I woke up this morning and I had no idea what day it was!
The holidays will do that to a person I guess. I also forgot that today is a day off work for many people because Jan 1st fell on the weekend. I guess I don’t really keep up with these things being self-employed, but perhaps I should start!
Also, I can’t believe we don’t have a lick of snow left…
On New Year’s Day, it was a warm 10C and all of our snow melted. I don’t think I can ever remember a Jan 1st when we didn’t have snow. It is so weird.
Yesterday, I felt quite run down and I started to feel like I was getting sick, but after a good 8 hours of sleep, I am feeling much better today.
In the past week, I have amped up the following:
- Get enough sleep- I am often guilty of not getting enough sleep, but I have been making an effort to get 7.5-8.5 hours.
- Fluids- I have been drinking a lot of Hot lemon water, Echinacea tea, wheatgrass juice, and Sencha tea.
- Moderate exercise- I’ve been keeping my workouts to about 30 minutes- just enough to reap the benefits of exercise, but not wear my body down or compromise my immune system.
- Think Positive- I always tell myself that I will not get sick. I learned in my psychology courses that a positive disposition reduces the chances of catching colds.
- Healthy Fuel- I have been fueling my body with a wide variety of healthy foods. This ensures that my body has the right fuel to do the job and fight off any illness.
- Washing Hands Frequently- I cranked my hand-washing into overdrive. They say it is the #1 best thing you can do to prevent a cold!
Because there is no ice on the roads (huge benefit of no snow!), I braved the chilly air this morning and had a beautiful + sunny 3 mile outdoor run followed by 5 minutes of plank exercises. After showering and eating breakfast, I set into the kitchen to cook.
I also used something I have never used before…
Brown Rice Pasta!
The thought of having pasta made from brown rice appeals to me, so I thought I would check it out. I wasn’t sure how it was going to cook or taste, but I was so surprised to find that it tasted just like whole wheat pasta! The texture was even the same too. If you are looking for an alternative to wheat based flour, I highly recommend it.
This recipe is so easy to make. I think I was done in 20 minutes.
Note: I only used 1 garlic clove, not 4!
You take all of the ingredients and dump them into a blender.
Then, blend until smooth!
It makes a heaping cup’s worth of the Alfredo Sauce.
I adapted the recipe ingredients and I found my sauce was a bit thin, so next time I would probably use 1 cup Almond milk minus 2 tablespoons to thicken it up a bit more.
Drain and rinse the pasta and then add it to the pot.
Pour on your desired amount of cheese sauce and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently to thicken.
Mmmmmm. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Garnish with herbs and additional paprika and serve.
Quick & Easy Vegan Alfredo
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook.
Yield: 1 heaping cup of sauce (enough for about 4 servings)
- Pasta, of your choice (I used brown rice shells)
- 1/3 heaping cup raw cashews
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp non-dairy butter (I used Soy-free Earth Balance)
- 2 tsp organic Tamari soy sauce, or to taste
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Kosher salt, to taste (I used 1/4-1/2 tsp I think)
- 1/2 tsp Paprika, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Herbs or veggies to add into Alfredo, if desired (I used Broccoli, Peas, and Spinach)
Directions: Cook your pasta until al dente (about 7-8 minutes) and then drain, and rinse with cold water.
While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce: Add all ingredients except pasta into a blender and blend until smooth.
Add the drained pasta back into the pot and pour on your desired amount of sauce into the pot. Heat over medium stirring frequently. Add in vegetables if you desire and cook until heated through.
Makes ~1 heaping cup of sauce, or enough for about 4 portions.
Note: Pasta (mixed with the Alfredo sauce) does not reheat in the microwave very well. It dries out a bit, even when mixing with a bit of milk before heating. My suggestion is to serve the mixed portion fully & immediately after heating and then reserve the leftover sauce in a separate container and make a fresh batch of pasta if you will have it on another occasion. The sauce should keep in the fridge for a few days.
This vegan Alfredo is absolutely delicious and very similar to the Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese sauce, but a bit more Alfredo-like in taste.
If you really want to pump up this dish, add some GREEN POWER!
I added some sautéed broccoli, spinach, and frozen peas into the pot and heated it all together for about 5 extra minutes.
It was awesome both ways and I am sure you could get really creative with your mix-ins.
A fun way to sneak in some vegetables.
I learned this trick from my mom…she used to always mix in some frozen vegetables into our Mac ‘n Cheese when we were kids.
She made it much more difficult for me to feed our dog vegetables under the table…!
You may be surprised to know that as a child, I was really not a big vegetable fan at ALL and I would sit at the table forever in a Vegetable Show Down with my parents. Broccoli was one of my most despised vegetables of all. Oh how things have changed!
Look at me now mom, there was hope all along.