I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with creamed spinach…In my non-vegan days I always ordered it at restaurants, but since going vegan, I hadn’t had it for about 2 years before I realised that I missed it! I played around with different cheese sauces to see which one works best and this one is an absolute winner. It is super quick to make and completely healthy – no processed ingredients, no cholesterol.
- 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts (You can use 1/4 cup instead. It will still taste great but will be a little less creamy.)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1/2 small garlic clove minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- onion, chopped
- Optional – crushed garlic
- 3-4 cups of frozen spinach
Saute the onion in a little oil or just using a dash of water if it catches until translucent. I like to add a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic and saute that for another 2-3 minutes. Add frozen spinach, put a lid on the pot, reduce heat to medium and allow to thaw. Every 3-5 minutes, remove the lid and break up the chunks of frozen spinach/give a stir, replace the lid for another 3-5 minutes. Keep doing this until the spinach is fully cooked.
While the spinach is cooking, blend all the cheese ingredients in a blender. If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Omniblend, there is no need to pre-soak the nuts. If you have a regular blender, if possible, soak the nuts in water 8 hours before making it just to soften the nuts and ensure a smooth sauce. If you don’t have time to soak it it is not a crisis though – even if the sauce is not entirely smooth, you actually won’t notice it at all once mixed through the spinach. Once everything is blended, pour it into the fully cooked spinach and cook though, stirring from time to time to prevent it from catching. You will see that as the sauce comes to the boil, the tapioca flour thickens it into a beautifully creamy, thick sauce. Taste for saltiness – add more if desired and serve! This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for about 4 days.
I love pasta! Who doesn’t? But this pasta is particularly amazing because not only does it throw a party for your taste buds but it is FULLY RAW, overt fat-free, salt-free and you can whip it up in 10 minutes!
I do suggest that you invest in a spiraliser to make raw spaghetti if you are into healthy eating. Spiralisers are inexpensive and come with different blades so that you can turn a whole variety of veggies like carrots, sweet potato, butternut, cucumber, zucchini….etc etc etc..into gorgeous noodles in the size of your preference – angel hair, normal spaghetti thickness and thick. You can also use it to chop cabbage for a quick cold slaw. However, if you don’t have a spiraliser – you can still make this recipe by using a vegetable peeler to peel your zucchini into thin noodles. It doesn’t quite give the same pasta feel but it’ll do just fine and you can still enjoy this wonderful meal:)
- 7 VERY RIPE large red juicy tomatoes (yucky, flavourless, sour, unripe tomatoes will make for an aweful sauce)
- 1 large carrot
- 2 celery stalks (the stalks – not the leaves)
- 1/2 large red pepper, seeded
- 50g sundried tomatoes (if you have a vitamix, don’t worry about soaking them first. If not, first soak them in a little water for 2-3 hours, then drain the water and use.)
- 35g dates (any kind)
- 2 small/medium cloves of garlic
- nutritional yeast, freshly ground black pepper, spring onion as toppings
Spiralise (or use your veggie peeler) to make your desired amount of spaghetti. Set aside. Just remember that once the sauce is mixed through, the volume of pasta shrinks considerably so always make a bit more rather than less.
Now for the tricky part….Chuck all ingredients into your blender/vitamix and blend into a smooth sauce. Wow! “Cooking” a raw meal is hard work, hey?;)
Taste the sauce and tweak to your liking. Then pour it over the pasta and mix it through nicely with your hands. Leave the pasta and sauce to make friends for a few minutes, top with loads of black pepper, nutritional yeast and chopped spring onion and bring out the chopsticks because dinner is on the table!
I discovered this cheese sauce recipe on the internet while looking for a low fat, good cheese sauce. The first time I made the sauce, I served the cheese sauce on its own with roasted potatoes to dip into it – it literally blew our minds! After that, I just had to try it in a mac and cheese format and it worked beautifully. This recipe is now my entire family’s favourite vegan mac and cheese recipe – the others we have tried have all been good, but this one is exceptional!
Don’t be put off by the odd ingredients in this sauce – I promise you – it is amazing!
- 2 cups mashed up boiled potatoes
- 3/4 cup chopped up boiled carrots
- 1/2 cup (or more) nutritional yeast
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1/2-1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (entirely optional – I left it out this time)
- optional add ins like sundried tomato
To make the sauce, simply peel and boil your potatoes. Peel and boil your carrots too. Once soft, roughly chop up the carrots and measure out 3/4 cup. Roughly mash the potatoes and measure out 2 cups. Add all ingredients (except the pasta – duh) into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. This makes about 1.3 litres of sauce. I like my mac and cheese VERY saucy so I use about 350g gluten free pasta and double this batch of sauce:) How much sauce you use is up to you. I prefer my mac and cheese rather plain so I just chopped up some sundried tomatoes and once the pasta was boiled and drained, I stirred the cheesy sauce and sundried tomatoes through the pasta. I poured it into a oven safe dish and topped it with gluten free breadcrumbs and tomato slices with black pepper ground over the top. I then baked it for about 20 minutes.
This sauce is really amazing! Hope you like it as much as I do. Use it as a cheese sauce over nachos, to pour over chips, to pour over roasted vegetables, in lasagne, in pasta dishes that require a white sauce…..
Let me know what you think!
Man…this was a good supper! I saw this recipe and adapted it to my taste – LOVED IT! The sauce on its own does taste of cauliflower (although still super delicious), but when mixed through spaghetti, you don’t taste the cauliflower and just taste a creamy delicious alfredo. You could jazz this up by adding tempeh bacon, asparagus, roasted artichokes, olives etc, but I love my alfredo plain and simple with mushrooms and loads of freshly ground black pepper.
All the measurements in this recipe are approximate. Depending on your cauliflower as well as on your taste buds, you may want to add a bit more garlic or onion power or nutritional yeast….you get the idea. Use this as a template and go from there.
- 1kg cauliflower
- 1 heaped teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and black pepper
Steam/boil the cauliflower until soft and drain. Place into your blender. Quickly fry your garlic in a pan on the stove top just to roast it a little – no oil needs to be used – use a tiny dash of boiling water if needed. Now add fried garlic along with all other ingredients into your blender and blend until a smooth sauce is formed. Add water as needed. I suggest going easy on the garlic initially – you can add more but can’t take out. I like garlic so I often add extra, but don’t know about you:)
Pour this sauce over freshly boiled pasta and stir through. Serve with freshly ground black pepper, some vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast and rocket is always a fabulous addition!