Vegetarian Mushroom Carbonara

This is a really cool, quick and tasty healthy veggie based version of the creamy bacon carbonara classic. If you are watching the weight or the calories then try this one without the oil for even better health benefits. Get a decent pan on a high heat. If you are not using oil, keeping the pan super hot is key to releasing the flavour of the onions and mushrooms. There is about 120 calories in a tablespoon of oil so pause before you mindlessly add it to the pan, you don’t need it to cook this.

So let’s get cooking!

  1. So with a pan on high heat, chop up 2 small red onions and 2 cloves of garlic and add to the pan. Gently move them around while they caramelise a bit from the heat.
  2. Once the onions and garlic have browned up, add some veg stock to the pan to stop anything sticking. Use stock rather than water to add extra flavour to the mushrooms that are coming in next.
  3. Rip or chop up 250g of mushrooms and add them to the pan. Use any type of shrooms you like or a mixture is even better for this.
  4. Add 3 tbsp of tamari or soy sauce to the pan. This adds a good salty flavour to the mix.
  5. Cook up 250g of wholegrain brown pasta in a separate pan, just follow the instructions on the packet. Go for brown pasta to get the fibre that has been removed from white pasta. Now on the sauce…
  6. Get a high-speed blender, add 100g of toasted cashews, 500ml of nondairy milk, juice of half a lemon or lime, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of garlic powder, whizz until you get a creamy consistency.
  7. Pour the sauce into the mushroom pan, letting it reduce a bit with the heat. The sauce will thicken a bit now. If it thickens too much, add some of the pasta water to it until you get the consistency you are looking for.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, add the cooked pasta to the pan.
  9. Finally add some green herbs – oregano, chive or any green herb of your choice and to add another pop of colour and taste, add a red chilli with the seeds if you want an extra kick.

Even my kids who can be fussy eaters somedays enjoyed this one and the funny thing is, for something that has zero dairy or meat in it, you do not miss it as its packed with beautiful flavour and colour. Rock on!  

Yours in health and happiness,