I must admit I am completely obsessed with my spiralizer especially in the summer when the last thing on my mind is turning on the stove to boil some water. If this sounds like you, then boy do I have the perfect summer meal for you. This bad boy can be whipped up in no time, provided you soaked your cashews ahead of time as that is the only part that takes some time to prepare. Dairy free alfredo sauce for all!
Whats up with wheat and gluten:
So what’s the deal with pasta? Aren’t all forms of wheat and gluten the devil?! As a holistic nutritionist, I am going to go a little against the grain on this one (pun intended) and argue that no, I don’t think wheat or gluten for that matter are inherently evil. I happen to be a big believer in moderation and balance in case you haven’t picked up on that yet and yes sometimes, I have a big bowl of pasta for dinner when I crave it. I can’t help it, I am half Italian, it’s in my blood. However, I don’t buy commercial wheat products, I always buy organic and usually its kamut or spelt (if going for the gluten) or rice pasta for a gluten free option. This works for me and I feel totally fine eating this way some of the time, but I have also discovered the beauty of spiralizing vegetables and learned how to use these in traditional recipes. This not only bumps up the veggie content, but also the fiber content and they taste delicious, which is what really matters to me after all 😉
So what’s wrong with modern wheat? The problem with modern wheat is the way in which it is grown today. Modern wheat contains a super starch, called amylopectin A, it contains more gluten than it did previously, which causes inflammation and could be a reason for the sudden increase in gluten sensitivity. Last, it contains a “drug” that acts on the opioid receptors in the brain that in fact create a high similar to that of endorphins, thus creating an addiction to wheat. By choosing ancient grains like kamut and spelt, you can avoid these issues and they actually taste far better (I promise). Now, that isn’t to say, go crazy and eat all the wheat and grains you want, but if you are craving something starchy, I see no problem (provided you feel fine eating it) in partaking in a little every now and then.
Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce:
For those who don’t want the wheat, you can use zucchini or sweet potato instead, I just happened to use a mix for this one in particular. The combination of the creamy dairy free alfredo sauce, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and greens is what really matters with this recipe! Whether or not this qualifies as an alfredo sauce is certainly up for debate, but you know what, I just did it, so go ahead, call me controversial!
- ½ cup cashews (soaked in water for at least a few hours)
- Juice from one lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 Tbsp hemp hearts
- 2 Tbsp EVOO
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup pasta water (or use regular water)
- Choice of pasta (kamut or spelt linguine) recommended and/or zucchini or sweet potato noodles.
- Note- I used 2 medium zucchinis and half a package of linguine and this made enough for four servings.
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms (sliced)
- Handful of sliced sundried tomatoes (Organic, sulfite free and dried not the ones in oil)
- Handfuls of spinach and/or arugula
- Scallops (optional)
- Place your cashews in a bowl with enough water to cover and let them soak for a few hours. If you are short on time, you can let them soak in just boiled water for about 45 minutes.
- Slice your mushrooms and cook them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Spiralize your veggies or boil some water for your pasta and cook pasta.
- Add all of the ingredients for your alfredo sauce into your high powered blender. If using pasta water, carefully pour into your blender. Note that ½ cup water makes for a fairly thick sauce, so feel free to add a couple more tablespoons of water as necessary when adding the sauce to your pasta.
- Prepare your scallops, by rinsing and patting them dry. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Heat up your cast iron pan and use a little oil (I use avocado). Once the pan is hot, add your scallops to the pan and let them sear for about 2-3 minutes, flip them and sear for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Using a big bowl, add your pasta and veggies and mix in the cream sauce. I just added my spinach and arugula at this point and let them wilt just a bit. Add scallops on top and a few chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
- Remember to soak your cashews ahead of time (overnight is best).
- I use pasta (kamut or spelt) along with the spiralized zucchini, feel free to use whatever combination you want. Adding the spiralized zucchini is a great way to add more veggies into your diet!
- I purchase kamut/spelt pasta in the pasta section of a large scale health food store in Toronto and some grocery stores carry them as well (such as Whole Foods).
- Cook time will vary depending on if you use regular pasta or use all zoodles.