Recipe Review: Cauli-power Fettuccine “Alfredo”

As I breifly mentioned in my last post, I’ve made some changes to my diet, which include lowering my daily fat intake. So, when I saw Angela’s recipe for alfredo sauce made with cauliflower come through my in-box, I was all about it!

As luck would have it, Whole Foods had organic cauliflower on sale, so I picked up a couple of heads and Cauli-power Fettuccine Alfredo was moved to the top of the dinner menu.

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I’ve been using corn pasta, or a combo of corn and some other gluten-free grains, and I’ve been pretty happy with the outcome. The taste is good; the texture is good, and I don’t feel all vibratey after eating a big ol’ bowl of pasta like I do when I eat regular semolina pasta. So, for this recipe, I used the pasta I had in the pantry, which was a bag of rigatoncini. I figured that shape and style would work fine with this sauce because of the lines – and I was right. Woot!

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I was a little worried the sauce would come out watery because of my previous attempts at using cauliflower in sauces and soups. (Hello. How do people think mashed cauliflower tastes anything like my beloved mashed potatoes?!) But, surprise surprise, the sauce was super thick and creamy and delicious!

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I ended up adding a little extra nutritional yeast (because I always do), and I waited to add any salt until the individual servings. (I’m making a conscious effort to reduce my sodium intake.) I also skipped the sauteed onions (If you keep them in, please try sauteing them with water, not oil.) and just added granulated garlic and onion powder to the mix. And, I had plain soy milk open already, so I used that for the non-dairy milk. I think using a thicker non-dairy milk like soy or hemp is probably a good idea, although Angela used almond milk.

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I also added some broccoli to my dish. I just tossed in w/ the pasta as it cooked, and eight minutes later, they were both done. Yummy add for no extra work! (Well, except for the little bit of chopping required to get the broccoli florettes off their stems.)

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Other than those few tweaks, I followed the recipe exactly. I even  followed the suggested order of boiling the cauliflower first then making the sauce and letting it sit while I boiled the pasta and broccoli. After I drained the pasta/broccoli mix, I added it back to the hot pan on the still warm burner and poured in the sauce, stirred, and ate!

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I will definitely make this recipe again! One thing I will keep in mind, though, is the sauce really soaks into the pasta as it sits, so the next day, the pasta is a bit mushy, and the sauce is even more bland. I ground on a bit more salt and plowed through my next-day plate, but I kept wishing I’d added some fresh tomatoes or onions or something to brighten it up. (My husband thought adding a little bit of non-dairy milk might help revive things a bit, but I’d already eaten all of the left-overs before he suggested it. Ha!)

 

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Blog Tour

I’ve got a treat for you! Lindsay Nixon, aka “The Happy Herbivore,” is doing a blog tour for her newest baby book Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, and she’s stopping by to say, “Hi!”

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This is Lindsay’s fourth book, and it promises not to disappoint. I own the three previous HH books, and I love them all. So when Lindsay’s publishers posted they were looking for bloggers to help promote HHLL, I jumped at the chance. Why not? Who doesn’t love delicious and easy-to-make, low-fat, oil-free, vegan goodies??

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great is a unique addition to the Happy Herbivore family. This time, Lindsay has included a fitness component. If you follow the Happy Herbivore blog (like I have for many years), you know that Lindsay used to be a personal trainer. And, since being active is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, it’s only natural that fitness and food make an appearance in this latest addition to your plant-based book collection.

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According to Amazon:

With easy, no-fuss recipes, the bestselling Happy Herbivore cookbooks show how easy, affordable, and delicious eating healthy can be. Now, in her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon provides recipes that put a special emphasis on weight-loss and a set of exercises that, like her recipes, are quick, easy, and produce great results.

Like all Happy Herbivore cookbooks, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean contains filling, flavorful, plant-based recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. But this time, Nixon takes healthy to an all-new level, with low-calorie, satisfying meals that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals—and without deprivation.

True to its title, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean also includes “recipes” for your body with basic workouts, plus tips and tricks that will inspire you to move more for a trimmer, more-toned you. As always, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean recipes are free from oils, processed foods, and diet chemicals such as artificial sweeteners.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean keeps it healthy, keeps it simple, and keeps it delicious.

Are you excited yet? Wait…there’s more! I had the chance to ask Lindsay a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:

VV: After four cookbooks, where do find your continued motivation?

HH: Contractual obligations with your publisher, I find, make one very motivated 😉 Though in all fairness I signed up for a total of 6 books freely. I had (still have) a lot of ideas. I’m one of those people who likes a challenge… a goal to work toward. My fans and supporters are also incredibly motivating. Everything I do, I do for them

VV: Since Light & Lean introduces readers to the fitness component of HH, are you going to continue to incorporate it into the mix? For example, are you perhaps going to offer fitness plans in the future?

HH: There are fitness plans in the new book 🙂

VV: With the holiday season upon us, what’s your best tip not only staying plant strong but light and lean as well?

HH: Have a plan in place. Have a strategy before you walk in the door to a party, hit the buffet line or sit down to dinner. If you want to indulge a little, great, but decide what and how much before you start feasting with your eyes.

I was really interested in the motivation part. I can barely come up with enough content for a weekly blog post, let along fill 4 (6?!) cookbooks with tasty and unique recipes and stories that keep people coming back for more.

I’ve got one last surprise for you. Lindsay’s publishers graciously agreed to share a recipe from HHLL, and I chose Meatloaf Bites. Why? Because I love meatloaf (meat-less loaf?) and anything that’s bite sized. Seriously. I can’t resist finger foods! (That’s tiny food. Not food made from fingers. (Hey. It’s Halloween. I don’t know where your mind is! Ha!))

Meatloaf Bites

Makes 8

Gluten-free, Quick, Budget

One afternoon I grabbed what I thought was corn from the freezer but later realized it was mixed vegetables. Once they thawed on the counter I knew they weren’t going back in, so I looked for a new, inventive way to use them. A can of kidney beans started calling, and before I knew it I had a vegetable-filled meatloaf in the oven. Since this meatloaf is baked in a muffin tin (great for serving sizes and portion control), I call it meatloaf “bites” and, yes, leftovers are great as a burger!

1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder (add another 1 tsp if you like it spicy)

3 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp mustard

1 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (recipe in full cookbook)

1 c frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

6 tbsp instant oats

 Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or use nonstick. Mash beans in a bowl with fork or potato masher until well mashed. Add remaining ingredients, except oats, and stir to combine.

Stir in oats. Spoon into muffin tin and pack down. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp on the outside and fairly firm to the touch (firms a bit as it cools). Serve with ketchup, Quick Gravy (pg. 188), etc.

Per BiteCalories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.7g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.9g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.5g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3g

Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.8g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

[Note: I added the mechanical emphasis to make the recipe appear more consistent with the way I post recipes. I also added the color to make the recipe stand out. I didn’t want you to miss anything!]

Disclaimer: Lindsay’s publishers offered to send me a copy of HHLL for participating in the blog tour (but I would have done it anyway. I’m always happy and willing to help promote a healthy, plant-based life!).

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Aren’t these the cutest?! See…finger foods! And that ketchup frosting? What a great idea!

Are you excited yet? You can pre-order your copy of HHLL here. Books are scheduled to be available at the beginning of December, but I’ve heard through the grapevine (OK, it was on the HH blog *wink*) that preordered books may ship sooner. Order now, and you might  have a new resource for your [American] Thanksgiving meal planning!

Enjoy your Meatloaf Bites!

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