PASTA PRIMAVERA with a cauliflower creme sauce | recipe

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This creamy and comforting dish features fresh vegetables and healthy, clean way to satisfy your richest cravings. I offer up a dish with no oil that is super low in fat and chock full of vegetables and the antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that they supply. Let's run through some of the benefits of this veg, shall we?

Cauliflower (1):

  1. Fights cancer: Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer.
  2. Good for your heart: Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function.
  3. Anti-inflamatory: Cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
  4. Nutrients like crazy: Eating cauliflower is like winning the antioxidant and phytonutrient lottery. It's packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, cinnamic acid, and much more. Antioxidants are nature's way of providing your cells with adequate defense against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Cashews (2): 

  1. Anti-aging Powers: Nutrients in cashews facilitate proper absorption of iron as well as providing numerous antioxidants which in turn allows our body to eliminate free radicals, the main cause of cell degeneration in our bodies tissues. 
  2. Bone Strength and Healthy nerves: cashews provide calcium and magnesium which when paired together make both readily digestible and available for our bodies to incorporate into our bones. Another amazing benefit of this magnesium is that it is stored on the bones surface and insufficient amount of magnesium allows calcium to enter the blood vessels leading them to contract leading to high blood pressure, migraine headaches etc.
  3. Aids in Weight Loss: While cashews contain high amounts of fats they are "good" fats, and along with the fiber and handful of nutrients like vitamin E, folic acid, copper and antioxidants, these little guys actually block fat retention. Don't ask me how it works, but dang that's cool.

Broccoli (3):

  1. Protection against a host of chronic diseases: broccoli contains fiber, as do all veggies, but when it comes to broccoli we're talking tons of fiber. High fiber is associated with lower risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and almost all gastro-intestinal diseases including colon cancer. 
  2. Strong bones: Vitamin K supports complete bone construction and is linked to low risk for bone fracture. Just one cup of chopped broccoli provides 92 micrograms of vitamin K, well over 100% of your daily need.
  3. Reduces allergies and Inflammation: The omega-3's in broccoli help fight inflammation and he chemical kaempferol helps lessen the effects of allergy producing substances in the body. 

Bell Peppers:

  1. Clear Vision: Certain enzymes in bell peppers, such as lutein, protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.
  2. Cancer Fighting: The sulfur content in bell peppers makes them play a protective role in certain types of cancers.
  3. The capsaicin in bell peppers reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, controls diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation

Carrots (4):

  1. Immunity Boost: Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilities that make it ideal for boosting the immune system. They are a rich source of vitamin C, which stimulates the activity of white blood cells and is one of the most important elements of the immune system.
  2. Oral Health: Mineral antioxidants in carrots stimulate excessive salivation and the alkalinity of your saliva combats bacteria that causes cavities and gingivitis. Yes, we salivate all the time, but usually not enough to overwhelm these bacterium. 
  3. Controll Diabetes: Carotenoids present in carrots help regulate blood sugar levels, regulating the amount of glucose and insulin used by the body and effecting insulin resistance therefore lowering blood pressure.

This listing of benefits could go on and on but honestly they all tell the same story: vegetables are incredible and we should eat them at every opportunity! Plant nutrients are essential to all functions of the human body, prevention of chronic diseases and contain the keys to curing many of the ailments that face humans today.

This pasta dish provides a heap of plant powered nutrients, a skinny-cancer-preventing-anti-aging-constipation-releaving pile of deliciousness. Now, if you're afraid of carbs... I can't help you, babe. That's another topic for another day. 

Dig in, kiddos. 

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Ingredients

for the sauce

1/2 a cauliflower head (approx. 8 oz)

1/2 cup cashews, soaked

1/2 a large onion

2 large cloves garlic

3 tbs nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbs lemon juice

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup no-chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 bell peppers, thinly sliced length wise

2 portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced

1 tomato (I used an heirloom beauty) chopped

1 carrot, shredded

8 oz broccoli, cut into small florets

basil leaves, a handful

8 oz. fettuccine pasta

1/4 broth for cooking

Instructions

  1. Cook fettuccine according to package instructions. 
  2. Heat a large pan with 1/4 cup of broth until broth begins to simmer. Add the onion and garlic and it begins to soften and brown. Add the cauliflower in pieces and sauté until soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. 
  3. Transfer the onion garlic and any broth in the pan to a high powered blender or food processor. Add the remaining sauce ingredients including the remaining 1/4 cup of broth and blend on high until creamy and smooth.
  4. In the same pan used for the sauce add another 1/4 cup of broth or oil if you prefer and bring to a simmer. Adjust to medium heat. Add the bell pepper, broccoli and carrot and cook until tender. Add the portobello and cook until tender. Finally, turn down the heat and add the tomatoes and basil and follow with the cooked pasta and sauce. Turn off the heat but allow the pasta to soak up some of the sauce for a few minutes before serving. 
  5. Serve with salt and pepper and basil to garnish. 

**WARNING: If you store leftovers, it will smell like a giant fart when you reopen whatever container you store it in, but I promise it tastes just as good as when you first made it.