Before I was vegan, this was my favorite pasta sauce. But anything with heavy cream is just heavenly, right? I think its up there with bacon. Its also full of bad fat and cholesterol and all the other bad stuff associated with dairy milk.
So this is my vegan version, healthified (yes, I just totally made up a word) by healthy sauteing instead of using oil, and cashew cream. I used quinoa pasta (vegan, gluten free) but choose whatever pasta you enjoy the most. This would be awesome over Penne, or other cut noodle.
To make Cashew cream, take a cup of raw cashews and soak them in a glass jar over night. Make sure they’re submerged in the water. In the morning, drain them out of the water and put them in a high speed blender. (I use a vitamix) Cover them up with new water, just enough to cover them up to the top. Blend them all up, and you are left with cream! If you want a more milky texture, just add more water, if you want it thicker..you guessed it, add less water. If your blender isn’t a high speed one, you might need to use a cheese cloth to strain out any chunks that might not have gotten blended up.
This made about 2 cups of cream. Store any left over in the fridge, up to 4 days. You can even freeze it.
This cream is so versatile! Add some lemon and salt to make sour cream. Add some stevia and vanilla, and you have a delicious topping for dessert or pancakes. Add some lemon, garlic and dill and you have yourself a dip! Cashew cream is a staple in any vegan kitchen and the recipes you can use it in are never ending. I’ve even seen recipes making this into whipped cream but I haven’t tried that yet. Just whatever you do, make sure you use RAW CASHEWS. And make sure they are whole, chopped cashews are usually dried out.
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 an onion (or 1 whole one if its small) finely diced
- 3 tbsp vegetable stock
- 1 can organic diced tomatoes
- 1/2 can organic tomato paste
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 cup cashew cream
- salt and pepper to taste
healthy saute the onion and garlic, covered, for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and basil and stir to combine. Cover it up and let it cook 20 minutes over medium low heat. Add the cashew cream and let it cook, uncovered, another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Usually you want to add spices to the very end of cooking so that you don’t over cook them and miss out on all the health benefits. However, when cooking a sauce or a soup, the nutrients and enzymes in the spice will be released into the sauce, not lost, especially if you are cooking it with a cover on. If you are cooking something like a chicken or a steak however, season it at the end of the cooking process so that you don’t burn and cook out all the properties of your spices. If you don’t cook with a lot of spices, its a wonderful way to add flavor without adding things like salt. Plus spices have an array of health benefits.
On dried Herbs, from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85:
“Even through dried herbs and spices like basil are widely available in supermarkets, you may want to explore the local spice stores in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness compared to those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried herbs, when purchasing dried basil, try to select organically grown basil since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated (among other potential adverse effects, irradiating basil may lead to a significant decrease in its vitamin C and carotenoid content.)”
- Fresh herbs vs dried herbs (kouzounaskitchen.wordpress.com)
- A Simple Soup Recipe: Creamy Vegan Cashew Tomato Soup Recipes from The Kitchn | The Kitchn (thekitchn.com)
- Quick and Easy Vegan Alfredo (anodetomungbeans.wordpress.com)
- Home Cooking- Vegan Basil Cashew Cheesy Lasagna (mrandmrsvegan.wordpress.com)
- Creamy Mushroom Soup with Cashew Cream (mrandmrsvegan.wordpress.com)
- Cashew Cream (Dairy Free) (sandisallergyfreerecipes.net)
- Cashew Dip (littleleoadventures.wordpress.com)
- Creamy Cauliflower and Basil “Alfredo” Rigatoni (vegan) (bakerbettie.com)