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Vegan Pesto Cream Sauce

pesto

In the many months since my last post, I learned something new about myself.  I’m lactose intolerant. Boo.

Apparently it’s common for people to produce less of the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose as they get older, but nevertheless I’m feeling a bit betrayed by my body. Betrayed and a bit in denial.

Luckily, I’ve also learned that there are some delicious (and simple!) replacements for traditional cream sauces: a prime example being this pesto cream sauce.

I was inspired by this recipe (cauliflower and cashews, brilliant!), but I made some alterations to cater it to my tastes. This sauce is so rich and hearty, but not heavy and cloying like many dairy-based sauces. I’ve made it twice so far, and shared it with enough people and kids to declare it picky eater approved. Lastly, don’t let the iphone photo with exactly 0 food styling dissuade you…it was so good I couldn’t wait to eat.

Now to figure out a way to make my favorite lasagna ever without cheese.

Vegan Pesto Cream Sauce

Makes ~2 ½ cups sauce

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add:

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 white mushrooms* (use 1 or omit if not fond of mushrooms)
  • 4 florets cauliflower, ~¾ cup

Boil for around 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft. Next, strain the boiled mixture and add to a high speed blender with:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk**
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast***

Blend until completely smooth and then add:

  • 2-3 tablespoons non-dairy pesto****
  • salt, to taste

The sauce is ready! Heat up in a saucepan or microwave and add to pasta, gnocchi, vegetables, lasagna or whatever else you can think of.

Store any extra sauce in the fridge. It stores and reheats perfectly!

*I looove mushrooms and used baby bella mushrooms for the sauce pictured. I’ve also used shiitake.

** Be careful to not use vanilla cashew milk. The packaging is almost the same.

***I thought I despised nutritional yeast, but it turns out the brand I had tried (Bob’s Red Mill) has a very strong taste. I much prefer this brand.

****Most pestos have parmesan cheese, but I found a brand without any.