I had an amazing Christmas this year; I spent plenty of time with my family and received some amazing gifts. I was given two vegan cookbooks, one by Vegan Yum Yum and the other by Post Punk Kitchen, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I’ve already thumbed through both books and I’m looking forward to trying recipes out of each of them. One of my favorite things about new cookbooks is the countless number of times I can flip through them and find something new.
I’ve eyed this recipe on the website several times and seeing it again in book form really made me crave it. I used a little less oil and tahini than the recipe called for, to reduce the calories, and added vegetables and tempeh. The alfredo ended up thick and flavorful and the tempeh was crunchy and crisp. The sauce was pretty quick to whip up-I soaked the cashews beforehand to make it easier on my food processor, but it’s not necessary. I still had trouble getting it completely smooth, but we’ll chalk that up to impatience.
- 12 oz penne pasta
- 2 cups fresh spinach, stems trimmed
- 4 ounces thinly sliced tempeh
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced in half-moons
- vegan alfredo sauce-I used the recipe from Vegan Yum Yum
- 2 cups soy milk (preferably unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 2 hours
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- dash of salt & pepper
1. Cook strips of tempeh in 1 teaspoon of canola oil until browned on both sides. I used Tofurkey Smokey Maple Bacon tempeh, but regular tempeh could be used. I would suggest used a little soy sauce to add flavor if you use regular tempeh. Set tempeh aside to cool. In the same pan, cook sliced onion over medium-low heat in 1 teaspoon of olive oil until very soft and slightly brown, about 12 minutes. Set aside.
2. After cashews have soaked in warm water for 2 hours, add to a food processor. Blend a few times until cashews crumble, then add soy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices. Blend for a few minutes until sauce is smooth.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, about 10-12 minutes, then drain. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and toss in spinach until lightly wilted. Add in pasta, sauce, and onions, stirring to heat thoroughly. Top with crumbled tempeh and parsley.