There are some dishes that you'd imagine you could never have again after ditching meat, eggs, and dairy. Carbonara is one of them - traditionally made with lardons, eggs, cheese, and butter - surely this is a dish that's off the menu for vegans? Well, this vegan version takes on a slightly different (and in my opinion, better!) flavour, and it certainly provides a fix for any cravings you might have for a deliciously rich, creamy, comforting pasta dish. And swapping the traditional ingredients - laden with saturated fat and salt - with nutrient-packed plant foods, it's definitely better for your health too.
Vegan Carbonara with Tofu and Mushrooms
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour
3/4 cup low fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste
400g dried linguine / spaghetti
200g frozen peas
1 Tbsp rapeseed oil
5-6 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
To make the sauce, simply chuck the drained cashews, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and seasoning into a food processor and blitz until smooth (a high-speed blender, such as a Nutribullet or Vitamix, blitzes the ingredients into the smoothest, creamiest sauce). Set aside.
Now, cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Add the frozen peas to the pasta for the last few minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry the mushrooms for 5 mins until starting to brown. Add the diced shallots, garlic, and tofu pieces and continue to fry for a further 5 mins.
Now mix the drained pasta, peas, mushroom / tofu mix, and sauce all together in the pan, and serve!
Nutrition (per serving):
Protein: 31.3g(Women: 62.6% / Men: 56.9%)
Iron: 7.8mg(Women: 52% / Men: 89.7%)
Calories: 762(Women: 38.1% / Men: 30.5%)
Sugars: 9.9g(Women: 11.0% / Men: 8.3%)
Total Fats: 29.7g(Women: 42.4% / Men: 31.3%)
Saturated Fats: 7.2g(Women: 36.0% / Men: 24.0%)
Salt: 1.1g(Women: 18.3% / Men: 18.3%)
Fibre: 8.5g(Women: 28.3% / Men: 28.3%)
See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.