What's for dinner?

Pasta with vegan Tex-Mex cheese sauce

This dish combines two, maybe even three cuisines together. When you are craving the Mexican flavours but want a macaroni and cheese or pasta (like I did) then this is the dish! It’s a speedy cheese sauce as I used almond butter instead of soaking the nuts which cuts out a bit of prep time when you’re in a time crunch. If you’re in a time crunch then you’ll want to get right to the recipe…

Pasta with vegan Tex-Mex cheese sauce

Ingredients

  • 500 g pasta
  • raw spinach
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 scallions
  • salsa
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can of black beans

For the sauce:

    • 1 cup almond butter
    • 1 cup (or so) of water (gauge it with your eyes to see if the sauce is too thick or not adding more if it’s too thick)
    • 1 tbsp olive oil (or water)
    • 1 onion
    • 1/2 red pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • juice 1/2 lime
    • salt to taste
    • a few dashes of Trader Joe’s Chile lime seasoning blend (If you don’t have access to this you could add a 1/2 tsp paprika and a few dashes of  hot chile flakes)

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Choose your favourite pasta. I used Elicoidali but you could use macaroni. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Heat a sauce pan. Add the oil or water. Chop the onion, garlic and red pepper and saute in the pan just until soft. (You can do a rough chop as these will be blended in the blender. Sauteeing helps to release the flavour and reduce the pungency of the garlic and onion.) Put the almond butter into the blender with the sauteed onion, garlic and pepper. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon and lime juice and salt. Add half the water and pulse until combined then blend on high. Add more water to your desired consistency. (Remember that you will be adding the sauce to the pasta and the pasta will absorb the sauce so a little more on the liquid side rather than the thick side is where you want the consistency.) Once the sauce has been blended return to the pan and add the corn and beans, stir to combine. Drain the pasta and return to the pot then pour the sauce over the hot pasta.  Serve over a bed of baby spinach. Top with your favourite salsa, chopped avocado and scallions. Enjoy!

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