"Bleu Cheese" Pasta with Sautéed Veggies
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This recipe was inspired by Dr. Fuhrman's cookbook. I like to refer back to his recipes from time to time, especially if I feel as though I need a little "cleanse." Most of his recipes are oil free, so their fat contents are low, making them a touch healthier.
Start with a pasta of your choice. I was in a hurry last night, so I just popped over to the local grocery to grab some last-minute ingredients. I was unable to find the super "foo-foo" health food-store bean or veggie pasta that I prefer, so instead, I grabbed some Barilla Gluten-Free Penne Pasta. I think it's a good gluten-free option that tastes great! You can also find this option on Amazon here.
Boil the pasta per the package instructions, drain, and set it aside.
Blend together all "cheese sauce" ingredients in a high-speed blender or vita-mix. For me, the stars of this sauce are the Miso Paste and the Tahini. They are contradictory flavors (tangy and mild) that balance each other out quite well in the end. They give you that creamy but slightly sour aftertaste that a standard bleu cheese delivers.
After your sauce is made, you can start chopping and sautéing your veggies. I used a red onion and Brussel sprouts this time, but you can really use whatever you want. I think this would also be great with asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or green beans...really, whatever floats your boat!
One of the things I credit to Dr. Fuhrman's teaching is the art of water sautéing. That's a real thing…seriously! You don't necessarily need oil or butter to sauté anything. Just cutting out oil and butter alone can totally help you cut back on calories. Now, I'm not sure I completely agree with his oil-free (or very minimal oil) recommendations in general, and there are a lot of conflicting studies out there about the benefits and repercussions of heavy oil-based diets. It's also just insanely difficult to eat out if you were to cut oil out completely. I'm personally already Vegan and Gluten-Free, so eating out is hard enough as it is! But, when I'm cooking at home, I try to use it sparingly. I just don't beat myself up about it if a recipe calls for it or I eat sweet potatoes fries when I'm out.
Anyway, water sautéing is cool! Just add your veggies to about 2tbs of water, on medium heat, and sauté until the desired tenderness is achieved. If the pan gets too dry or starts to brown, add some more water, about a tablespoon at a time.
Once your veggies are done, if there is no water left in the pan, add a teaspoon of warm water and mix in your drained pasta. Pour your "cheese sauce" mixture over the pasta and veggies and stir for a few minutes to heat everything and mix it all together.