So we may be creeping up to winter, but frozen veggies are still available to make lovely, spring-inspired dishes like pasta primavera. But if you’ve ever added tomato sauce to pasta primavera, you know it’s just not quite right. A quick garlic and oil infusion works well, but what if you want something special, like alfredo sauce? Now, I hope you know that alfredo sauce is not the healthiest option- even if it’s made with organic heavy cream, raw parmesan cheese, and local butter, it’s still going to clog your arteries! There are, of course, wonderfully delicious and healthy options for homemade sauce, including this one that I helped the Meal Makeover Moms design. But what if even that isn’t healthy enough for you to justify on a weeknight? Never fear, Caulifredo is here! For some odd, but perfectly wonderful, reason, cauliflower has been all the rage recently.
Fortunately, cauliflower is very moldable to suit other needs, such as rice, mashed potatoes, or steak, and these superpowers extend to replacing cream in alfredo sauce. To be honest, I stole inspiration for this recipe from Kroll’s Korner (a fellow Recipe Reduxer) who in turn was inspired by Pinch of Yum, but I added my own twist. The basic step for this sauce is boiling cauliflower florets in chicken broth to soften it, then blending it with all the other ingredients. It only takes about as long as boiling pasta, so it’s the perfect weeknight dinner!
I just found out that Wegmans does indeed make whole wheat pasta. I’ve always looked for it with the pasta, but because it’s also organic it was hiding with the natural foods. I was pretty pumped to finally find whole wheat farfalle, so I made some to pair with the sauce. I also found some gorgeous asparagus (I found fresh, oddly enough, but frozen is great too) and frozen spinach to round out the dish. Also, pro tip: the ingredients for 5 nights’ worth of this dish, plus ingredients for 5 plant protein bowls, plus some snacks and fruit for the week came out to $28.38. Eating healthy isn’t more expensive than fast food!
Once the pasta was drained, the veggies were sauteed (not steamed, because that’s boring), and the sauce was pureed, I had a veggie-packed dish to serve with a gorgeous piece of salmon or chicken- and plenty of leftovers for the week!
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Whole wheat pasta, prepared vegetables, and grated parmesan, for serving
- In a large pot, bring chicken broth to a boil and add cauliflower. Boil for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is very soft.
- Meanwhile, saute the shallot in olive oil until translucent.
- Combine the shallot and olive oil, butter, milk, and Parmesan in the bowl of a blender. Use a slotted spoon to add the cauliflower and then pour in 1 cup of the broth.
- Blend until very smooth, adding more broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss with pasta and vegetables and serve topped with more grated parmesan.