Hello Friends! It has been quite some time since I have posted anything on here, and I feel pretty guilty for that. However, I have also been super occupied with other things (like teaching yoga and more potential food allergies). Alas, I think I am finally back, and it is my life goal (err, short-term life goal?) to post at least a few recipes a month. Bare with me, though, if I am unable to make that happen, cap’n. I am doing my best.On to carb-y comfort food: THIS CARBONARA IS SO DELICIOUS AND MIND-BLOWING YOU WILL NOT KNOW WHAT HIT YOU. I do not know why I caps-locked that, but I will take a guess and assume it was because I aim to emphasize just how amazing this dish is. Seriously. The first time I made it, I could not believe my eyes. Actually, my taste buds. Ya know. Cause eyes do not have tasting capabilities. It is very reminiscent of traditional Carbonara, and for that I am über proud. But don’t take my word for it. See (err, taste!) it for yourself!MMMMMMMM. Rich, Carbonara-y goodness comin’ at ya. Legit upset I did not take a better snapshot than the one pictured above. I was in a hurry and itching to taste it. All the more reason for you to make it at home and enjoy the heck out of it’s sexy flavours. So a few short months ago, I made the decision to completely cut out grains from my diet, as I was feeling lethargic, sick, bloated, and riddled with constant tummy aches. I am sure I was feeling much more (I mean I felt AWFUL) but it has been a while since I have ceased to eat grains and I have been feeling SO fabulous that I seem to have forgotten how I felt just two months ago.
I must confess, I am something of a pasta slut. Pesto pasta, spaghetti, Carbonara, Noodle soup- you name it, I’ll eat it. There is just something about pasta that I cannot seem to resist. And rightfully so; it is quite tasty.
You might say “Well isn’t pasta made from grains?” To which I would reply: “AHA! Not the pasta made by the brand Tolerant!” Aside from being the most tasty pasta I have ever tried, it is also made from one ingredient, and one ingredient only: Organic red lentils. That is it, that is all, folks. In other words, it is basically my new favorite thing on earth, because that means that not only CAN I indulge in pasta without feeling icky afterwards, but I can do so and simultaneously get my protein fix, and that is all I (and most normal people) could ever want in life. Bless the grain and gluten-free pasta Gods for lookin’ out for people like us.
Now I finally have a sense of what people mean when they say you can have your cake and eat it too. You most definitely can, and tolerant pasta proves that! (I am not affiliated, but I am open to it 😉 )In other news, tomorrow is a pretty important/cool/awesome day for me.It is my 22nd birthday. Bring on the Taylor Swift tunes, because I am sure I will be feeling 22. If you did not get that reference, we cannot be friends.
In all honesty, I feel very old, but I am also excited to embark on this next chapter in life and see where twenty-two takes me. Here is to exploring, being open to opportunities, and living life.
Alright I have got a long day ahead of me and must be on my way now, but get your sexy self in the kitchen to make this yummy pasta, stat. I promise it will be finger-lickin’ good. Whatever that means.Serves 6 very ravenous individuals or 8 semi-hungry people
For the Shiitake Bacon:
- 10-12 large shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and destemmed
- 4-5 teaspoons coconut aminos (Alternatively, you could use coconut aminos)
- ½ Tablespoon Avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the Cheesy Sauce:
- 1 cup cashews
- ½ small butternut squash (I imagine you could sub this for a medium sized courgette and still come out with an insanely delicious sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (should I do more?)
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for a nice spicy kick)
- ½ cup cashew milk, or more as necessary (Almond milk works too)
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt, to taste (1 tsp should suffice)
- black pepper, to taste
For the Pasta:
- 1 pound spaghetti, gluten and grain free if necessary (I used this one)
- 4 large handfuls spinach
- remaining ½ of squash
- fresh parsley,chopped, to garnish
Start by peeling the butternut squash. Cube the inside, and then set the butternut squash in a steaming basket, and steam for about 15-20 minutes, or until soft.
Whilst the squash steams, begin boiling water for the noodles in a large pot. Cook as per the package instructions. When finished, transfer the noodles to a colander.
Meanwhile, sweat the shallots on medium-low heat until translucent. If they begin to stick, add a little bit of veggie broth or coconut oil to the pan. Once they are done, remove from heat and add to a high-speed blender.
Once the butternut finishes steaming, add it to the blender, along with all the other Carbonara sauce ingredients, and blend on high until a creamy, thick consistency is achieved. You may need to add more almond milk as needed. Set aside.
Marinate the sliced mushrooms in the coconut aminos, black pepper, and smoked paprika for about 15 minutes or so. Heat a medium-sized pan and add the oil once hot, followed by the marinated mushrooms. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until dry. De-glaze with the Apple Cider Vinegar, give the mushrooms a shake, and then turn off the heat. Leave them in the pan for a few moments and set this aside.
Pre-heat a large skillet and add the sauce once it is warm, along with the spinach and remaining butternut cubes. Cook for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring all the while. The sauce should thicken slightly, and once a nice, creamy, thick texture is achieved, add the noodles and stir until the noodles are well-coated.
Garnish with the parsley and shiitakes. Nom your way into nirvana.