I have always been a fan of Alfredo sauce. In fact it was one of my all time favorite dishes on the menu when I use to eat at Red Robins. I loved the thick sauce that heavily coated the fettuccine noodles. BUT to be honest, I never felt that good afterward. That heavy thick sauce would sink right down into the pit of my stomach and set up camp. It has been about six years now since I have had gluten and heavy creamed sauces and I have sorely missed those flavors and textures… until now, for now I have a healthier version that doesn’t leave me with that bogged down and heavy feeling.
Using cashews and macadamia nuts made the perfect balance. The cashews have a slight sweetness to them and macadamia nuts give the sauce a hint of buttery flavor. You could use skinned almonds in place of the cashews since they too have a neutral taste. I also used almond milk as the liquid base to give an extra level of creaminess. You could use water in its place but if at all possible try it first as the recipe indicates.
I chose to use Herbes de Provence spice because it adds a warm, sweet and peppery herbal note to the creamy sauce. And although it isn’t required, making this sauce a day in advance will give the flavor and aroma time to properly develop. I posted a recipe below on how to make your own spice blend if you don’t have one on hand.
4 large (= 6 cups spiralized) zucchinis, spiralized
3 large carrots ( = 2 cups ribbons), cut in ribbons
1/2 cup packed basil, chiffonaded
1 large red pepper ( = 1/2 cup diced)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, diced
Soak the cashews and macadamia nuts in the same bowl. Once ready, drain and rinse.
In a high-powered blender place the almond milk, raw apple cider vinegar, garlic, Herbes de Provence spice, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, cashews, and macadamia nuts… blend till creamy. Depending on the blender, this can take 1-4 minutes. Stop the machine and rub some sauce between two fingers, if you feel grit, keep blending till smooth. Set aside.
Spiralize the zucchini into noodles. If you want to soften them, place them in a shallow baking pan and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. The salt will draw the water out of the zucchini and make it more limp. This process can take 30+ minutes, dependending on how soft or firm you want them. When ready to use, rinse the salt off and dab the noodles with a paper towel to remove the excess water. Place in a large bowl.
With a potato peeler, shred long carrot ribbons into the zucchini noodle bowl.
Add basil, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. When cutting the cucumber, remove the seeds. The seeds can cause indigestion for some and will make your sauce watery.
Toss with sauce and serve.
Store remainder of sauce in the fridge for 2-3 days.
How to make you own Herbes de Provence spice: yields 1/4 cup
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar. Shake well.