Sorry for my random absence as of late, it was mostly unexpected on my part but when I started to feel a case of burn out slowly overcoming me, time away from the blog was just what the doctor ordered. Funny how it sneaks up on you like that, but I’m happy to say that with a couple recent changes, I’m feeling much more relaxed lately and I’ve even found some time to remove the 600 photos from my (technically P’s) camera. I temporarily lost my kitchen mojo but with the help of P and some of my awesome cookbooks, I’m slowly coming out of my rut.
Even though it’s been raining for the past week, I’m really looking forward to this summer. We’ve got an upcoming, long overdue vacation planned!! BBQ’s, running outside (I’m actually getting back into running for the first time in 3 years!), hiking and one of my most favourite things, camping! We’ve only gone once so far, but we’re hoping to get in a few more trips before the temperatures begin to dip again. I’m not exactly into the whole primitive campsite deal, we love tenting it but I gotta say, the creation of plumbing and flushing toilets is a wondrous thing. I think my favourite thing about camping is the pure simplistic pleasure of sitting around the fire and watching the flames flicker, seriously, who the hell needs tv when there’s some burning action on the go?
Of course, one of my other favourite things about camping is thinking up fun meal ideas, this is the first time we’ve done the foil packet concept and I wish I had heard of it before! So easy and so tasty. We wanted enough for both me and P, so we picked up some of those small foil baking pans you can get at the grocery store and filled it up with sweet potato, bbq’d soy curls, onion, red pepper, zucchini and spices, then just doubled it up with foil. When you’re ready to cook, all you have to do is chuck it in the fire and wait for the magic to happen. T’was all kinds of yum, but alas no pics of that one. Besides for that, we also made some salads, chilli and a tofu scramble to bring and of course hotdogs! You can’t go camping without cooking something on a stick. This is the first time I’ve tried the Field Roast Frankfurters and I have to say, they’re the best veggie dogs I’ve tried yet, you don’t get that weird soy taste like some of others that I’ve tried.
But enough about me babbling on about camping, instead let’s talk about something that has nothing to do with camping, creamy high-protein pasta sauce!
Ok, that was so not a smooth transition, but who cares when we have creamy pasta to discuss! I originally came across this recipe on Janet’s blog and then saw that it was originally posted by Jess, it looked so good that I just had to put my own spin on it. Initially this was an Alfredo sauce but due to some red peppers in my fridge that were slowly beginning to look like two wrinkled old people, I decided to turn this into a roasted red pepper sauce. If you want to make this even quicker, it tastes just as great with the bottled stuff. I loved how this turned out, super creamy and slightly sweet from the red peppers, plus it’s pretty healthy with all those beans and veggies. You can use any kind of pasta you like but I love using penne as it really soaks up all the sauce.
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower & Asparagus
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped (4 cups)
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large shallot, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 roasted red peppers (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces (about 2 cups) dried pasta of your choosing (I used penne)
- Vegan parmesan, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast at 400F for 35 minutes, stirring once. Add the chopped asparagus and a bit more oil, toss and bake for another 10 minutes. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat sauté the shallots and garlic, until translucent. Transfer to a blender or food processor along with the cashews and white wine, puree until smooth. Add the cooked white beans, red pepper, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt, puree, then slowly add in almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency by adding more milk or broth. Transfer to a large skillet and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook sauce until it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions and then drain.
Add your pasta, cauliflower and asparagus to the skillet with the red pepper sauce. Toss and season to taste, then serve with a sprinkling of vegan Parmesan.