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Squash Cashew Alfredo (Vegan or not)

Squash Cashew Alfredo, Vegan or Not

 

I tried really really hard to keep this dish from looking like a baby pooped on my noodles but it is what it is.  I had hope the garnish of rosemary would help but it still looks like baby poop on pasta garnished with rosemary.

Now that I’ve thoroughly disgusted you (sorry, I’m the mom of 4 boys, cut me some slack), if you can get past the look, it’s crazy good.  Like, I can’t believe this is dairy free, it’s so cheesy yummy good. I’ve had to go off dairy so I’m looking for substitutes to quench my cravings.  I love dairy.  I buy sour cream by the 5lb bucket, I have three 10lb blocks of cheese in my fridge, the entire top shelf is milk and a variety of yogurts. I would buy my own dairy cow but I just don’t think I’m ready for a 2 times a day, regardless of the weather, kind of commitment.

I called upon my vegan goddess friend, Kristen from Stop and Smell the Veggies, for help.  We have a mutual appreciation for our dietary choices yet tease each other relentlessly over them.  All in good fun.  I do respect her lifestyle and if I had Kristen cooking for me, I could easily go vegan (though I may sneak bacon once in a while). She has some mad vegan cooking skilz.

So, back to the recipe.  This recipe is a version of Kristen’s, Vegan Cashew Alfredo.  While mine is not vegan how I made it (sorry, sausage and broth are definitely animal products) it is easily converted back to vegan by leaving out the meat and using water instead of broth.  It still tastes amazing that way. I’m on a mission to sneak in as much squash into our food as possible and this alfredo sauce sounded like the perfect medium.

You will want to plan a little bit ahead to make this since the cashews should be soaked for at least 8 hours. Soaking them and rinsing them will help reduce phytic acid which is an anti-nutrient.  Start them soaking in the morning and they’ll be ready to saucify by evening. If you forget but still want to make this, cover the cashews with water and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let set for about an hour. But a long soak is the best method for flavor and reducing phytic acid.

Squash Cashew Alfredo (Vegan or not)

Squash Cashew Alfredo (Vegan or not)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for at least 8 hours and rinsed)
  • 2 cup broth (or water)
  • 1 cup squash puree
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional but adds a cheesy flavor)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage, sliced, optional (cooked chicken, bacon or bulk sausage taste great too)
  • fresh herbs for garnish (I used rosemary)

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine drained cashews, broth, squash, garlic cloves, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend on high until nice and smooth.
  2. In a medium saucepan, brown sausage (or bacon).
  3. Add cashew/squash mixture to the sausage and heat just enough to serve warm.
  4. Serve over your choice of noodles (gluten free noodles for us).
http://www.picklemetoo.com/2014/01/26/squash-cashew-alfredo-vegan/

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