The Beauty of Transition – for all! (Alfredo Pasta in 3 ways!)

The Beauty of Transition – for all! (Alfredo Pasta in 3 ways!)
 

I love when you meet a happy person on the street, you both share your interests and passions, and before you know it you have something in common and you’re both excited to talk about it! For me this happened today – meeting a new friend who quickly dived into her past of thinking about going vegan, but really never wanted to give up chicken. “oh, honey, don’t worry about that – there are plenty of alternatives which taste just as good, if not better!” – responds me. Before you know it I gave her my card (and if you’re reading this post, I hope it’s okay I’m talking about you!) – and felt re-inspired to think about all the transitional stages we go through when wanting to eat healthy.

Many diet ‘gurus’ make it seem like there’s only one way or the highway when it comes to being healthy. “If you’re not doing it 100%, well, you’re fired!” or something like that. Me, though, I recognize that I’ve been exactly where everyone else is in their transition to finding health, passion, and purpose in life. Maybe they’ve already found two but are searching for their health – who knows? Anyways, the point is to remember that any step in the right direction should be applauded, there’s nothing greater than seeing someone experience just an ounce of better health from changing one little habit (like skipping the sodas)… which brings me into this post!

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Dedicated to all foodies – whether they like to experiment with chicken, the soy kind, or create weird sprouted buckwheat versions, this post is for all! There are countless ways to find alternatives to what you normally reach for at night, and I think it’s time we merge them all into one post!

So, what shall we create? How about a delicious Chicken-Alfredo pasta dish? Since I can remember, pasta has been my one weakness, and there were definitely many variations I created when transitioning to raw:

1) Whole Food Version:

                Ezekiel Noodles

These are so easy to use and in my opinion, taste delicious! The Sprouted Ezekiel Noodles have a lot more to offer than other packaged grain noodles – they make a complete and perfect protein in their sprouted assimilation. They do taste like bland grain, so that’s why the sauce is so tasty.

                Organic Chicken

What can I say? I’m not a fan of eating animals, but if you’re trying to eat healthier, opt for organic, happily-farm raised, and non-hormone abused creatures. It’s better for them in the life they had, and it’s better for your health…. Though the ‘vegan’ version beats this by a long shot. (See documentary ‘Earthlings’)  Prepare it how you want, or get it ‘pre-prepared’ at Whole Foods would be the easiest…

                Creamy –vegetarian sauce

 (From The Food Network)

Ingredients

Directions

Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.

Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan and pepper.

Let’s Put it all together!

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

 

 

2) Vegan Version:

(Adapted from Table for Five)

                Ezekiel Noodles or Soy ‘Tofutti’ Noodles

As before – I love Ezekiel Noodles as a sprouted, whole food version – I love ‘em. Though, the Tofutti Noodles have become popular for their low-calorie claim. …. Who doesn’t love some whole grains, though? (Well, except all raw foodists scowling at this post).

Prepare Noodles according to package. (Boil Water, Add Noodles + 1 Tbsp oil + dash of salt)

                 “Chicken”

*2 packages Gardein Chick’n Scallopini

*Blackened Chicken Spices:*Note – this recipe of spices is only enough for 1 package of the chick-un, double for all patties!

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

Directions

  1. Drizzle a large skillet with some evoo and heat to medium
  2. Sprinkle most of your blackened chicken spice on a plate.
  3. Moisten the Gardein patties you are going to blacken with a little water and then coat them with the spices, then pan fry according to the package directions. Set next to the stove to stay warm.

 

                Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Cashew Cream base:

    • 2 cups raw organic cashews
    • 2 1/2 cups water

*Soak cashews in water overnight or bring the cashews and 4 cups of water to a simmer. Remove from heat and let soak 1 hour. Drain and rinse the cashews. This makes 5 cups of cashew cream, you will need all 5 cups for the alfredo sauce! The cream can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 2 months.

Ingredients:

  • About 1/3 cup evoo
  • 1 lb sliced or chopped baby bella mushrooms (the little portobellos) *
  • 2 smallish or 1 large leek thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot chopped
  • 1 head of minced garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Blend your cashew cream as stated above. Set aside.
  2. In a large stock pot heat a little less than 1/2 the evoo over med heat and saute your mushrooms until they are tender, deglaze the pan with 1/2 the white wine. Scoop out your mushrooms and set aside.
  3. In the same pot heat the rest of your evoo over med heat and add your leeks and shallots. Saute about 5 minutes, until tender.
  4. … Add your head of minced garlic, and then drizzle with the remaining white wine. Cook for a minute or two then whisk in your 5 cups of Cashew Cream, stir well. Add lemon juice, onion and garlic powders, pepper flakes and nutmeg, stirring well. Let it come to a simmer stirring CONSTANTLY until it thickens. You will be able to tell right away when it is thickened, add in the nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper to taste, add back in the mushrooms.

 

Let’s Put it all Together!

  1. Your noodles should be done, drain and then pour the noodles into the sauce pot. Use tongs to toss the noodles and coat with sauce.
  2. Plate your masterpiece! Twirl fettuccine into nests on your plates, sprinkle the grownups noodles with some of the blackened chicken spices and rough chop 1 chicken patty on top of the noodles.
  3. Sit back and enjoy your meal and bask in all the ooohhhs and ahhhs of all your hard work :)

 

 

3) Raw Vegan Version

Another reason I love RAW: This version is so delicious and by far the easiest of all three. Given a table with all of them, I would definitely choose this one from Sweetly Raw’s Heather Pace.

                Kelp or Zucchini Noodles

Package of Kelp Noodles or approximately 3-4 mediums sized Zucchini (Spiralized).

*With both, drizzle a little bit of olive oil and *optional* dash of salt to soften and marinate before you add the sauce

                Raw Alfredo Sauce

1 1/4 cup cashews

3/4 cup water

1/4-1/3 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon himalayan salt

1 clove garlic

1 drop stevia

 

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

 

                Marinated ‘meaty’ vegetables or ‘fake’ chick-un

I can’t say I’m ever a fan of ‘raw’ meat variations, but this one is a close second to just marinating some mushrooms and broccoli in a mixture of

*olive oil

*Braggs Liquid Aminos

*Paprika, garlic, lemon juice, and oregano

 

OR: (Looks a lot more complicated than it is…)

Raw Vegan “Chick-un” (Makes 36 Nuggets)

Crust:

  • 1 c. Almond Meal
  • 1/4 c. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 T. Flax seed, ground
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1 ¼ t. Celtic Sea Salt (fine)

Mix together, set aside in bowl.

Nuggets:

  • 1 c. Sunflower seeds (soaked)
  • 2 c. Cashews (soaked)
  • ½ c. Flax Seed
  • 2 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 t. Salt
  • ½ t. Onion Salt(or more to taste)
  • ¼ t. Celery Seed
  • ¼ t. Cumin
  • Pinch Garlic Powder
  • Pinch White Pepper
  • ¼ c. Spring Water (more or less)

Place ingredients, minus water, in a food processor. Process and add water until a chunky, oatmeal cookie batter consistency, not too smooth. Scoop out with a tablespoon and shape to a nugget, roll it in the crust and put on a dehydrator screen. Repeat until used up.

Dry at 145 degrees for 1 hour, than at 100 degrees for 12 – 24 hours, until just damp in the middle. Serve warm from dehydrator. I freeze extras and warm in dehydrator before eating.

Let’s put it all together!

In a bowl, add marinated (and soft) kelp noodles/zucchini noodles, or a mixture! Add Alfredo Sauce – mix and let sit 5 minutes to really absorb the sauce. (They will become softer after this). Add in your marinated veggies with your preferred flavorings, or add your ‘chick-un’ which you no doubt spent some time making. Enjoy and feel blessed!

 

 

Whew! That’s a compilation of three different variations for your transitioning to healthy living! Please don’t think that I view the first (or really, the second) as optimal, but I recognize everyone is at their own unique stage to eating healthier, and I want the journey to living foods to be one that is positive and you feel you’re learning with ease. :)

 Enjoy!
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XO Mandy