|Creamy fettucini sauce with silken tofu and cauliflower|
I hate to keep picking on Olive Garden, but did you know that a dinner serving of Fettucini Alfredo has 1,220 calories and 75 grams of fat, 47 grams of which are saturated? Throw in 1,350 mg of sodium and you've got a pretty unhealthy meal. Since I love traditional pasta dishes, last night I made a "healthy vegan" version of this classic.
Sneaking in the Extra Veggies!
Back in November, I posted a Vegan Mac and Cheese where I used butternut squash as the base of the cheese sauce. It's a great way to get the family to eat more veggies! The Alfredo sauce recipe is similar except the secret veggie in this sauce is cauliflower!
Even if you are still transitioning from a vegetarian to a vegan diet and are still using cheese in dishes like mac and cheese or Alfredo sauce, start blending in these vegetables and use less cheese. It's healthier for you and your family and you can start to wean your pallet from fat. Remember, fat, salt and sugar are addictive, (especially when combined) and companies like McDonalds spend millions determining just the right combination to get you hooked. They call it your "bliss point". So weaning yourself from cheese can be tough, but simple and tasty vegan recipes like these can help you make the change to a healthier diet with less saturated fat and cholesterol!
Whole Foods carries fresh, whole grain, vegan, tricolore pasta. I'm not sure if you'll be able to find it but if you can, I highly recommend it. But be careful, it cooks in just a few minutes. If you can't find fresh pasta, just make the recipe with a half pound of dry, whole grain fettucini pasta or spaghetti. Or, better yet, make your own fresh pasta! As soon as I learn how to do that, I'll blog it!
|Fresh whole grain, vegan fettucini noodles|
I love my VitaMix blender. I can't imagine life without it (and I'm not getting paid to say this!). This Alfredo sauce whips up in minutes in a high speed blender and the best thing about it is that after a few minutes, it actually starts heating the sauce. But if you don't have one, you can use a regular blender or a food processor. You'll just have to heat the sauce a bit before putting it on the pasta.
|Blending the Alfredo sauce in a VitaMix blender|
[makes 4 servings]
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced, (half of a small onion)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup steamed cauliflower, fork tender
8 ounces silken tofu, (from the refrigerated counter, not boxed)
1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread, melted
2 tablespoons vegetarian formula nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, (optional)
8 ounces dry fettucini or 12 ounces fresh, cooked according to package directions
On medium low heat, in a small saucepan, sauté the onion in olive oil until soft, about 4 or 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
In a blender or food processor with an S blade, add cooked onion mixture, cooked cauliflower, silken tofu, buttery spread, nutritional yeast, salt and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Add a touch of soy milk if the sauce is too thick.
Heat sauce in a sauce pan or by blending for several minutes if you have a VitaMix.
Toss together with cooked pasta.
Top with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Per serving (with dry pasta): 288.6 calories, 6.0 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 12.5 g protein, 48.3 g carbohydrates and 7.9 g fiber
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