Cauliflower Alfredo with Crispy Leeks and Mushrooms
Serves: 2 hungry humans
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
A delicious, creamy and comforting twist on the classic Alfredo, the perfect winter comfort food!
*Recipe collaboration with BIO XXI
BIO XXI is an organic, gluten free range of Quinoa based food products created by Coronilla in Bolivia's Andes and lucky for us now available in South Africa too. They pride themselves on offering high quality products that are organic, vegan, gluten, egg, nut, dairy, corn, soy and GMO free.
BIO XXI Andean Spaghetti is made from a combination of organic rice and organic quinoa - making it a well balanced high protein and gluten free pasta alternative. The fettucini is simple to prepare and best cooked in boiling water with a splash of good quality olive oil and sea salt. The oil helps to keep the spaghetti from sticking together and forming chewy clumps. It cooks a bit longer than regular wheat pasta 15-20 minutes (taste test for your desired texture) and I highly recommend giving it a good stir through every few minutes while cooking. This is one of my favourite gluten free pasta brands available in South Africa and they have a great range of pasta products include fettuccine, penne and fusilli.
Rice is one of the oldest grains in the world, it nourishes the nervous system, is a natural anti-inflammatory, is gluten free and beneficial for gut health. It contains carbohydrates, protein and fat while also being packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Whole grains can improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Ingredients for the cauliflower Alfredo
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
½ cup plant based milk (organic soy or almond works well)
½ cup cannellini beans, cooked
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp shiro miso (can sub 4 tsp nutritional yeast)
1 tsp dried vegetable stock
¼ tsp mixed dried herbs
250g Bioxxi Andean Fettucini, uncooked
Pink himalayan salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp olive oil or cultured cashew vegan butter
Ingredients for the crispy mushrooms and leeks
1 cup sliced leeks
1 cup mixed exotic mushrooms
1 garlic clove
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp thyme (dried or fresh)
Pink himalayan salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs or herb infused oil (combine fresh herbs of choice - I used basil, parsley and coriander, lemon juice, olive oil and pinch of sea salt to a food processor and blend until well combined. Add more olive oil if needed until a beautiful green oil is formed. This liquid can either be used as is or strained)
Vegan parmesan, grated
Poach the cauliflower, onion and garlic in a mix of filtered water, dried vegetable stock and dried herbs. Don’t worry about overcooking this as it will make the sauce even more smooth and creamy. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the cooked cauliflower mix, cannellini beans, plant milk, lemon juice and miso to a food processor or Nutribullet. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Cook the fettuccine as per packet instructions.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil or cultured cashew butter over medium heat, add the mushrooms and thyme to the hot pan. Cook until crispy and then set aside. Using the same pan, add the leeks, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook until crispy. Season with salt and pepper.
Let’s plate up - gently combine the cauliflower alfredo sauce and fettucine together, top with the crispy leeks and mushrooms, freshly chopped parsley and grated vegan parmesan. Enjoy!
Special thanks to food stylist and photographer, Samantha Lowe.