Have you ever just dreamed up a recipe in your mind only to make it and be completely blown away?! Enter this vegan creamy pasta sauce, because yes, dreams really do come true. For this recipe I wanted to use up the last of the local (in-season) tomatoes from Ontario. I wanted to create something that was not only delicious, but also dairy-free for those that have to (or choose to) avoid it. The roasted tomatoes in this recipe truly make it taste so much better and even though this recipe takes a bit longer to make, it’s worth it.
I think that whenever you roast anything, it makes it tase like a million times better, yes? Well, that is no different than this recipe, because roasted tomatoes are actual life goals. I managed to score some local, in-season Ontario grown organic San Marzano tomatoes and I was so excited. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them when I got them. You guessed right- make this vegan creamy pasta sauce, duh!
Intuitive Eating and Food Intolerance:
As you may know, I am a big advocate for intuitive eating. One of the questions I get from women just starting to go through the IE journey and heal their relationship to food is about food intolerances. They worry that because they avoid certain foods for health reasons that they aren’t being true to their body and are doing IE wrong. This couldn’t be further from the case. If you avoid certain foods because they don’t make you feel good, or you find they make you break out or whatever, it is totally normal and OK to not eat them. That is the very definition of listening to your body and its needs.
If on the other hand, you are avoiding gluten or dairy (or anything else) because you are scared to eat them, that can be an issue. The reasons behind the fear (and the intention) are really what is most important. If you are scared to eat the food because you fear you will gain weight or you can’t be trusted around it (for fear of a lack of control) then this indicates that there is still work to do with your relationship to food.
For example, when I was in the midst of my orthorexic days, I feared certain foods would not only make me gain weight, but I thought they would physically harm me. I feared that I would get cancer from them, even only eating just a bit. I was consumed by food labels and looked at everything so intently that I forgot that food should indeed still be a pleasurable experience. Food is to be enjoyed and it is also meant to nourish at the same time. I had lost that and thought that food was the be all and end all of my existence. My self worth was tied to what was on my plate and I judged myself and others for their eating choices. I didn’t have an intolerance to dairy, but believed I was made better for abstaining from it. Morality was the factor here, not my actual preferences or needs.
If you want to read more about my journey to intuitive eating, you can read that here.
If you want to learn more about emotional and binge eating and work to repair your relationship to food and your body, check out my FREE guide and workbook. You’ll find lots of helpful tips and strategies to get started on your own intuitive eating journey plus you’ll learn how to cope with your feelings without using food. Click the button below to get started!
Vegan Creamy Pasta Sauce:
As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, it does take a little while to make because you need to roast the tomatoes. But trust me, its SOOOO worth it. The roasting brings out all the flavour and also all the lycopene. Yes, its true the lycopene from tomatoes is increased once the tomatoes are cooked. So think of that when you are waiting for them to be cooked. In essence, you are doing it for your health 😉
The addition of the roasted garlic and soaked cashews make this vegan creamy pasta sauce even better. Plus, the roasted garlic is done while you’re roasting the tomatoes so there are no extra steps there. You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days before using it as well, so it also could be part of your meal prep. And don’t stop at just pasta sauce, because this stuff is so good, you are going to want to spread it on anything. I won’t judge you one bit, even if you end up just licking it off the spoon.
By using only two cups of tomatoes, you will have some left over, thats great! Just throw them in with your pasta, or eat them off the tray, either way they are delicious. If you can’t find San Marzano tomatoes, use another kind, like Roma. The best tomatoes to use are ones that are local and in-season in my opinion.
Alright, lets get to the good stuff!
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Vegan Creamy Tomato Sauce
A delicious, roasted creamy tomato sauce made completely dairy free! This recipe makes two cups of sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Soak the cashews in water for at least one hour, up to four hours.
Wash and cut your tomatoes in half, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with 1/2 tsp avocado oil, sea salt and pepper.
Chop the top quarter off your garlic head and wrap in aluminum foil. Add to the pan with the tomatoes. Place the pan in the oven and cook for about one hour, checking on it in the last 10-15 minutes to ensure it is not getting too roasted.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, allow them to cool slightly. Then add two cups of the tomatoes to a blender (or food processor) and add the basil, garlic cloves from the garlic head, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Process until smooth.
Cook pasta according to package directions and serve with lots of sauce, extra veggies (I used steamed arugula) and top with more basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Please let me know if you try my vegan creamy pasta sauce by tagging me on Instagram and comment below how you liked it!