Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Vegan Smokey Garlic Alfredo with Chicken & Some Springtime Vegetables

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So I got Dan's fever plague. It came and went pretty quickly but it was still a pretty annoying thing to have happen when you're so close to putting the putting the final touches on something... like your new home after a move. We're so close to calling this place home now. It's all at that cruel stage where it becomes more like cleaning than decorating. I've also been distracted collecting a kinda odd selection of groceries recently.

See an important part of moving for me is finding out where I can get supplies. I've been scouting out grocery stores and pagodas and keeping notes in my phone*. I've also been buying vegan necessities and oddities as I went from shop to shop. I wish I could compare myself to an adorable squirrel or those sweet little old ladies filling their cupboards and pantries in case there's another depression or emergency bake sale. I mean what kind of little old lady wouldn't have all the ingredients for carrot cake at hand at all times? But in reality, this scenario is more like one of those creepy survivalists in Idaho - stockpiling Daiya, Tofutti, Lightlife and Gardein in case I never leave my home again and venture into civilization.

It's not that I'm anti-social. I'm just really shy... and kinda weird. 

So long story short, we needed a vehicle for garlic to defeat our plague and had some fancy organic spinach linguine... Smokey Garlic Alfredo it was! If you're following along in your copy of Betty's Big Red you'll only find Betty's Classic Alfredo. We used that as the inspiration for the base sauce of this dish and tinkered. I mean isn't that the beauty of Betty? She gives us what we need - even if it's just inspiration.

So let's make a lovely light springtime Alfredo that's is way more "low fat" but just as creamy as any of it's dairy ridden peers. We added artichoke hearts and peas to ours this time but this sauce would be wonderful with any vegetables. I already have plans to toss in broccoli next time or maybe some zucchini. Yeah I like to dream big. 

Vegan Smokey Garlic Alfredo with Chicken & Some Springtime Vegetables
  • 1 Cup Soy Milk (as your sauce cooks it will start to thicken - have extra Soy Milk to keep your sauce from getting reducing too much)
  • 1 Tablespoon Margarine
  • 1 Large Shallot (thinly sliced) 
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Wheat Flour 
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Sour Cream 
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 Cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 teaspoon White Wine
  • Several Dashes of Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Package Gardein Chicken (or whatever your favorite Vegan Chicken is - Morningstar Strips, Match Vegan Meats, Lightlife - They would all work) 
  • 1 Can Artichoke Hearts (drained) 
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas (you can use fresh peas if you can find them - I haven't been that lucky yet)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
  • 1 Package Spinach Linguine
  • Black Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes to sprinkle over the top 
Prepare your Liquine per instructions on the package.

In your all-purpose cast iron skillet, heat Olive Oil on a medium heat. Once it is warm, cook your Vegan Chicken until evenly brown and crispy. 

In your patient saucepan, heat Margarine on a medium heat. Once it begins to melt, add Shallots. They will begin to melt with the Margarine. I mean not literally. But they will get very soft and begin to break down in the boiling oil. Once that starts to happen, use a whisk to blend in the Flour. The Shallots will blend in a little but they won't disappear. Once the mixture is completely smooth and blended, add the Soy Milk. Continue to blend the sauce with your whisk.

Once your sauce is completely blended and begins to bubble, add Vegan Sour Cream, Garlic,Vegan Parmesan and Nutritional Yeast. Continue to blend with your whisk to keep the sauce creamy and smooth. Once those ingredients are mixed in, then blend in Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, White Wine and Liquid Smoke with your whisk. Once it is completely blended add Artichoke Hearts and Frozen Peas and let them cook in the bubbling smoke. At this point, you can add more Soy Milk if your sauce has reduced too much and give it a taste and see if it needs more Salt or Smoke.

Once you like the taste, toss your Linguine, Vegan Chicken and Sauce in a large mixing bowl. When you serve toss some Black Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes on top and pour yourself a glass of some of that White Wine you were cooking with.

* Notes of course that I somehow deleted last night. Yeah. It's been like that lately.


  1. Here's something that might amuse you that relates to both garlic and how good your cooking is. I think I told you that you helped me decide to go vegan, partly because you cooked such an easy and yummy meal the time I was over your place for dinner. It really helped me realize how veganism was really not that hard at all and also the right thing to do. Unfortunately, that same delicious meal was how I found out that I am garlic intolerant - I got so sick! So I guess that is truly a testament to your cooking! And I'm sorry, but I won't be making this garlic alfredo dish :).

  2. Oh man - a garlic allergy. I am so sorry - for dosing you with something you're allergic too and because that would a terrible thing to be allergic too. I mean it must be hard to avoid.

    I am so honored that I helped you become vegan though!

  3. Yeah, being a vegan who is allergic to garlic is not easy - and I thought it would be cheese that was tough to avoid! Luckily, pretty much all the recipes I make I can just leave it out of and they are still good. And I don't think I said "thank you" for helping me make a decision that makes me feel better about myself at least as much as anything I ever have done. So thank you!

  4. This dish looks wonderful! Thanks for posting it!.
    I'm Italian so garlic is in my blood.

  5. Sounds fantastic ... I know what I'm fixing for dinner tonight! Thanks!

  6. thank god for liquid smoke. it ghas been a godsend since i stopped eating meat

  7. ~~~this is amazing~~~

    i tried the bean-based one a while ago, it was a hit. thought i'd try this one too - this one is is even better! i like that it's creamier, and tastes even more like a true alfredo