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Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Vegan Meal- Fettucini Alfredo (with Sauteed Mushrooms, of course)

I try not to make pasta too often- it's just that there are more nutritious grains out there, and pasta can make one feel heavy, tired and sluggish. Sometimes I make zucchini noodles by running a zucchini through a spiralizer and top them off with raw marinara or pesto. But I do love real pasta every once in a while, in all its gluten glory. So, lately when I feel the need to indulge, I balance it out.  I only make enough for one serving each for Chris, Aurelia and me, I mix in beans or some other source of protein, and also some vegetables.

When Juli used this recipe and said it was a hit, I knew I would have to try it, but I made some changes.

1/2 pound pasta
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms sliced
1 portabello sliced
coconut oil
garlic powder
1 cup cannellini beans
1 1/2 - 2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup basil leaves
garlic clove
drizzle of good olive oil

If beans are dry, boil until they are cooked through and soft. Drain them and toss them in a blender along with the milk, basil leaves, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, adding more milk if necessary for desired consistency, and adding more salt as necessary for desired taste. Note, this made about double the sauce I need for 1/2 pound of pasta- I just refrigerated the extra for another meal.

Boil fettucini, and while it cooks saute the mushrooms in coconut oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until browned.

When pasta is cooked al dente, drain it off, toss with about half the sauce (if using a whole pound of pasta, use all the sauce) in a bowl and top it off with the browned mushrooms.

I used cremini and portabello but any mushroom would do, I think. Next time I make this, I plan on mixing in some baby spinach leaves and/or peas. The beans do a nice job of thickening the sauce without adding dairy or fat, and if blended well, they go undetected.

Do you like pasta? How do you eat it? Do you consider it a treat, or is it in regular rotation? Mmm pasta.