creamy vegan garlic alfredo

Garlic alfredo…what could be better?  Plant based garlic alfredo that tastes better than the original “cowy “one! This sauce has been a favourite of ours for about the last year and we’ve made it more times than we can count.  We’ve brought it to functions where there are non vegans there and – every time, without fail I get asked “what is in this?, this is the best alfredo sauce I’ve ever had”.  It really is, the best alfredo sauce you will ever have and on top of that, it’s so easy to make and  it will keep the peeps comin back for more – time and time again which is what I like.  We really will change the world one meal at a time.

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I love this sauce because it takes such few ingredients and you will have leftovers for a few days after, love!   Let’s get started with ingredients.  You’ll need :

1 medium onion (make sure it’s at least 1 1/2 cups chopped.  We usually use a large white onion instead of a medium one so to have extra sauce for leftovers.

1-2 cups low sodium vegetable broth ( will use a total of this amount in the recipe )

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or himalayan

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 large garlic cloves ( I add more for extra garliciness )

1/2 heaping cup of raw cashews ( soaked overnight if you don’t have a high powered blender )

1 tablespoon lemon juice or more, but don’t forget this – makes a big difference

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast ( we add a touch more for extra cheesiness )

1/4 teaspoon of fresh rosemary leaves

1 cup  (100 grams) of Whole grain Penne pasta

2 cups of fresh broccoli (or more – we like a lot!)

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First, pour 1 cup of the veggie broth into your frying pan, and warming  up at at medium to low heat.  Have your onions and garlic all chopped up and add them to your veggie broth.  Keep on stirring in your pan until your veggie broth has evaporated completely and your onions are nice and tender.  Add some salt and pepper while they are simmering in the broth too, for some flavouring.

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Next, it’s time to get your blender out and start to add ingredients.  As an aside we use a Vitamix which is hands down the best blender on the market, because it makes the sauce so smooth and uniform, like it was done by a master chef.  We have become Vitamix evangelists ( and we didn’t get paid to say that, no affiliation, blah blah)  They’re pricey but worth it!  but we digress.

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Put your onions and garlic in the blender first, then add about 3/4 cup – 1 cup of the remaining veggie broth.  We usually do 1 cup just so we have a little extra sauce for later.  Then add your salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, rosemary leaves, lemon and cashews and blend on high for a few mins.  When you open that lid you will be blown away by the amazing aroma this sauce makes…it will take your breath away!  In the original recipe, it does not call for rosemary leaves but we started adding them awhile ago and it adds just the slightest flavour that enhances all the other ingredients,  We just love the end result.  You will too!

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Now can you believe it?! Your sauce is done in no time and now you can boil up some water and start making some pasta.  Our favourite right now is a pasta called ” Organic Ancient Grain Pasta Penne by New Roots ” It’s made with organic brown rice, quinoa, amaranth & corn.  It’s also whole grain and gluten free.  We are not gluten free, but this pasta just happens to be one that we love and ended up being gluten free.  It’s so delicious and satisfying, and the pasta alone – without even counting the other ingredients – contains almost 10 grams of protein!

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Last step is to pick your veggies that you would like to add to your pasta and sauce.  Our favourite is broccoli.  We just can’t get enough broccoli these days, it’s so good!  Steam your broccoli for 5-10 minutes.  We usually end up steaming a few heads of broccoli which is enough for one or two people.  Once your veggies & pasta are all cooked up place on a plate and pour your sauce over them and voila! Dinner is served.

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You can now eat a guilt free garlic alfredo that you can feel good about eating.  It’s not only so easy to make, it’s oil free and dairy free, and above rather importantly – cruelty free.  Three of our favourite as none of them are healthy – for anyone.

You will go back for seconds and thirds and you won’t be able to stop eating this.  We dream about it…no lie.

Enjoy!

Namaste.  My muse and I.

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We’d love to say that we invented this amazing dish, but that wouldn’t be conscious or in good taste.  So – giving credit where credit is due: We discovered this recipe at http://www.thevegan8.com

Lovely photography by Iulia Agnew, of Vancouver, BC.

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guilt free creamy lemon bars

Love biting into a big piece of fresh lemon cheesecake ? – only to be overwhelmed by guilt only 30 seconds later ?  Well we’ve got the perfect solution for you here at the conscious taste.  All of the taste (and then some) – and none of the guilt.

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Follow these quick and easy steps and you’ll be enjoying these mouth wateringly delicious lemon bars with  your favourite cup of tea in no time

First step.  Get your ingredients together for the crust & filling :

Crust :

1 cup (90 g) oats

1 cup (112 g) almonds

1/4 cup sea salt

2 tbsp (24 g) coconut sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup

4-5 tbsp (60-75 g) pumpkin puree,

(please note we substituted pumpkin puree for oil as oil of any kind is the most calorie dense food on the planet, and has other health concerns also (another post for another day)  So while we are not completely oil free –  we try to avoid using oil wherever possible, and the substitute worked BETTER than oil in this recipe )

Filling :

1 cup (120 g) raw cashews

1 cup (240 g)  coconut cream * (the hardened portion a the top of the full fat coconut milk, I prefer trader joes thick coconut cream)

2 tbsp (14 g) arrowroot or cornstarch

1/2 cup (120 ml) lemon juice (2 large lemons)

1 heaping tbsp (4 g) lemon zest (1 large lemon)

1 pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup, plus more to taste

optional : 2 tbsp powdered sugar, for topping

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First place your cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water, letting them sit for one hour.  Then preheat your oven to 350 degrees (176 C) and line your 8×8 pan with parchment paper. I found that if you really try and make the parchment paper go as close to the edge of the pan as possible you will get more pretty looking squares in the end.

Next take all of your dry ingredients and place in your blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix and it’s a dream – but that’s a post for another day).  Mix these all together on the highest speed setting until it becomes a finely ground meal.

2Next, combine your dry meal and your wet crust ingredients,  mixing together to make a thick paste.  Remember to only add your dry ingredients into the blender. I goofed the first time I made these by adding the dry & wet ingredients together resulting a bit of a mess!.  Thank goodness I was using a Vitamix because it still mixed everything together in the end, it just took some guns moving that tamper around.

Once you’ve mixed everything together and you have the right consistancy place it in your pan and push down flat with some parchment paper.  The parchment paper will keep your hand from getting covered in the mix.

Now, place your crust in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then turn up your heat to 375 degrees and bake for 5-8 more mins or until the edges are slightly browned to perfection.

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The filling.  Its time for the good stuff and OMG is it ever lickable, or even drinkable for that matter.  Take your cashews, drain them and place them in your blender.  Next take the rest of your filling ingredients with the exception of the powdered sugar, and also place them in your blender.  We will add the powdered sugar at the end to make them look pretty.   Mix your ingredients on high, until creamy & smooth.  Taste it, it will blow your mind.  Remember just to taste it and not start eating by the spoonful or you won’t have enough for the recipe.  Just sayin’…

Once you’ve tried it and perfected the taste adding a bit more maple syrup or lemon zest, pour it over your crust and then bake for 20-23 mins.  You will know when it’s ready because it will be firm, but still moves a little in the middle.

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Once that’s all done let your baby rest for about 10 mins and then put in your fridge, uncovered for 3-4 hours.  I couldn’t wait the first time and dug in at 3 hours because it was killing me, I had to try.  Be prepared – they will blow your mind.  They taste like the best version of any lemon cheesecake you have ever tried.  I ate the entire pan to myself and have done that many times. It’s the little (or big) things in life that keep us happy.  Enjoy.

Namaste – my muse & I.

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We’d love to say that we invented these, but that wouldn’t be conscious or in good taste.  So- giving credit where credit is due: We discovered this recipe at http://www.theminimalistbaker.com.

Photos by Iulia Agnew of Vancouver, BC.

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