Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vegan Faux Alfredo Pesto

I've used Cashews for creaminess in desserts and this evening I trimmed back my basil plant so voila it was time to make a pesto sauce which turned out to be the most delicious faux alfredo that I have ever had. My brother had some of the left overs and said he would have never guessed that the dish was vegan!

Ingredients for sauce:
1 1/4 cups raw unsalted cashews
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 large lemon (juiced)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup chopped fresh basil
sea salt
*optional* crushed red pepper

Additional ingredients for pasta dish:
Quinoa pasta
6 roma tomatoes
*optional* cooked chicken breast or shrimp

In a food processor or powerful blender/magic bullet
Puree the cashews, olive oil, lemon juice and slowly add warm water until mixture is creamy (similar to the texture of creamy almond butter) add basil, garlic and 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp ground pepper (or season to taste). Pulse and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy adding warm water as needed to keep the mixture loose. If like spicy Italian food then stir in crushed red pepper flakes for desired heat level.
 That's it! you can toss as is with any pasta, veggie, dip with veggies, gluten free snacks what ever you want. Here's the dish I made.

I boiled a whole package of Quinoa Pasta in salted water, when I drained the pasta I left about a 1/4 cup of starchy water in the pan, then folded in the pesto sauce. While the two were heating up I microwave steamed a package of broccoli that was salted and peppered. I tossed the cooked broccoli in and then diced up some roma tomatoes. I removed the mixture off heat and folded in 4 of the diced roma tomatoes. After plating the pasta I garnished with fresh diced roma tomatoes. My husband wanted meat for his dish so I grilled a salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder seasoned chicken breast on the bbq sliced it up and topped off the chicken and tomatoes.

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