Penne Alfredo with mushrooms, peas, spinach

I have finally got over my fear of making my own nut cream. I know it’s easy, but I kept putting it off. I thought my hand-mixer wasn’t up to the job and I guess it probably isn’t if I intended to drink it. I have made my own cashew pesto and cashew cheese before, but with only 10mins of boiling the cashews, they were still quite chunky. This time I finally remembered to soak my cashews overnight, so I could make cashew cream. Ever since I saw Ellen and Portia’s chef making meatless “southern fried chick’n”, I have been eager to try it. Although I’m happy how it turned out, I think it’s still not as creamy as their looked.

Anyway it was pretty easy. Just a cup of cashews soaked in water for 8 hours, then blended with 1/2 cup of water. I didn’t add anything as I thought I would do this when I went to use it. It was still a little lumpy, but after I re-blended it today and added a bit more water it was much less dense.

I think using the cashew cream made was a lot closer to real cream. I’ve tried vegan cheese sauce, soy carnation and rice cream, but this was definitely the most thickest and creamiest of the lot. My boyfriend gave it the tick of approval, so I think it was a success. I served it with garlic french stick. I used my favorite vegan butter, Melrose Organic Omega Gold Spread. As far as I know its the healthiest dairy free butter we can get in Australia and it contains palm oil or hydrogenated fats. It probably taste the best as well. Another new discovery for me was Enoki mushrooms. I saw them on sale finally at the supermarket, so I thought we would try them. They are Japanese, but they are very versatile and can be added to any meal. They can be served raw or cooked.

Penne Alfredo with mushrooms, peas, spinach (gfo, sf)

Ingredients for Cream Sauce: 1 1/2 Cashew cream, 1/2 water, 1 tsp white miso paste, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp onion flakes, sea salt & cracked pepper

Cashew cream, mushrooms and garlic bread

Ingredients: 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 1 onion finely chopped, 3 tbsp olive oil, mushrooms sliced chunky strips (I used large 6 white mushrooms &  1 bunch enoki), 1 cup frozen peas, 2/3 cup baby spinach chopped, 1 tbsp basil, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, sea salt & cracked pepper to taste, penne or gf pasta.

Sauteing mushrooms

1. Boil water for pasta and cook according to pack instructions. Also boil small pot of water, to cook peas for 3 mins.

2. Heat large pan, add olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook for few minutes till the onion have browned. Then add the mushrooms and saute for 5mins. Then turn off the heat.

Heating sauce

3. Add to cashew cream (already prepared) water, miso paste, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion flakes, salt and pepper and then blend. Add more of any ingredient to adjust the taste.

4. Turn back on the heat to the pan and add the peas, cream sauce and baby spinach, basil, almond milk and nutritional yeast. Bring to the boil then put on a simmer. Add seasalt & pepper to taste.

5. Heat pasta through the sauce and then serve.

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