Maria's open and honest approach to life and her meals is inspiring. I love her food philosophy, "Food isn’t your enemy, it’s literally the best thing for you."
I am thankful to be able to share a few recipes from her new cookbook!
"As far as I’m concerned, alfredo sauce has gotten a bad rap for being processed, too creamy and overusing dairy, but it really doesn’t have to! We live in 2018 and some of us know that cashews, almond milk and some nooch (nutritional yeast) whipped up in a blender will make some bad-ass sauce—and now you know it too! Fettuccine was one of the first dishes I cut out when I was going through the confusing stages of my teens and early twenties. Please, remember, I am a huge advocate for balance so don’t cut the original version out of your diet because you think it’s bad. You can eat what you want; I just made adjustments to the original recipe to help balance my life, my way. Andrew and I enjoy this healthy version of the dish almost three times a month and love every mouthful of it. I leave the table feeling energized, happy about my food choices and often ready to eat another serving." ~ Maria Koutsogiannis
1 lb (450 g) fettucine
2 tbsp (30 g) vegan butter
1 cup (140 g) raw cashews
1 medium yellow onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup (120 ml) white wine
Juice of 1 large lemon
½ tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp (8 g) arrowroot powder
3 tbsp (54 g) nutritional yeast
½–1 cup (120–240 ml) almond milk
½ cup (120 ml) pasta water, and more for blending
¼ cup (15 g) fresh chives
¼ cup (15 g) fresh parsley
1 cup (150 g) fresh cherry tomatoes, halved, optional
½ cup (45 g) coconut bacon, optional
1 cup (252 g) smoked tofu cubes, optional
Cook the fettucine in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain, saving ½ cup (120 ml) or more of the pasta water.
Heat the vegan butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Let it melt, and then add the cashews, onion and garlic. Let this cook down for about 10 minutes on medium heat until the onions are translucent and the room is very fragrant. Add salt and pepper, then increase the heat and add the white wine and lemon to deglaze the pan. Using a silicone spoon, stir the mixture well, making sure to get all that goodness from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has evaporated. Add the liquid smoke, arrowroot and nutritional yeast. Stir until well-combined.
Transfer this mixture to a high-speed blender, add the pasta water and almond milk, and blend for a minute or until completely smooth. If you need to loosen up the mixture add some more pasta water. Taste the sauce to make sure you cannot taste the arrowroot powder. If you can, stir for a while longer over low heat, tasting it occasionally. When you can’t taste it any more, it’s time to add the pasta. Give it a good stir and transfer to a large serving dish. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Best enjoyed hot with fresh garlic toast. If you want to add some extra flair, you can add fresh cherry tomatoes, coconut bacon or smoked tofu!
Reprinted with permission from Mindful Vegan Meals by Maria Koutsogiannis, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Maria Koutsogiannis and Chris Amat.
(Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book. I was not paid to write this post and all the opinions are truly my own.)