Learn to Ride The Non-Dairy Wave
Updated: Oct 28, 2019
Dairy is delicious. This is a common agreeance for many of us, and also a common ingredient in many popular food recipes. Dairy has been a staple in the American diet for generations. Milk is revered as the main source for Vitamin D, and cheeses are upheld as an essential part of a healthy balanced diet, according to the traditional food pyramid.
Depending on who you ask, dairy may be considered the “holy grail” of foods, while others may consider it to be their kryptonite. Over 70% of the world is lactose deficient, although they might not express lactose intolerance symptoms, according to the Journal of Dairy Science.
This begs the question, “Why would people continue to consume the infamous flatulence causing, abdominal cramping, constipative dairy?” In theory, it is because it is delicious. In reality, it is because the most popular meals include dairy, and most of us aren’t aware of comparable dairy substitutes. Unless you’re a hardcore vegan, or new aged hipster who lives in Trader Joe’s, a good deal of us aren’t informed about akin lactose replacement brands like, Miyokos Kitchen, Daiya, Go Veggie, Tofutti, and SO Delicious amongst many others.
Fettuccine Alfredo is one of my top five favorite meals of all time, and also my Achilles' heel. Each time I indulge in “The Alfredo,” I end up miserably congested with a swollen, puffy nose, terrorizing my roommates with obnoxious snoring. Unbeknownst to me, I didn’t realize that the heavy cream, milk and excess cheese that is saturated in “The Alfredo” were causing these negative reactions. Just like anything else, lactose intolerance is a spectrum, with some people having milder reactions than others.
I rejected the idea of forfeiting one of my favorite pastas just because of some minor congestion, until I discovered vegan alfredo sauce. Once I concocted the perfect mock fettuccine recipe that highly resembled authentic alfredo, I was finally able to have my cake and eat it too. Hallelujah! No more runny sinuses, and sleep apnea snoring caused by Mr. Alfredo! My first date with vegan alfredo became my first step towards swapping out my favorite dishes with non milk based options like almond milk, cashew butter, and coconut milk based cream cheese!
Adding in nutritional yeast also ups the ante, mimicking the cheesy flavor we all love while providing great health benefits. Even though the term “nutritional yeast” may seem like an oxymoron, the flaky powder is actually a distant relative of the vilified gluten yeast. Formed from heated blackstrap molasses, whey, or sugar beets, nutritional yeast contains potassium, Vitamin B1, B2, and calcium. Since the heating process dries the yeast, it renders it inactive, thus making it gluten free, according to the Medical News Daily website.
Although there is nothing like the real thing, nut based dairies are just as tasty as dairy, without the guilty calories and gut wrenching symptoms. Unless you have nut allergies. So far in my short journey to vegan based cream sauces, I’ve also come to appreciate cashews. Cashews decrease LDL cholesterol, improve bone health, lead to greater weight loss, and adds the creamy texture to any vegan cheese sauce! Vitamin C just isn’t in oranges, but is also in cashews which makes for guiltless vegan nachos, Fettuccine Alfredo, pizza, and more!
When I’m craving a mega cheesy pasta, I now make my signature Cashew Vegan ‘Fredo! This non cheese-tastic alfredo will rival any authentic fettuccine!
Follow the recipe below to find out for yourself.
Total Cooking time: 1 Hr and 30 min
Serves about 4 people
Cashew Vegan ‘Fredo Sauce Ingredients
1 cup of soaked cashews
4 cloves of garlic
½ cup of vegan cheese (add more for thicker sauce)
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other dairy free milk of choice)
2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast (add more for a more cheesy taste)
1 fresh squeezed lemon (juice)
2 spoonfuls of vegan cream cheese
1 jalapeno (optional)
Fettuccine Alfredo Ingredients
8 oz of Spinach
1 rotisserie chicken (optional)
1 pack of Trader Joe’s Andouille sausage (optional)
1 lb Shrimp (optional)
Red pepper flakes
1 box of penne noodles
Before you cook anything, protect your clothes with your own Shades of Color Apron! Also check out our matching Oven Mitts & Potholder.
Preparation for Alfredo Sauce
Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth (add more milk for thinner sauce)
Heat a ½ stick of butter on medium heat in a saucepan until melted. Make sure the bottom of the pan is coated.
Pour the blended sauce to the saucepan, and add salt and pepper to taste. For heat, add a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes. To thin out your sauce add more milk or water, and to thicken your sauce add in more vegan cheese.
How to prepare the Cashew Fettuccine Alfredo
In a separate pan, saute the mushrooms and spinach in a medium pan with vegetable oil until mushrooms are brown, and spinach is a dark wilted green. Once the vegetables are soft add in the shredded rotisserie chicken and andouille sausage.
Cook until the meat is golden brown. Once the meat is browned, add in the shrimp and pour in the vegan alfredo sauce.
Bring everything to a simmer, turning the stove down to medium low heat. In a separate pot boil the pasta noodle of choice. Once the noodles are softened, add the noodles to your fettucine and bring everything to a boil.
After everything is boiled, let cool for 15 minutes and prepare to serve!
- written by Angelica Cheyenne