Thursday, October 10, 2013

Butternut Alfredo Pasta

I'm so excited! Due to a tweak in my knee, I had to take a bus from MIT to Northeastern yesterday to visit a collaborator, as opposed to my usual bike trip. Well, the bus that I needed to be on never showed and of course the late bus got even later due to traffic so as usual my patience was stretched thin. But there was a huge silver lining! There was a sign on that bus advertising the 18th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. It's 10/26 and 27, just a short T ride away, and FREE. How great!

This has been a slow week in the kitchen since I'm still trying to catch up from being away all weekend. Well, not really. I've made veggie burgers, lentil soup, and some kick-@$$ gluten free cookies, I just haven't felt like blogging those recipes yet. I also tried to make my own almond butter! Almond butter is my favorite and is either super expensive (Whole Foods, regular grocery stores) or the supply is irregular (our Trader Joe's has been out for a month). I decided to try my hand at making it when I found a 10 oz bag of raw almonds for $2.99 earlier in the week. I managed to make jar of what I'll call almond paste... when I get it to turn into butter I will pass the recipe on to you!

Yesterday, this recipe caught my eye, but I found it to be lacking a little bit nutritionally. The cashews are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and iron, two nutrients I'm looking for to quiet inflammation and promote healing in my knee. Cashew protein is even a complete source of all of the essential amino acids. However, the full combination of ingredients resulted in something that was a bit too low in protein and high in fat to really fuel my day. Thus, my Butternut Alfredo Pasta was born!

Butternut Alfredo Pasta

1/2 package whole wheat or brown rice rotini
1/2 package frozen cubed butternut squash, cooked
1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (here's the extra protein!)
cinnamon, garlic, and crushed red pepper to taste

Make your pasta according to the directions. Cook butternut squash, either in the microwave, or by roasting for 30 minutes in the oven at 350F. Drain cashews and combine squash, cashews, nutritional yeast, and spices in a food processor. Blend until smooth (add water to thin as necessary). Serve warm over pasta.

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