Kabocha Squash "Alfredo" Sauce (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
I have a confession. I'm not much of an alfredo sauce fan. I was late to even like cheese in life, and a few years after I did, I realized it didn't much agree with me, so I have it only sparingly maybe once or twice a month. But, I have to say, sometimes a cheesy bite of pasta really hits the spot.
Enter, this kabocha squash-based alfredo sauce, that is dairy free and gluten free. How can it be so? Well, thanks to the thick texture and slight sweetness of the kabocha squash, along with nutritional yeast -- a great plant-based source of B12 vitamin and protein -- this sauce will please even the most loyal cheese lovers. Not to mention, the vibrant orange color is reminiscent of cheese, which fools the eye and makes for a great pop of color tossed in a bowl of your favorite gluten-free pasta, over chicken , or even for healthified nachos. Get creative!
Ingredients: 1/2 cup kabocha squash (roasted) 2 TBSP nutritional yeast 1 TBSP tahini 2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp salt (+ more to taste) 1 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 cup warm water (can have more on hand depending on your consistency preference)
Instructions: To roast the kabocha squash:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Meanwhile, peel, de-seed, and cube the squash into half-inch cubes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with avocado oil. Align squash on the parchment-lined baking sheet and add a few pinches of salt. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir/flip the cubes of squash, and roast for another 7-8 minutes, until very soft. Once done, remove from oven.
To make the sauce:
In a small saucepan, add all ingredients except water. Using an immersion blender, blend ingredients until they come together into a homogenous mixture. Begin to add water in parts, then continuing to blend. Keep adding water until you get a thick, but smooth consistency, or until it reaches your preferred consistency. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor to combine all ingredients -- pulse until all ingredients come together into one homogenous mixture. If using a food processor, transfer to a small saucepan. Move saucepan with blended sauce to the stove on low heat, stirring frequently. Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes on low heat until warm and flavors intensify.
Add to pasta, nachos, sandwiches, etc.
Makes approximately 1.5 cups of sauce.
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