Julie Anne Rhodes
I have the happiest cleaning lady on the planet. Not wanting to violate my detox, I asked her to do the taste testing for me when I cooked for a client yesterday. I made it through without a slip. Why torture myself cooking delicious food I can’t have (apart from the obvious – I have a mortgage to pay)? After just one week the benefits of the combination vegan, anti-inflammatory and hypo-allergenic cleanse have been massive.
Rocking the stilettos
As many of you already know, I broke my ankle a few months ago. I’ve tried not to whinge, but it has been a tedious recovery with substantial loss of flexibility in my left ankle. The few times that I’ve cooked professionally since, have rendered me useless for the next couple days with swelling and pain – until yesterday. After just one week of detoxing the pain has decreased by at least 50%, and the flexibility is returning. My physio agrees that the eliminations from my diet have helped immensely. I’ll be cooking up a storm, and rocking those stilettos again in no time!
Day two of the cleanse, feeling downright giddy
Plus I have energy I haven’t had in years, my skin is positively luminous, I no longer want to nibble between meals; and contrary to my friends concern that it would reduce me to a growling female dog, my mood has been consistently elevated. I’ve even lost a few pounds. Hmmmm, a piece of cake, or feeling the best I’ve felt in twenty years? I’ll take the cleanse please! My own little lab experiment (or kitchen in this instance) has taught me to never underestimate the influence of food on my health again – we truly “are what we eat.”
As promised, here is a recipe that’s kept that smile on my face, and my belly full. It’s the faux “Alfredo” sauce I’ve been tweeting about. Since it was dreamt up on the fly for the cleanse, I have not had time to test it repeatedly, so your feedback is much appreciated – just click on “comments” after the recipe.

Faux “Alfredo” Sauce with Mushrooms & Cannellini Beans

Okay, so it is not the real thing, but it is creamy, tasty, vegan, cleanse legal and hits the spot for me at least! It does require forethought, and there will be a few pans to clean, but the good news is you can make a big batch and live off it for a few days. Just heat to eat when you need it.
Servings: 4
  • 1 cup cashew cream (see notes below)
  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms (I used a combination of different mushrooms)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, cooked, divided
  • 1 tablespoon yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 cup vegetable broth
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
1). Slice the spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon, and place cut side up in the microwave. Cook on high for eight minutes. Remove and repeat with the other half. Allow squash to cool. Using a fork, scrape the “spaghetti” strands free from the shell into a large bowl.
2). Heat oil in a large saute pan for one minute over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute before adding the mushrooms, rosemary, and thyme. Season to taste, and cook another five minutes or until mushrooms have browned, then turn heat down to low.
3). Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup of the cannellini beans, cup of cashew cream, turmeric, and yeast flakes to a blender. Puree until smooth and creamy, adjusting consistency with vegetable broth if needed (the beans can soak up a lot of liquid, thickening the sauce).
4). Add cream mixture to the mushrooms, scraping up any gooey bits of flavor in the pan. Add the reserved cannellini beans, stirring gently until heated through. Stir in more vegetable broth if sauce thickens too much, seasoning to taste.
5). Pour sauce over the spaghetti Squash, toss and serve.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with any steamed green vegetable of your choice, or at the risk of sounding like a broken record, my balsamic marinated vegetables for extra zing. If you are not doing a gluten free or low carb diet, then serve over real spaghetti or Fettuccine.

Variation: Add an extra boost of flavor and nutrients by pureeing steamed broccoli into the sauce, or some crunch with 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds.

Notes: I make a lot of cashew cream at once, and freeze what I don’t need right away in one cup containers, so I have it when I need it for other recipes. To make cashew cream just soak four cups of raw cashews, covered with water overnight. Drain, rinse, and add to a Vitamix or regular blender with enough water to cover by a half to one inch (depending on how thick you want your cream), then blend until smooth and creamy.

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  • August 26, 2010
    8:27 pm

    piece of cake any day :)Luis Barrera

  • August 26, 2010
    8:28 pm

    I've just created a file on my web Bookmarks just for your blog recipes. I am going for the organized look. :cD I'm starting to look forward to fall when I get back into cooking and now I have some tasty looking healthy recipes to try. Thanks!Kelly McAllister Hulse

  • August 26, 2010
    9:31 pm

    Looks and sounds amazing! Might have to do a test run on this one this weekend so I know what I'm doing when my sister comes. And having 3 portions leftover for other dinners is a good thing.

  • August 26, 2010
    10:03 pm

    If you do gluten free, the squash is terrific, but you can also buy rice pasta which is wonderful! Allen would never go for this recipe, but I can make it for me and take it to work!

  • August 27, 2010
    12:19 am

    Jewels, thank you for sharing this recipe!! I have been severely allergic to dairy for the last couple of years, and alfredo is something I love but can't have. I am going to make it as soon as I find those beans.As I've tweeted I've been mostly on the cleanse with you guys, but with fresh tomatoes and potatoes in the garden, recently ripe, I've not skipped out on those. I feel so much better. My knee (that I had replaced this past spring) is not as swollen. I feel really good. My face is clear. Even my hair feels different.Thanks! Mari

  • August 27, 2010
    1:44 am

    Hey Laura – Allen would dine on chili dogs at Pinks every meal if you let him! I actually have some brown rice pasta, but I really like spaghetti squash – more nutrients.Mari isn't it amazing?! I just walked Daisy a mile (and would have walked longer if it weren't so hot), I could barely wince through 4 blocks a couple weeks ago. My physio told me that nighshades (which both tomato and potato belong to) can cause inflammation, so go easy on them and try taking a break from them once the season is over. I normally eat a lot of marinara sauce, and we think that might have been causing some of the inflammation in my ankle.

  • August 27, 2010
    1:45 am

    We need a rockin stiletto cake! a non dairy, no fat, no sugar, scrumpsusness cake……Yassi Castilla

  • August 27, 2010
    1:46 am

    I can do vegan, but you'll have to ask higher up for miracles.

  • August 27, 2010
    4:00 am

    BTW, Mari – cannellini beans are just white kidney beans. You should be able to find them in your local grocery store (at least the canned version).

  • August 27, 2010
    4:29 pm

    I made gluten free, vegan, sugar free blueberry muffins a couple of weeks ago and my family loved them! I used the chemical splenda, but that was truly the only artificial ingredient I used.

  • August 27, 2010
    4:37 pm

    Unfortunately those would still be off limits. There are no sweeteners allowed on the cleanse other than fresh fruit (and that includes natural ones like honey, stevia, and agave). I gotta tell you, I have not felt this good in over 20 years, so I'm staying on it for now, but thank you for offering.

  • August 27, 2010
    5:06 pm

    or serve it over raw veggie "noodles". I have been eating a lot of zucchini and carrot noodles made with my julienne peeler. Yummy!

  • August 27, 2010
    5:18 pm

    You look wonderful darling !!♥Zuleika Ponsen

  • August 27, 2010
    5:20 pm

    I've done zucchini, but never though of doing carrot Charity – THANKS!

  • August 27, 2010
    5:22 pm

    Merci Beaucoup Zuleika, so do you, but I'd rather see that beautiful face in person. Too many years…sigh.

  • August 28, 2010
    3:19 am

    Just wondering if you could do raw almonds like the way you make the cashew cream? Have you ever tried that? Noticed that the makers of soy beverage are now making almond milk that has only 60 calories/8 oz. Hoping to try that later on cereal since I can't tolerate milk. Body seems to rebel against more and more food items, it's getting difficult to eat a meal. This one, I think I'll be okay with!

  • August 28, 2010
    3:35 am

    I've never tried it Ruthee, but cashews tend to have a creamier texture to them. Be careful when you buy almond or rice milk that it is unseetwened (they do both and the one with sweetener is off limits on the cleanse). I just bought some today that is only 40 calories per 8oz. serving and 0 grams of sugar.

  • August 28, 2010
    7:59 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Had no muchrooms used yellow squash andred peppers. Had no cannelli beans so used Gabanzo. So glad this made alot because it is wonderful!

  • August 29, 2010
    6:38 pm

    Lovely blog site, really enjoy the recipes and the photos.. CheersBrookhttp://www.momentsofelegance.com

  • August 31, 2010
    8:06 pm

    Okay, so I'm down with the squash and the cashews and the beans, but I am violently opposed to mushrooms in any variety.How would I do this without the vile fungi?

  • September 8, 2010
    10:05 am

    I made the faux Alfredo sauce and served it over broccoli and vermicelli because I didn't have spaghetti squash (will use it next time). I also couldn't find yeast flakes, so I omitted it. I love sauces with cheese, but this sauce is a surprisingly great non-dairy alternative to regular Alfredo. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • January 18, 2011
    1:04 am

    I tried this recipe & absolutely loved it! So good I will for sure make it again, I did not find it that difficult. It did not last long in my fridge 🙂