Friday, March 01, 2013

Creamy Carrot Cashew Sauce

There's a reason (besides laziness) that I don't post recipes as often as I used to. Because cooking meals for two adults and one toddler can be....boring? Repetitive? Like throwing a bunch of semi-homemade stuff in a microwave and calling it food? Really, I do my best to provide my kid healthy, well rounded meals. And the goal is to have the kid and the adults eating the same meals, for the most part. But there are challenges to everyone eating the same food in this house. For one, the kid is on a higher fat diet than we really need to be. Two, like most toddlers, he doesn't enjoy certain textures and can sometimes be described as "picky". Third, I usually have about twenty minutes of spare time to create meals. Is that how long an episode of Blue's Clues is? However long it takes for him to get bored with that show then come into the kitchen to destroy my baking supplies drawer and insist on being lifted up to see what's going on at the stove. It's all downhill from there, so I gotta act fast.

We eat a ton of pasta in this house. The Italian husband loves it, I love it, and the toddler would eat only pasta every day for the rest of his life if we allowed it. But everyone gets bored of tomato sauces and cheesy sauces. So lately I've been blending any and every vegetable into a creamy sauce. It started with a dairy-free pesto, then kept on going with butternut squash, broccoli, spinach, kale, and now carrots. Just to be clear, I don't hide vegetables from the kid. He eats chunks of vegetables fairly often, too. And I tell him what's in his sauce. His favorite is broccoli sauce. But he doesn't like the texture of broccoli trees, and you already know about his pasta obsession, so a sauce is a good way for him to eat some green stuff.

This carrot cashew sauce is a recent favorite all around. It may look like a cheese sauce, but the flavor is not cheesy at all. It is slightly sweet from the carrots and just basically delicious. I use frozen organic carrots steamed in the microwave because, TIME. But you can use fresh carrots cooked on the stove if you want. Our beloved high power Vitamix blender allows us to blend cashews into a sauce without soaking them first. If you don't have a high powered blender, soak those nuts in water for a few hours before blending.

                                          Creamy Carrot Cashew Sauce

1 cup cooked carrots, diced and cooled
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp salt

Dump all that shit into a blender and blend on the highest speed until smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Once the sauce is very smooth, transfer it to a medium saucepan and heat on the stove on low heat while your pasta cooks. Sauce will cover up to 1 pound of cooked pasta.

The kid liked it a lot. It's a good thing too, because there's a lot of leftovers. I love leftovers.


Vic Robinson said...

What a great looking sauce, and a great idea! I may give this a whirl! :)

Glue and Glitter said...

Ooh yum!

Leigh said...

Do it, Vic! Let me know how you like it.

Jessica said...

Yum!And I love the plate!

Leigh said...

Jess! They are from Target. Very cute plates.

dreaminitvegan said...

I just mentioned to my husband last night how I haven't made mac n' cheese lately. I think I'll be adding some carrot? thanks!
Pasta is an easy meal because it is yummy and changing up the sauces and toppings are so varied.