Faux “Alfredo” Sauce with Mushrooms & Cannellini Beans
Okay, so it is not the real thing, but it is creamy, tasty, vegan, cleanse legal and hits the spot for me at least! It does require forethought, and there will be a few pans to clean, but the good news is you can make a big batch and live off it for a few days. Just heat to eat when you need it.
- 1 cup cashew cream (see notes below)
- 1 small spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8 ounces of mushrooms (I used a combination of different mushrooms)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 cups cannellini beans, cooked, divided
- 1 tablespoon yeast flakes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- sea salt and pepper to taste
1). Slice the spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon, and place cut side up in the microwave. Cook on high for eight minutes. Remove and repeat with the other half. Allow squash to cool. Using a fork, scrape the “spaghetti” strands free from the shell into a large bowl.
2). Heat oil in a large saute pan for one minute over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute before adding the mushrooms, rosemary, and thyme. Season to taste, and cook another five minutes or until mushrooms have browned, then turn heat down to low.
3). Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup of the cannellini beans, cup of cashew cream, and yeast flakes to a blender. Puree until smooth and creamy, adjusting consistency with vegetable broth if needed (the beans can soak up a lot of liquid, thickening the sauce).
4). Add cream mixture to the mushrooms, scraping up any gooey bits of flavor in the pan. Add the reserved cannellini beans, stirring gently until heated through. Stir in more vegetable broth if sauce thickens too much, seasoning to taste.
5). Pour sauce over the spaghetti Squash, toss and serve.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with any steamed green vegetable of your choice, or at the risk of sounding like a broken record, my balsamic marinated vegetables for extra zing. If you are not doing a gluten free or low carb diet, then serve over real spaghetti or Fettuccine.
Variation: Add an extra boost of flavor and nutrients by pureeing steamed broccoli into the sauce.
Notes: I make a lot of cashew cream at once, and freeze what I don’t need right away in one cup containers, so I have it when I need it for other recipes. To make cashew cream just soak four cups of raw cashews, covered with water overnight. Drain, rinse, and add to a Vitamix or regular blender with enough water to cover by a half to one inch (depending on how thick you want your cream), then blend until smooth and creamy.