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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shells in Alfredo Sauce with Pan-Fried Green Beans

Last night I wanted to celebrate it being Friday, so decided to try out a new recipe for alfredo sauce. Occasionally I crave something cheesy or creamy, which is when I make macaroni & cheese or something similar that's *almost* like the real, non-vegan thing. This was one of those times!
The recipe for the alfredo couldn't be easier - just toss everything in the blender until smooth and mix with drained pasta on the stove until thickened! It was tasty, salty and creamy. It was definitely a bit reminiscent of the coconut milk, but until I can figure out a way to add the necessary fat to the dish without the coconut milk, it will do. Some people don't like that taste, but I thought the overall quality of the sauce was good enough to make it worth it. It was intended per the website to go with fettucine, but I couldn't find any fettucine noodles that didn't have eggs. I subbed pasta shells, which I like because bits of sauce get stuck inside the shells and burst in your mouth...kind of exciting??! Also, I added a dash of black pepper to the finished sauce; I always remember alfredos being peppery, and was definitely glad that I did this step!
Alongside this (which I don't recommend!) I made a tasty pan-friend green bean dish. The reason I don't recommend these two together is that the green beans have soy sauce, and the Italian-esque and Asian flavors don't really mesh well. Both both recipes would be good with different plate-buddies =)
The green beans were quick and easy, tender and full of flavor - it would be great with a side of marinated tofu. I'd recommend a more lemon-garlicky green bean dish if you wanted to pair it with the pasta.

Vegan Alfredo from Vegan Yumminess
1 pound dried fettuccine noodles (again, I used shells)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash of onion and garlic powder

1.Cook noodles according to package instructions.
2. Blend all other ingredients in the blender until smooth. Add sauce to cooked and drained noodles. Cook over medium heat until sauce is warm and thickened slightly (this took only a matter of minutes for me as the stovetop was already warm from cooking the pasta).

Finished product!

Pan-Fried Green Beans via
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (I used natural cane)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic

1. Place green beans in a large saucepan or pot with one inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook about 5 minutes until lightly steamed. They should still be bright green and firm.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Set aside.
3. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until beginning to brown. Add green beans and stir to coat in oil. Stir in soy sauce mixture and simmer for a few minutes to reduce the sauce. Serve green beans and pour remaining sauce over them.

Bottom Line: Both these dishes are recommended; very tasty and flavorful. But I would recommend them each separately with a similarly flavored dish!