RICH AND CREAMY "NO-CHEESE" SAUCE

RICH AND CREAMY "NO-CHEESE" SAUCE

I am always thinking how to make a recipe as easy, as delicious, and as fun as possible. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t.

This recipe is one of those success stories.

I have perfected the vegan Carbonara/Alfredo/Bechamel sauce. So much so that even the non-vegans are baffled by it’s taste and creaminess. You can check out “Vegan food hacks” and my Lasagna on this blog for the recipe.

However, all those recipes use flour, and vegan cheese. This time I wanted to challenge myself and create something without flour, without vegan cheese, and mostly natural. Plus, I didn’t want to use tons of cashews to make the cream sauce, which is generally how it’s made on many vegan cooking blogs online.

So what to do? My usual thing is go to the pantry and stare at what’s in store. I want to able to use the ingredients I already have in the pantry rather than going out and buy new ingredients. Some may call me a tight-arse, but it gets me thinking creatively.

And in this case, I found almond meal in the pantry…I screamed Eureka! And no, I did not run out naked in the streets like Archimedes, when he discovered buoyancy.

Secondly, I wanted this sauce to have a subtle cheesy flavor as you normally would have if you were to use cheese. The good old nutritional yeast comes to the rescue.

Once I had these two pillars of the recipe figured out, it was time to start the experiment. I used shallots and yellow capsicum to add depth and x-factor to the sauce. Frankly, I was unsure about the yellow capsicum, but I had a gut feeling that it will work. And it worked wonderfully well. Not only it provided freshness to the sauce but also a vibrant color.

It was now time to put everything together and see if it turns out to be a Frankenstein or Monalisa.

It turned out be a delectable sauce.

The idea of stuffing the capsicums with pasta was to appeal to parents who want their kids to get excited to eat veggies. Look at those colors and presentation, any kid will be drawn to it.

However, you can use this luxurious, silky smooth, yet healthy sauce with almost anything. For instance, make scrambled Tofu with this sauce for a high protein, after work-out meal. In fact, you can re-create the above meal, just stuff Tofu in the capsicums, pour over the sauce, and bake.

This sauce can also be made in advance. Drizzle it on a meal, and you have restaurant quality food.
I can’t wait for you to try this sauce recipe and let me know how did you go.
And if you could make one improvement to the recipe, what would that be? Let me know in the comments.

Serves 5

(1 capsicum each, but if you are anything like me- 2 serves))

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 1 cup yellow capsicum (seeded and roughly chopped)
  • 3/4 cup sliced/chopped shallots (can replace with red onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup plant milk (I use soy-milk as it’s quite creamy)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder (for depth of flavor, but you can omit it)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (1 tsp if you like robust flavor)
  • 1 tsp apple cider videgar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Other ingredients

  • 5 capsicums to stuff
  • Cooked pasta of your choice
  • Vegan mozzarella to sprinkle on top (optional- instead you can sprinkle nutritional yeast)

Method

  • Heat up the oil in a large non-stick frying pan
  • Add the shallots, capsicums, and garlic. Fry on medium heat until slightly golden brown. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Once the mixture cools down a little, add it to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.
  • Blend until it’s silky smooth. (Add touch more plant-milk if needed)
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep aside.

Cooking the capsicums

  • Slice the tops of the capsicums and de-seed them.
  • Stuff them with pasta of your choice. (Do not over stuff)
  • Pour over a little sauce in each capsicum. Let the sauce seep in and repeat the process until the cups can’t take it any more sauce.
  • Sprinkle some vegan mozzarella on top and close the lids.
  • Cook the capsicums for 20-25 min in a fan-forced pre-heated oven on 200C/390F
  • Enjoy hot

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