I’ve been very into noodles lately—whole wheat, brown rice, cucumber, sweet potato (I don’t discriminate). The thing is, pregnancy is making me really full, really fast and my stomach feels like it’s in my chest (because it’s actually in my chest). You know how some guys will unbuckle their belts after a big meal? I’m having to take off my bra, and that’s with the nifty bra extender I discovered and now can’t live without. To help keep from feeling like an overinflated balloon, I’ve been trying to eat smaller meals and graze more throughout the day, while also cutting back my portion sizes on grains and pasta to make room for more nutritionally-dense foods like vegetables. Enter: sweet potato noodles!
Sweet potato noodles are pretty great all on their own, but the creamy, 5-minute vegan alfredo sauce here is the real star. I have to be mindful of my marinara sauce consumption these days (thanks to non-stop pregnancy heartburn), which is fine by me because I’m obsessed with this easy blender cream sauce. It’s made from cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, white miso, a little garlic powder (but not too much because heartburn), salt and pepper. You would not think such a simple sauce would be so addictive, but I promise you it is. Aaron loves this vegan alfredo so much he thinks we should always have a batch ready to go. (I agree.)
All in, these sweet potato noodles and alfredo sauce take about 20 minutes to make—even less time if you buy sweet potato noodles pre-made at the grocery store. Really though, using an inexpensive spiralizer to make your own noodles takes all of 2 minutes. Just don’t be like my dad, who recently made my Rainbow Pad Thai with Tofu and told me the recipe took him for-ev-er because he cut the carrot and zucchini noodles entirely by hand. The lesson here is that a $30 spiralizer is 100% worth it.
Once you have your noodles and your sauce ready to go, pile on the toppings! I like chopped fresh parsley, hemp seeds, and a lot of red pepper flakes. I’m very into spicy foods these days, which does not mesh well with heartburn but I do it anyway. You have to pick your battles, right? 😉
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon mellow white miso
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and spiralized
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- couple small pinches red pepper flakes
- Make the sauce: Add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender (see note below). Blend together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and once warm, add the garlic and cook until until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the sweet potato noodles and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add the water and toss again. Cover and cook, tossing every so often, until the noodles are tender but “al dente”, about 3 more minutes. Don't overcook the noodles or they will become too soft and won't hold their shape.
- Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and portion into serving bowls. Top with alfredo sauce, chopped fresh parsley, a sprinkle of hemp seeds, and red pepper flakes.
The cashew cream sauce is best made in a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix). A regular blender should work, but I'd recommend soaking the cashews for 24 hours to help them soften and blend more easily.