Friday, April 4, 2014

Healthy Carbonara

Childhood memories of carbonara are not my most favourite to be honest. Thick cream & egg heavy pasta topped with fat dripping bacon and smelly parmesan cheese. 
Not my idea of tasty food.....

But then again, that didn't turn me off experimenting with this dish to turn it into something healthy, light and totally delicious :-)

Healthy Vegan Pasta Carbonara
(Makes 3 Serves)
You'll need:
250g dried pasta of choice

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1-1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms

1/4 head cauliflower
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup motherless milk of choice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon ground sage

Lentil "bacon" bits:
1/2 cup lentils (already cooked, either home made or from a can)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Extra nutritional yeast to serve

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta per packet directions.
Slice the onion and crush the garlic. Dry fry with the mushrooms until browned well.
Place the lentils in a fry pay with the soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Dry fry until the lentils begin to pop open. You can chop them into smaller pieces if you wish to make them more similar to 'bacon bit.

Place all the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend til smooth. 
When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pot. Pour the cauliflower cream sauce over the pasta and stir til pasta is evenly coated.

Serve with the mushroom/onion mix and lentil 'bacon' bits. Top with nutritional yeast.

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Add your healthy vegan recipe on these blogs:

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  1. I never much liked carbonara as a child either - perhaps I associated it with bacon and egg or cream too. Bleugh! These days I love it, whether nut or seed or veggie based. The cauliflower base sounds delish!

    1. I have never tried a nut based one but I bet they would be delicious too :-)

  2. Clever stuff Sandy! I absolutely hate carbonara of the traditional variety, and always have, but this version has me very intrigued. Cauliflower does some magical things :)

    1. Thank you! Yes I still feel like I'm only just discovering how versatile cauliflower can actually be - well the truth is I just have to hide it from my husband you see ;-) lol

  3. Hi Sandy,
    I just hopped over from Healthy Vegan Fridays! I was drawn here by your delicious recipe for healthy carbonara. I looks so creamy and yummy! I love making Italian food and healthy, vegan pasta dishes. It's one of my favorite comfort foods. So glad to discover your blog. All the best, Deborah

    1. Hi Deborah,
      Thanks for dropping by. So pleased to hear you like my blog :-)
      Pasta is a family favourite of ours - there are so many different ways to eat it!

  4. This looks delish; however, I loathe mushrooms. Since I haven't made this yet, I didn't know if you experimented with other veggies? I would rather try a good combo from the start rather then possibly messing up a recipe...

    1. You can just completely omit the mushrooms and just use the onion as veggies. Or else I reckon zucchini or capsicum would work well too, but just not as traditional as mushrooms in carbonara :-)

  5. I made this (with a few changes--I browned the cauliflower before I added it to the sauce and I added some minced kale to the onion/mushroom mixture) and it was great!

    1. Love to hear that you've adapted it to what you need it to be :-)