Eating pasta drenched in a creamy sauce has to be one of the greatest things on earth. But what happens when you’re both gluten-free and dairy-free? Can you still have those luscious, creamy pasta dishes?
And today I’m going to show you how.
Before we get into the sauce (which I know is what we’re all the most interested in), let’s talk about these sweet potato noodles. Yes, we’re having pasta made strictly from sweet potatoes. Talk about healthy!
Have you ever heard of a spiralizer? A spiralizer is this fantastic tool that turns vegetables into noodles. You’ve probably seen recipes for “zoodles” or zucchini noodles, they’re super popular for those who follow a grain-free diet.
Basically when you use a spiralizer, you can replace your regular pasta with more healthy, low-fat and low-calorie options like zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots. And the best part? They taste absolutely amazing!
I was thinking about going for the traditional zoodles in this recipe, but I loved the idea of having something a little sweet and crunchy to balance out the chicken and mushrooms. And of course we needed something to sop up all that creamy deliciousness, right?
When you spiralize sweet potatoes, they come our just like spaghetti noodles. But they’re so much better for us. Let’s just compare for a second:
One serving of regular pasta has 200+ calories, while a serving of sweet potato noodles (one small sweet potato), has less than 100 calories. Not to mention the difference in nutrition content – fat, carbs, sugars, protein.
If we get down to the very basics, we’re looking at eating a bowl of processed, flour-filled noodles, with something completely natural and nutritious.
So, have I convinced you on the noodle part? If you don’t have a spiralizer, you have to get one right now. It’s one of the best kitchen investments you’ll make!!
Now it’s time to chat about this vegan alfredo sauce.
I’ve done creamy sauces using cashews before, so I knew we’d be able to find a way to make a creamy pasta sauce with these magical little nuts. I did a quick Google search and found Oh She Glow’s vegan alfredo and used that as my base to make my own quinoa version (duh).
One of my favorite ways to use quinoa is adding it to purees as a thickening agent. When you use a high powered blender, the puree gets this silky, smooth texture, but has a richness that you most often associate with fat-filled sauces made with cream and butter.
This alfredo sauce? No cheese. No cream. No butter. 100% creamy, alfredo taste.
We’re using raw cashews for the creaminess, nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor, a little garlic (which you just can’t live without) and quinoa to round out the flavor and add that much needed thickness. The end result is a glorious vegan pasta sauce that’s super healthy and tastes delicious!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dijon / whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Sale & pepper to taste
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 1 portobello mushroom cap
- 1 chicken boneless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil for cooking
- Peel sweet potatoes and slice ends off. Connect to spiralizer and spiralize into noodles. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and sautee until browned on all sides, 3 - 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to plate and set aside.
- Return pan back to stove and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have just started to soften, then add chicken back in, 3 - 5 minutes. Add sweet potato noodles and cook until tender, about 5 - 8 minutes.
- While noodles are cooking, prepare alfredo sauce. All all ingredients a high powered blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. If too thick, add a touch more almond milk one tablespoon at a time. If too thin, add more quinoa one tablespoon at a time.
- When sauce is done, add to pan with noodles. Add just enough until noodles, chicken and mushrooms are fully coated.
- Cook until everything is heated through, 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately. Garish with some fresh parsley to freshly grated cheese.