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Creamy AF Vegan Instant Pot Alfredo

The dish that my fiancé states “will bring both broccoli haters and lovers together” (hence me- the broccoli lover and him- the broccoli hater). Super easy because you can do pretty much everything in your instant pot, and a pretty quick cook too! This took me about 45 minutes taking my time, but even if you’re realllly slow, you shouldn’t be in the kitchen more than an hour- hour and 15 mins. At the bottom recipe notes you will find substitutions for food allergies, and some tips on dealing with some of the ingredients. The recipe list may look daunting, but it is mostly items you will find around your kitchen and pantry anyways. Don’t hold yourself back, use what you have / what you like, and make something yummy!

Ingredients: (Makes 4 Servings)

1 cup mixed white nuts, soaked in hot water (I used a cashews, pine nuts, and blanched almond blend- see recipe notes for more deets)

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped small

1/2 cup broccoli, chopped small (If using the broccoli stems, shave the outer layer and then chop em small!- see recipe notes for more deets)

drizzle extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp pink sea salt (or other sea salt) + extra for taste

1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper + extra for taste

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried parsley

2.5 tbsp nutritional yeast (nooch)

1 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar (or any other light colored vinegar will do)

1/2 tsp dijon mustard (or a lil less than 1/4 tsp mustard powder + 1/4 tsp white wine vinegar)

2.5 cups dry short noodles of choice (like shells, bowties, penne, ziti, or I used a mix of gluten free rotini and regular swirly noodles that had similar cook times to add some protein. You want to use noodles that have somewhere between a 7-9 minute cook time– see recipe notes for more deets)

3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or unsweetened oat or soy milk, but NOT almond)

1 large bay leaf

2 large fresh basil leaves

1 tsp tapioca starch (or corn or potato starch)

1/2 cup sweet peas, drained from can

2 tbsp vegan mozzarella, crumbled or shredded (I used Miyokos, Violife or Follow your heart would be my next suggestions if you can’t get your hands on Miyokos)

2 tbsp vegan parmesan shreds (I used follow your heart- see recipe notes for more deets)

How-To:

  1. Prepare your chopped veggies, soaked nuts and equipment. In order to have the least amount of clean up, you can use just your instant pot, a blender cup (works better than a large blender for cashew cream), and a silicon slotted spoon. The slotted spoon works well for sautéing, stirring, scooping pasta into bowls, and cleaning the sides of the blender and instant pot to make sure you get every last bit of that creamy goodness)
  2. Set your instant pot to the sauté option (it doesn’t really matter what timing you set it to). Add the onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and olive oil and begin to sizzle while stirring. Prepare your spice mix while these veggies cook for a few minutes. Add your spices (garlic powder- parsley. The nooch will be used with the nuts) to the instant pot and continue to sauté until veggies are softened a bit and it becomes fragrant.
  3. While the veggies sizzle, drain your nuts and add to a blender cup with lemon juice/ vinegar, mustard, big pinch salt, big pinch pepper, and 2 tbsp nooch. Add just enough water to cover the top of the nuts. Blend until reallllly smooth.
  4. Now back to your instant pot add the noodles, cashew cream, cashew milk, bay leaf, basil leaves, starch, and enough water to just cover the noodles. Add another big pinch of salt and pepper, and a 1/2 tbsp of nooch. Mix the contents of the instant pot and then set your instant pot lid to sealing, and set the cook to manual pressure for 2 minutes.
  5. Once your instant pot is done, let it naturally release for 5 minutes then manually change the seal to venting and let out the rest of the air. Take a bite of a noodle to make sure they’re cooked through, then mix in the sweet peas, mozzarella, and parmesan (and extra salt and pepper if your heart desires).
  6. This will make about 4 servings, keeps well in the fridge about 5 days, and can be frozen up to a month mixed with a little extra water and olive oil. Serve topped with salt, pepper, and a little fresh basil. Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

  • nave a nut allergy? You can exchange the cashew blend for garlic, lemon or herb hummus. Use about 3/4 cup hummus instead of 1 cup, mixed with the lemon juice, nooch, salt and pepper + a lil extra water and olive oil. The taste will be different but still yummy! Use a milk like oat or soy. Use nut free vegan cheese. For gluten allergy use gluten free noodles. For lemon allergy use vinegar instead of lemon juice.
  • for the nut blend, I used mostly cashews, then blanched almonds, and last pine nuts. Any kind of white nut will work, such as macadamias. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if your nuts are raw or roasted for this recipe. As far as soaking goes, I soaked mine for only about 10 minutes in hot water and it did the trick. You can also boil your nuts for 5-10 mins, or microwave them in hot water for 30 seconds to get the job done. The internet is a scary place that leads you to believe nuts must be soaked for exactly four hours or you will break your blender, which truthfully isn’t the case. You may have to hold your blender button down an extra minute, but hey you were already impatient with the soak might as well try a lil harder with the blender, eh?
  • broccoli stems! Mmm mmmm do I love some broccoli stems! These lil delicacies are always thrown out for reasons unknown to me. When peeled and cooked, they are soft and buttery with a milder taste than broccoli (kind of like broccoli and artichokes had a baby? When people find them in my food they sometimes describe them as a “confusing celery” to me). Trust me! Don’t toss your stems! Just chop them real small. After peeling the stalk, cut into four sticks then slice em.
  • I suggest using noodles that require a 7-9 minute cook time because they will fully cook in the 2 min pressure. If you would like to use other noodles, check out this guide.
  • the mozzarella and parmesan aren’t completely necessary, but if you have them on hand I would highly recommend! If not, add a squeeze extra of lemon juice, extra sprinkle of salt, and a big ole pinch of nooch.

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