is something just so comforting about pasta.
When Cappello’s offered to send me some of their grain-free pastas to try, I of course jumped at the offer. Pasta that is grain-free and ready in less than 1 minute (not counting the time it takes for the water to boil) – sounded pretty darn good to me.
Cappello’s sent me some of their fettuccine, gnocchi and lasagna sheets. I made the fettuccine first, to get an idea of how it cooks and tastes. It is really good and similar to a lot of fresh (grain-containing) pastas, though it has been very many years since I have had fresh pasta made with gluten, so I cannot say how similar it is to that specifically. Their pasta is made up mostly of almond flour and eggs. It is firm but properly tender and not at all mushy, which I honestly expected. The pre-portioned container says “two servings”, but I found it to be heavier than the usual brown rice pasta I have gotten used to, I found myself getting full very quickly. Which isn’t always the case with pasta, sometimes I feel like I could eat it until I explode. It didn’t reheat the next day quite as nice as my usual organic rice pasta, but that is to be expected with a fresh pasta. I do find that rice pasta is quite firm after coming out of the fridge as leftovers, that I am not always a fan of since it HAS to be reheated. So there is no cold pasta eating with the rice pasta. This pasta is definitely possible to eat cold and was quite good that way actually. Hubby really liked the Cappello’s pasta as well, but he still prefers rice pasta as his first choice.
I know it isn’t totally fair to compare this grain-free pasta to rice pasta, since they are quite different, but since I am not 100% grain-free or paleo, I thought this was a fair assessment on my end. However, if you do eat a completely grain-free diet, 100% of the time, and you love your pasta – you would be a total FOOL not to try Cappello’s pastas. It hits the spot and nails that pasta craving right on the head.
I am so very excited to share this recipe with you guys. I had so much fun creating it and even more fun eating it! In theory, caramel apples always sound amazing, but in reality they are always a sticky mess, hard to eat, and so sugary they actually hurt my teeth. I have learned to just pass on by and only dream of their caramel goodness. Until now. I finally decided to re-imagine a caramel recipe without heavy cream or butter, but I also wanted the sweetness to come from somewhere other than refined overly processed white sugar.
I am really excited with how this came out.
It has a beautiful dark hue from the coconut sugar and it is thick and luscious and perfectly creamy, and the right amount of sweetness without feeling yourself getting a cavity as you are eating it.
This caramel is great as both a dipping sauce for fresh apples (or whatever else you would like) that can be served while it is still a little warm or totally chilled, or you can let it fully chill, get nice and thick and actually coat whole or sliced apples in it, then coat them in nuts, chocolate, sprinkles or whatever you’d like.
Obviously, just because this caramel sauce is healthier than the original, it doesn’t mean you should sit down and eat a bowl of it in one sitting, though you easily could. Sugar is still sugar, but at least with this refined sugar-free, vegan version you can have a bit less guilt while you indulge.
[print_this]Vegan Caramel Apple Dipping Sauce (gluten-free)
makes about 2 cups
- 1 cup organic coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup full-fat organic coconut milk, the canned kind
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1tablespoon arrowroot starch (corn starch or tapioca starch would also work)
In a medium saucepan over a medium heat, mix together the coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil and water, stirring often and well until the sugar has dissolved and it is smooth and creamy. Bring it up to a slight simmer, add a dash or two or salt and the coconut milk, whisking and bring back up to a simmer.
Once it has been simmering for about 5 minutes, add in the vanilla and the arrowroot starch. I find that slowly adding the arrowroot starch while whisking (by sprinkling it in), versus just a big dump, keeps the lumps to a minimum. Lower the heat and whisk until the arrowroot starch has dissolved and the sauce is nice and thick. Remove from the heat.
It is great served warm or cool as a dipping sauce for apples (or whatever else you might like to dip in it). Serve with chopped nuts or chocolate on the side as well.
Or you can let the sauce cool fully and it will get a little thicker and then you can roll whole apples or apple slices in it, cover with chopped nuts or chocolate pieces and place in the fridge to chill and harden up a bit.
Somehow in all the fun and craziness of this past two weeks, I totally forgot to post this recipe! I was going through my camera and saw the photos and thought “OOPS”! We got a beautiful large bunch of Swiss chard in the first week of our CSA share from Porter Farms and with the abundance of other greens, I really wanted to figure out something creative to do with the Swiss chard that to just cook it up. I had also grabbed a beautiful bunch of garlic scapes at the farmers market that I was contemplating making some type of pesto with. Then a beautiful post from last year on Jeanette’s Healthy Living, found it’s way to Tasty Yummies Facebook feed through someone I follow and I knew that was the answer. It was heaven sent!
I made a few changes to the recipe to make it my own, so feel free to do the same, yourself. If you cannot have nuts, obviously just leave out the walnuts, it will still be amazingly delicious. Additionally I love the very subtle spice from crushed red peppers, feel free to leave that out, if you wish. The Swiss chard was a nice addition to this pesto and nicely took the place of basil or even arugula, both of which I usually make my pestos from. Swiss chard is a highly nutritious vegetable that is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and K. It also provides good amounts of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium and copper. Recent research has shown that chard leaves contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants! You can read more about Swiss chard and it’s many benefits here.
Never had garlic scapes before? The twisty, curly, bright green stems are also sometimes called garlic shoots, stems or spears. Garlic scapes are the hard stem that grow above ground, soaking up the sun, while the bulb forms underneath. While the garlic scape is still young and edible, it is a curvy and tender green stalk with a small tightly closed bud on the end. As the garlic plant continues to mature, the scape or stalk will straighten and provide strength for the increasingly larger bulb below the ground’s surface, becoming too tough to eat. Garlic scapes contain a great deal of flavor and are great in pestos, thinly sliced like a scallion or chives for salads, soup, hummus, stir fries, etc. Garlic scapes have the flavor and aromatics reminiscent of garlic cloves, but not nearly as intense or strong.
I cooked up some gluten-free organic brown rice penne rigate from Jovial Foods and tossed it with the pesto, along with some of the pasta cooking water to loosen up the sauce a bit. I hadn’t yet tried this pasta, but I really liked it. It was really light, not too starchy and it had a nice bite to it. Ironically, the day I made this dish, Gluten-free Girl and the Chef posted a video about the secrets to and a “how to” on cooking gluten-free pasta. I followed their instructions and I found it to be helpful to allow the pasta to sit a bit before draining. I would be curious how this would work with Tinkyada brand pasta which I normally use, since it seems a bit starchier.
Besides pasta, this pesto would be great tossed on grilled or roasted veggies, spread on a toasted slice of your favorite gluten-free bread, over eggs, and the list could go on and on.
[print_this]Garlic Scape and Swiss Chard Pesto – Gluten-free & Vegan
- 1 bunch garlic scapes
- 1 bunch swiss chard, leaves only
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Blanch the swiss chard leaves in boiling water for about 30 seconds, just to remove chalky taste. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out the water.
Put blanched swiss chard, garlic scapes, walnuts, crushed red pepper and lemon juice into the bowl of your food processor and process until still slightly chunky. Gradually pour olive oil in to feeder tube and continue processing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve tossed with your favorite gluten-free pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid from the pasta to loosen up the sauce, if you wish.
I have fully admitted to my love-affair with pasta on this blog, many times. It is something I cannot live without and is almost always included in my weekly menu planning. Not only are pasta dishes simple and fun to create but they can easily be made with ingredients you have in the pantry and your refrigerator and many times can easily be made healthy. Even with the healthiest of pasta recipes, to me it is a major comfort food, it always will be. Probably the number 1 comfort food on my list.
Although I am on a cleanse, I wanted to make sure to experiment with at least one cleanse-friendly pasta dish. Of course, as I mentioned in my post about my cleanse, there are many different types of cleanses out there and many different items you can remove from your diet when cleansing. Obviously this recipe may not work on every cleanse. For me already being on a totally gluten-free diet, removing gluten when cleansing is never a major hassle or issue, but it is very important to a cleanse and to detoxify your body. For me one of the biggest things I like to remove from my diet while cleansing is dairy. I am not a milk drinker and I rarely cook with it, but cheese is what gets me. I love cheese. So with that in mind, I wanted to come up with a cleanse-friendly pasta dish that would bring the comfort of any other gluten-free pasta dish I would make, but with cleanse friendly ingredients.
I love gluten-free pastas and find them to be much lighter compared to traditional wheat-based pastas. I personally prefer brown rice pastas and I love Tinkyada brand organic pastas. They have three or less ingredients, organic brown rice, rice bran and water. That’s it. When I cleanse the majority of what I eat is fresh vegetables, legumes and whole grains – I certainly cannot go without pasta. Brown rice pasta falls within the constraints of my cleanse and though I don’t eat a ton of it, a dish like this is a perfect way to forget you are even cleansing at all. If you don’t care much for brown rice pasta, there are also corn and quinoa based gluten-free pastas that are also quite delicious, as well.
I decided when making this alfredo sauce rather than trying to experiment with different nut milks, which I knew wouldn’t give me the thick and creamy affect of an alfredo sauce, I would go the route of a raw nut based sauce. Cashews tend to be great for this. Even without excessive soaking, you can just add boiling hot water to cashews just before pureeing and get a delicious creamy sauce. I took the above photo the next day with the leftovers, since it was too dark to take photos the night we ate it. I honestly don’t think the image fully captures just how creamy the sauce really is, it is incredible. There isn’t an overwhelming nutty flavor to the sauce and by adding garlic, basil and some nutritional yeast, it’s very hard to tell that it is even dairy free. Beyond nutritional yeast’s nutty and cheesy flavor, is a great source of protein and fiber, it is rich in B-complex vitamins including B12 and it contains the glucose tolerance factor that helps in the regulation of blood sugar. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, it is definitely worth exploring adding it into your diet.
The beauty of this sauce is that it doesn’t actually need to be heated up, so if you like to eat raw, you could skip heating it up, use your favorite alternative raw noodle, like thinly sliced raw zucchini (or other raw vegetables), kelp noodles, etc and just pour the raw cashew cream sauce right over for a delicious and healthy raw meal.
I had some beautiful zucchini and yellow squash that we picked up at a farmers stand on our drive home from NYC so I added that and a carrot to the dish for some additional health-benefits as well as the very lovely colors. You could play around with many different vegetables here including fresh spinach, peas, etc.
I had a small amount of sauce leftover that I put in the fridge, I figured it would be delicious on some steamed broccoli or over a baked potato, etc. I have a feeling you will fall in love with this healthy alfredo sauce.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Fettucine Alfredo
1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted organic cashews
3 cloves garlic
1 cup warm water (you may need more)
3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces of your favorite gluten-free fettucine or linguini, I use Tinkyada’s organic brown rice pasta
handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini, julienned
1 yellow squash, julienned
1 carrot, peeled, julienned (or you can wash and peel the outside, then peel the entire carrot instead of julienning it, which is what I did)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the raw cashews in a glass bowl, cover in water. Let soak as little as a few hours or overnight.
In a large saucepan bring your water to a boil and cook your pasta according to package directions.
Drain the soaked cashews and rinse well, place into your food processor with garlic, salt, pepper and 1 cup of water. You may find you need to add more water if the sauce is too thick, but you can always add more. Process until smooth and creamy. Once it is at your desired consistency, add in the nutritional yeast, pulse a few times to combine. Set aside until you are ready to heat it up.
While your pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat, add your julienned vegetables and sauté a few minutes until tender. Remove from heat.
Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of your cooking liquid, drain and place in a large serving dish. Pour the alfredo sauce into the saucepan you used to cook your pasta and heat over a medium heat, stirring often to keep from sticking. Once warm, pour over the pasta.
Add the vegetables and fresh basil to the pasta and sauce. Toss to combine, adding some of the pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with freshly chopped basil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, if you wish.