All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
This recipe is simply my Vegan Creamy Alfredo recipe with seared garlic mushrooms added on top. The mushrooms add lots of flavor & takes some of the weight off the Alfredo – as far as having an authentic Alfredo taste.
I will be honest here. I have yet to make a cauliflower-based “cheese” that tastes convincingly of heavy cream & Parmesan. I will also add that nutritional yeast is either a flavor you like – or not. I find it pleasant & sort of nutty – but it does not taste like cheese. So – this Alfredo is not going to convince a cheese-eater that it is real Alfredo – but if you are a seasoned vegan & accustomed to managing expectations – this is really quite good. It is also good if – like me – you cannot imaging eating something as rich & FATTENING as a real plate of pasta Alfredo. This dish is creamy & visually satisfying & it is tasty. It feels decadent but the only thing decadent is the actual pasta.
That said – let me give you a peek into the reality of food photography. Typically – I march all around my house with the plate of food & I place it in several locations – trying to find the best light & background. Sometimes – that spot is on my dining room floor. See?
That is my son, Dexter. He is 10 & has nerve damage & needs yoga mats everywhere so his rear legs can get traction. He is a gorgeous boy & my best fried & always offers his support as I put food all over the place to photograph it. He never tries to sneak a bite. He is just a curious little momma’s boy. I am pretty sure most bloggers are using cheated shots like this that are cropped to keep the bizarre stuff in frame out of the final image. So – there you go.
Vegan Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo with Garlic Seared Mushrooms
1 lb pasta
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 TBS olive oil
1-4 garlic cloves – chopped
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups almond milk
1-3 TBS nutritional yeast (start with less & only increase after tasting each time)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
A few shakes of hot sauce (I always use Crystal)
Parsley – chopped
for the seared garlic mushrooms
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1-6 cloves garlic – chopped
Heat the olive oil & cook the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the 1 1/2 cups milk (or more) & cauliflower & boil the cauliflower in the milk until it is very tender – 10 minutes or so. My cauliflower soaked up all the milk – so I had to add more in the blending process. Be careful you don’t burn the cauliflower & add more milk as it cooks – if it needs it.
Meanwhile – cook the pasta.
When the cauliflower is very soft – puree it in a blender nutritional yeast, additional milk (if necessary), cayenne & hot sauce (maybe not ALL the milk & nutritional yeast). Season with S&P and adjust the milk & nutritional yeast to suit your tastes in both flavor & consistency.
for the seared garlic mushrooms
Heat a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms & cook – stirring infrequently – so they get a chance to brown. When the are done to your liking – add the garlic & cook one minute longer. Remove from heat.
Drain the pasta & return it to the pot. Toss with SOME of the sauce. You may or may not want to use all the sauce. That is just a personal preference. When it looks nice & creamy to YOU – plate it & garnish with seared mushrooms & parsley.