Note: This post is sponsored by Fisher® Nuts.
As many of you know, I have recently become fascinated with the health benefits of plant-based eating, and have enjoyed experimenting with using less meat and dairy in my cooking. The results have surprised even me! Vegan eating can be utterly delicious! I am excited that Fisher® Nuts has agreed to partner with me so that I can share some new recipes with you that demonstrate how to substitute healthy nuts in place of traditionally “heavy” ingredients such as butter, cheese, cream, and meat. Thank you to my friends at Fisher® for making this post possible!
Guys. I need to be honest with you for a sec…
I did not expect to like this dish.
Oh, I hoped to, sure! But truthfully, my reason for wanting to make it was plain and simple: I was violently curious. Could an Alfredo sauce made from almonds (without a speck of cream, butter, or Parmesan cheese to be found) ever hope to compare to the full (fat-loaded) Monty???
I can’t even believe it myself, but the answer is YES. I loved this Alfredo! I loved it more than my original version. (Still can’t believe I’m saying that.)
Maybe it is just beginner’s luck but I have had awesome results from the few vegan recipes I have tried so far! But just in case you should think I’m bluffing in order to somehow trick you into trying this (which I would never do, by the way), I’ll tell you that this Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie is another vegan recipe I’ve tried that I will readily admit to you is fooling no one. I still enjoy it personally, but I would not bring it to a potluck and expect people to believe it’s the “normal” version. So hopefully that gives me a little credibility with you when I say that this alfredo is the furthest thing from that Chocolate Chip Cookie pie… it blew me away! I cannot wait to make it again, and again, and again.
I listed out a few pros and cons of vegan alfredo as opposed to traditional alfredo… in case you’re still eyeing me suspiciously while reading this post.
1) Price-wise, they are about equal! When you aren’t buying butter, cream, and good-quality Parmesan cheese, you have plenty of money for raw almonds and miso paste (the only two ingredients in this dish that I would consider more “pricey.”)
2) No sanitizing your counter tops, knives, or cutting boards! That’s a pro to all vegan cooking… and I love it!
3) It tastes amazing.
4) It is incredibly good for you. It’s low in saturated fat and has nutrients out the wazoo (thanks to the delicious additions of kale and mushrooms)… it is a complete meal, protein and all!
1) Ugh, the clean-up! I make regular alfredo in one pan. Am I willing to dirty up a few more (plus the blender) in order to exchange white flour, butter, cream, and cheese for ingredients that will make me feel and look better? Depends on the day. Just being honest.
2) No meat. Some would scoff at an alfredo dish that doesn’t also contain grilled chicken… but I happen to love mushrooms and kale and I think they are a great substitute (especially since they add protein, calcium, and iron to the dish!)
3) Time. This took a little longer than my regular alfredo, but I mostly blame that on all the vegetable chopping beforehand (garlic, onion, kale, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes.) I’m noticing this trend with most vegan recipes I’ve tried. They are amazingly good, but they require a bit of patience. It’s an investment in my health than I am happy to make, but I know that for some, time is the all-important factor and I totally get that.
So let’s make this alfredo!
You’ll need raw almonds (I love Fisher® Whole Natural Almonds), and mild white miso paste (which I found in the Asian foods aisle of my Kroger.) This bottle set me back about $7 dollars, but the sauce is quite simple so it’s important to include all the ingredients. On the plus side, this bottle will last me a long time!
Everything else in this dish is pretty normal: fettucine pasta, olive oil, onion (I used leek), garlic, kale, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
Here’s the fun part!
You boil the almonds in water to loosen the skins, then just pull the skins right off with your fingers…
Then the naked almonds go into a blender, along with some water, and get pulverized until smooth.
The resulting “milk” (yes! this is how you make almond milk) gets poured through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, into a bowl. I didn’t want any of that goodness to go to waste either, so I picked up my cheese cloth and gave the pouch a good squeeze.
And don’t you dare discard those solid crumbs left behind in the cheesecloth. That stuff is almond meal, and do you know how much it costs in stores? It is an awesome ingredient to add to baked goods, oatmeal, and so much more! High in protein and gluten-free. Just spread it out onto a sheet pan and allow it to dry a bit, then bag it and store it in your fridge to use in anything you want!
The strained almond milk goes back into the blender, along with sauteed leeks and garlic, and that delicious miso paste I mentioned earlier. And that’s it! That is the sauce.
Let the sauce heat up in a saucepan on a low burner while you sautee the mushrooms and kale and boil the pasta noodles. Then just combine all this bliss together in one pan.
Does this not look heavenly?
And I absolutely couldn’t choose a feature photo (between these two below.) I love them both for different reasons, even though all of you will probably think they look exactly the same. Just laugh at me and shake your head, it’s ok… I’m a weirdo.
Side Note: I’ve been noticing issues with Pinterest pinning these images sideways. If you are having trouble pinning either of the two images above to your boards, here is one you can simply “re-pin.” Hope that is helpful, and sorry for the weirdness!
Even if you’re not vegan… even if you have no intention of ever becoming vegan… I think this is just a fun culinary adventure that you should experience! The possibilities for cooking with nuts really go far beyond what I’ve ever tried before, and the new possibilities have me so excited.
I enjoyed the heck outta this dish (both fresh off the stove, and reheated throughout the week.) A word to the wise though: Reserve a little pasta water and add it to the tupperware container if you end up saving any of this pasta for another meal. It helps the texture stay saucy and perfect when you reheat it!
Also before I sign off, I’d love for you to link me up to some of your favorite uber-healthy recipes. I just started a new “Cleansing Recipes” board on Pinterest and I’m pinning to it like a madwoman! (Beach season must have me inspired.)
Enjoy this dish, everyone, and scroll down for the printable…
- 6 oz. fettuccine noodles
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 stalks kale, (stems removed) chopped
- 4 oz. mushrooms, washed, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- 1 batch Almond Alfredo Sauce (recipe follows)
- Small handful fresh herbs (basil, parsley, rosemary, and thyme are all delicious)
- ALMOND ALFREDO SAUCE:
- ½ cup Fisher® Whole Natural Almonds
- 2 cups water, plus 1 cups water
- ¾ C. chopped onion or leek (white and light green parts only)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon mellow white miso paste
- Make almond alfredo sauce (instructions below), and set aside in a saucepan over a very low burner (just to keep warm.)
- Wash, dry, and pre-chop/slice mushrooms, kale, leek, garlic, herbs, and sundried tomatoes.
- Cook the fettuccine according to package directions, reserving ¼- ½ C. pasta water before draining.
- In a large skillet, saute mushrooms in olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook until they are soft and lightly browned (about 5-8 minutes.) Add the chopped kale to the pan with the mushrooms during the last minute of cooking.
- Toss the cooked fettuccine with the mushrooms, kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and Almond Alfredo Sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve hot.
- *Note: If there are leftovers, add ¼ C. of the reserved pasta water to the container you will store the pasta in. This will help maintain the sauciness of the dish when it is reheated.
- For Almond Alfredo Sauce:
- Heat about 2 C water in a medium saucepot until boiling. Add the almonds to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the almonds, and with your fingers, peel the almonds and discard the skins.
- In a skillet, saute the onions or leeks with 1 Tbsp. oil and a few pinches salt and pepper until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and let cook 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the the skinless boiled almonds to a blender, along with 1 C water, and blend until smooth.
- Line a colander with cheesecloth (a paper towel also works), set the colander over a bowl, and pour the almond mixture through the colander into the bowl. Squeeze the pouch of cheesecloth to make sure all of the almond milk is collected. You may discard the remaining solids or spread them onto a sheet pan to dry. (This almond meal can be used later in baking!)
- Return the strained almond milk to the blender and add the onion mixture and miso. Process until smooth, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Before use, heat the sauce over a very low flame until hot.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here.
You might also enjoy…